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NHS to Use Palantir’s AI Platform to Cut Surgery Waiting Times Post Pandemic

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

AI platform company Palantir will see their “Foundry” software rolled out across 30 NHS Trusts following an evaluation at London’s Chelsea and Westminster hospital where it has been trialling its data processing technology. The 30 trusts have signed up to a more extensive national pilot, although the final number is still being decided.

At Chelsea and Westminster hospital, Palantir has brought together disparate information, such as the total number of patients waiting by clinician, theatre scheduling, and staff rostering and makes it available on a single platform.

The information on the platform then aims to help clinicians, schedulers, and operational staff see real-time information to help them make quick and efficient decisions on prioritising patients waiting for treatment or optimising theatre capacity to ensure more patients can be treated.

Palantir claims that so far it has helped enable a 28% reduction in the inpatient waiting list through validation and better clinical oversight. It also tripled booking lead times from 6 days on average to over 17 days, so that patients can be notified to come for surgery in a timelier manner, reducing the number of cancellations. Also, theatre utilisation has improved from 73% to 86%, over a three-month period.

According to NHS figures, around 6 million people are waiting for elective care – up from 4.4 million before the pandemic. Systems like Palantir’s will be used to help reduce these numbers if successful.

However, there remain concerns about Palantir’s involvement in an extensive number of military contracts which include weapons systems as well as their access to UK patient records and data.


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