Hospital could order system revue

IPSWICH Hospital could order an external review of its waiting-list system after it emerged a patient waited more than nine months for an operation because their name was never added to the list.

IPSWICH Hospital could order an external review of its waiting-list system after it emerged a patient waited more than nine months for an operation because their name was never added to the list.

Andrew Reed, chief executive of the hospital, said the incident was “human error”, but told the hospital's board of directors that procedures must be tightened up to prevent it happening again.

Speaking at a meeting yesterday , Mr Reed said: “There was a breach of the nine month target in July due to what was essentially an administration error.

“A patient who should have been put on a waiting list was not put on a waiting list.

“We have now made arrangements for that patient to be treated but we need to undertake a thorough review to ensure that there are no other patients in the same position.”

The incident has been reported to the Strategic Health Authority and the Department of Health.

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Mr Reed said he would be in favour of an external review, which would be done by experts from across the country.

“An external review would ensure we are picking up all of these situations and that our processes are as tight as they possible can be.

“We will never totally eliminate human error but we need to do everything we can to make sure this doesn't happen again.”

Government guidelines state that all patients must not wait more than nine months for an operation. This target will come down to six months in December and the hospital is currently working towards reducing lists in line with this.

The hospital's most recent figures show that 612 patients had been waiting between six and eight months at the end of July.

Were you the patient who waited nine months for an operation at Ipswich Hospital? Are you been pleased by the speed you have received treatment? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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