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Right Arrow Patients being seen quicker at hospitals
24 January 2008 at 11:18

Patients referred by their GP to either Southport or Ormskirk hospital over the last few months will have noticed something different – they are not having to wait so long for their appointments.

We have cut the waiting time for nearly all new outpatient appointments with most people now being seen within five weeks. The majority of appointments for diagnostic tests such as x-rays are also now at a maximum of four weeks wait. Where patients then go on to be listed for a procedure as either an inpatient or a day case patient, they can expect to wait no longer than eight weeks in most specialties.

Margaret Johnson-McDevitt, Deputy Director of Performance said, “This is a tremendous achievement which has relied heavily on a great number of staff working hard to provide additional capacity, and our thanks goes to them.

“Patients can be reassured that the old-days of having to wait months and months for a hospital appointment are going. By the end of 2008, no-one should have to wait more than a total of 18 weeks from referral to treatment, and most will wait a great deal less.

“However, we will not be able to achieve this on our own. We need our patients’ co-operation, because unless they are ready and able to come in for their appointment and if necessary for any treatment, this goal will not be achievable.

“Being seen quicker is good news and our patient should not worry that just because they will get to see the hospital consultant sooner does not necessarily mean they are more seriously ill.”

Case Study
Last summer grandfather of two, John Traynor, 61, of Hesketh Bank was having trouble with his left knee, “It was like an old gate on a rusty hinge,” he said, “so at the end of September I went to see my GP Dr Edbe in Tarleton. He said I should be seen by a specialist, so he referred me to Ormskirk hospital.”

By the end of October he had seen the consultant in outpatients who decided it would help if John had an arthroscopy to look inside his knee to try to determine the problem. So on 15 November John came into the Treatment Centre at Ormskirk hospital for the arthroscopy. John was told there and then that he needed a new knee.

“I went home expecting to wait months for the appointment and was even concerned that the holiday we have booked in June would have to be cancelled. To my amazement on 17th January I got a letter telling me to come in for the new knee a week later. I was really quite excited as my knee was very painful and causing me lots of problems at work.”

So on 24th January, just 17 weeks after his GP referred him to the consultant, John had received his new knee. He was discharged home on Monday 28th January, and will need physiotherapy for the next few weeks to help the knee recover.

“I’ve been really impressed with the speed everything has happened. I didn’t think I would get seen nearly as quickly as this, everyone has been great. My grandchildren are looking forward to having me to play with again and we can look forward to that holiday in June knowing I’ll be able to enjoy it even more with my new knee.”

Issued by Matthew King, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

Enquiries to: Matthew King Tel: 01704 704714