One-stop for op

A SUFFOLK hospital has become the first in the country to offer operation patients all their tests in the same place, it was announced today.

A SUFFOLK hospital has become the first in the country to offer operation patients all their tests in the same place, it was announced today.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds has brought together all its assessment clinics for people having operations - saving time and travelling for patients.

Previously, a person needing an operation may have had to travel around the hospital for blood tests, a heartbeat test or other tests - with up to a half-hour wait each time. Now they have it all in the same place and book a date for their operation there and then.

The idea was the brainchild of consultant anaesthetist and clinical director Dr Pam Chrispin, who originally thought of the scheme two years ago - long before the 18-week waiting target was a hot topic. She said: “A lot of other hospitals are talking about having pre-assessment clinics in one place, but we don't know of anyone else who has managed to actually achieve it and put the waiting list office in the same place.


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“Before, the process was hugely inconvenient for the patient. They were walking miles around the hospital and being asked the same things over and over again.

“One gentleman told me that he had been asked whether he had any allergies 18 times. They felt they were on a conveyor belt and parking was a problem because they didn't know how long they were going to be there.

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“We wanted to create a one-stop shop so we could provide everything the patient needed, and the hospital needed, in one go. It also provides the patient with some time for reflection and an extra opportunity to talk to staff who know what is going to happen during the operation.”

The pre-admission process also checks whether a patient is fit for surgery and, if appropriate, will also point them in the direction of smoking cessation services, dieticians, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, and refer them back to their GP.

N Have you been inconvenienced by having to travel for different health tests? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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