No Delays is designed to transform the relationship between patients, GPs and consultants, through easy-to-use media and useful digital services on tablets, mobile phones or the internet. The patient, their family and carers can access key personalised information that will help them to better understand their condition and learn how to manage it on an informed, day-to-day basis, as well as find out how they will be supported by their local team.

It is designed to radically change the way that outpatient referrals and consultations are done by creating an alternative to attendance at hospital or GP appointments.

How does it work?

No Delays gives a GP or specialist the ability to ‘prescribe’ a video package to their patient so that when the patient returns to their home they receive a personal email that follows up the medical discussion. This digital postcard contains short videos introducing the condition and the team who will be working with the patient. It enables the patient to find answers to questions they may not have had time or knowledge to ask the clinician, and they are able to share this information with friends, family and carers. This is great for the patient at home, but it also prepares them for their future meeting with the consultant. No Delays videos feature patients who have had the same condition explaining in personal terms how they have coped.

Make the most of scarce face-to-face time

No Delays helps the clinician and patient devote the face-to-face time they have to best advantage. The quality of the face-to-face interactions will improve as patients become better informed about their condition and more familiar with the team looking after them. The delay between referral and having the first specialist appointment can be dead time for the patient during which nothing happens to help them with their condition.. No Delays postcards are used to immediately inform the patient and prepare them for their next specialist face-to-face meeting. The well-informed patient is able to discuss their condition in more depth with the GP and specialist.

It will deliver a patient-focused service and save on resources

For patients who have to travel long distances for appointments, No Delays will reduce the number of costly journeys they have to make. A reduction in the need to attend routine follow-up appointments means that the specialists and GPs can redirect this time to see medically urgent patients more quickly as well as reduce the overall waiting time for newly referred patients.. No Delays will overcome the rigidly sequential handovers between clinicians and information systems which bring significant delays to treatment as well as reinforcing redundant interactions that cost all concerned time and money in a system that has an abundance of neither.

How is No Delays being used?

No Delays is currently being used in the north-east of Scotland and in Lothian. Members of the NHS and the public have worked together to design and test the service in the surgery, home and hospital. The initial focus has been respiratory medicine and the pathway for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Work is also underway on developing pathway content for sexual health and blood-borne viruses, child health, coeliac disease and chronic back pain.