Radiology Management Solutions (RMS) has received positive feedback from patients at a Northwest Trust who have benefitted from increasing the availability of scanning appointments by opening up the department from 6.00am until midnight.
Patients commented that they found it convenient and helpful to provide appointment outside of the traditional (typically 8 – 6pm) opening hours of a radiology department, with one commenting “lovely, pleasant and caring staff and an absolutely fantastic idea to have evening appointments.”
Waiting times in radiology departments UK wide are increasing and key government targets are not being met. The NHS diagnostic waiting times statistics for November 2019 report that a total of 2,021,100 diagnostic tests were undertaken, with the total number of patients waiting six weeks or more from referral for one of the 15 key diagnostic tests being 31,100.
The six-week diagnostic wait was introduced in 2008 to support the eighteen week referral to treatment target, giving patients the right to have a diagnostic test within 6 weeks of a request. The operational standard that less than 1% of patients should wait six weeks or more from referral for a diagnostic test was met in only 1 of the 15 key tests this month (DXA scans) in November.
There were 1,058,000 patients waiting for a key diagnostic test at the end of November 2019, an increase of 64,500 from November 2018.
Bill Bailey, Clinical Director commented “With the addition of winter pressures, which sees hospitals severely over-stretched in all areas in the November to February period, it is paramount that diagnostic imaging departments are looking at new ways to increase radiology capacity.
Our services use the existing equipment in a Trust and maximise the number of scans completed in a day through opening a department up to 18 hours, using our highly trained radiographers. The positive feedback received from customers at the Trusts where we have implemented an extended day reinforces how successful this method is for reducing waiting lists as well as providing patients with choice and flexible appointments.”
Diagnostic Imaging is often at the core of a hospital’s ability to manage patient flow, with many needing a scan before diagnosis and treatment. Last year RMS helped an additional 100,000 patients to receive CT and MRI scans, and saved its customers over £3.3 million when compared to using a mobile scanning unit on site.
Source: NHS Diagnostic Waiting Times and Activity Data November 2019 Monthly Report