The Trust has invested in new equipment, staff training and the image technology, and is proud to offer a consultant led, robust, safe, high quality direct access non-obstetric ultrasound service under the current contract we have with Commissioners in 2013/14, including thyroid, MSK, vascular, hernias/lipomas and under 18s.
We are pleased to report diagnostic waits are currently well under the six week target, in fact our latest data shows 89 per cent of patients have been seen in less than three weeks.
As a service we get positive feedback from our service users, and receive relatively few complaints in relation to numbers of exams we undertake. We put the success down to the fact that the service is delivered by highly skilled staff that undergo yearly appraisals and undertake continual professional development. We also constantly reinforce our work practices by reviewing and updating our local policies, and we hold regular ‘discrepancy’ meetings to promote shared learning and improvement with regards to how images are interpreted by our consultants. We audit and re-audit our performance on scanning patients for Trauma and Stroke, and we audit the percentage of images that are reported in a ‘timely way’ irrespective of department activity in order to achieve a high standard.
We encourage GPs to make contact with us to discuss the most appropriate test and the test results, and our radiologists contact GPs with any results they are concerned about. Recently we have been gathering hotline numbers for the GP surgeries to help with this flow of information.
Going forward we have been investigating: how GPs can access the iRefer booklet that guides them to refer the correct test for their patients; how to offer flexible appointments to suit our service users’ lifestyles for Ultrasound and plain film; and how we can offer a new range of services that GPs can have direct access to, for example, Nuclear medicine, to enhance what we can offer our local population.
For more information about direct access non-obstetric ultrasound service, contact:
Michelle van Zyl, Radiology Ultrasound Manager, Extension 2731