As part of the drive to reduce waiting lists for patients, NHS trusts have from 31 October 2023 been contacting patients who have been waiting more than 40 weeks - and do not have a treatment date within the next eight weeks - to consider their options to see if they could be seen sooner at a different hospital.

Patients waiting more than 18 weeks already have the right to request to move provider, but this initiative is focused on proactively getting in touch with the longest waiters to see if a shorter waiting time could be found. 

This ‘alternative choice initiative’ is also referred to as ‘patient choice’ or the Patient Initiated Digital Mutual Aid System (PIDMAS).

It applies to people awaiting outpatient appointments, scans, day cases, procedures or surgery. 

By making a request to move your care to another hospital, your entire pathway of care will be moved, from first appointment through to any follow-up care. 

There is an eligibility process and exclusions apply, including for clinical reasons. 

Like all hospitals, we have gone through our waiting list to identify and contact all eligible patients currently under our care who meet the criteria.

At Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, this applies to a very small number of eligible patients, all of whom we will be contacting. 

Therefore, you do not need to worry about proactively contact us regarding this offer. 

If and when patients become eligible for PIDMAS, we contact you via phone or text message. If you receive a text, the sender will appear as ‘Royal Papworth Hospital’. 


If we contact you, we will:

  • Only ever ask questions relating to your care.
  • Never make reference to money, payments, or ask for bank details. 
  • We will never ask you for your name or address. You may need to provide personal details if you are creating a new NHS login or are contacting the national helpline to submit your PIDMAS request where you will be asked particular information relating to your request.
  • Our messages will only include a link to the national Patient Choice website and our hospital website.