Nhs state­ment

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Special Report - By Suz Elvey

East Kent Hos­pi­tals Univer­sity NHS Foun­da­tion Trust re­sponded to the FOI de­tails with the fol­low­ing state­ment:

“We always en­deav­our to keep our out­pa­tient can­cel­la­tions to an ab­so­lute min­i­mum and as part of a fuller re­view of our out­pa­tient ser­vice have in­tro­duced a num­ber of ini­tia­tives to re­duce in­con­ve­nience and wait­ing times if clin­ics need to be re-booked. Th­ese in­clude:

1. In­tro­duc­ing “fire­breaks” in clinic book­ing sched­ules to al­low for can­celled clin­ics to be re-booked with­out a lengthy wait for the next avail­able clinic;

2. Adding an ex­tra clinic close to the can­celled clinic date and mov­ing pa­tients to the new clinic;

3. En­sur­ing, ex­cept in ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances, the book­ing of leave is at least eight weeks in ad­vance so we can re­move clin­ics be­fore they are booked. We also re­move clin­ics that will not run due to on call, and au­dit as soon as we are aware of the dates;

4. If we need to can­cel a clinic and pa­tients are al­ready booked into it, we re­view ro­tas to try to cover the clinic first to avoid the can­cel­la­tion;

5. Monthly wait­ing list meet­ings to mon­i­tor per­for­mance in­clud­ing the num­ber of clinic can­cel­la­tions.”

He added: “Com­mu­nity pae­di­atric clinic sched­ules are more re­fined now and we ar­range ap­point­ments to avoid can­cel­la­tions, which may have hap­pened in the past, such as to ac­com­mo­date child pro­tec­tion cases.” More than 20,000 pa­tients had mul­ti­ple ap­point­ments can­celled at the Wil­liam Harvey Hos­pi­tal within a three-year pe­riod.

Ap­point­ments were can­celled in the ma­jor­ity of the hos­pi­tal’s de­part­ments with a stag­ger­ing 120,746 scrubbed in to­tal between April 2011 and March 2014.

This equates to 13.34% of all the ap­point­ments sched­uled dur­ing those 36 months.

Of the 22,175 peo­ple who had more than one ap­point­ment axed, the av­er­age num­ber of hos­pi­tal vis­its each pa­tients missed out on was 2.44.

The dis­ap­pointed ill and in­jured peo­ple were 9,588 men and 12,587 women. avail­abil­ity on the day or at short no­tice, or en­do­scopists un­avail­able due to sick­ness, ward is­sues, or locum avail­abil­ity.

He said they resched­ule pa­tients to a new clinic within the short­est pe­riod pos­si­ble.

High per­form­ing de­part­ments, where no ap­point­ments were scrapped dur­ing the time pe­riod, in­cluded pae­di­atric di­a­betic medicine and nurse-led chemo­ther­apy.

En­docrinol­ogy – a branch of medicine that deals with hor­mones – was one depart­ment that demon­strated an im­prove­ment over the pe­riod with an av­er­age of 29.93% of ap­point­ments can­celled in the first 12 months drop­ping to 21.87% in the fi­nal 12 months.

The trust stressed that some of the can­cel­la­tions may have hap­pened be­fore pa­tients were aware they had been al­lo­cated an ap­point­ment, for ex­am­ple if a clinic was can­celled.

As well as be­ing the main hos­pi­tal for res­i­dents in Ash­ford, Folke­stone, Ten­ter­den and the sur­round­ing ar­eas, the Wil­liam Harvey is vis­ited by pa­tients from the Can­ter­bury district, Dover and Faversham as well as other parts of Kent.

The Kent and Can­ter­bury Hos­pi­tal, which is run by the same trust, had 136,649 ap­point­ments can­celled dur­ing the three-year pe­riod – 13.52% of the to­tal booked – and pa­tients who were sub­ject to mul­ti­ple ap­point­ment can­cel­la­tions lost out on an av­er­age 2.46 meet­ings.

As we re­ported a fort­night ago the Wil­liam Harvey was branded as “in­ad­e­quate” in a re­port by Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion in­spec­tors, who called for it to be put into ‘spe­cial mea­sures’ to en­sure im­prove­ments.

Pic­ture: Paul Amos FM3347130

The Wil­liam Harvey hos­pi­tal

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