Patient Telephone Service Celebrates 5th Anniversary
8:17am 11th June 2013
One of Dorset County Council's newest services has celebrated a milestone and their 5th anniversary.
The colorectal telephone assessment service was created to help patients with symptoms of bowel disease and Hospital Bosses say it's slashed waiting times.
Patients are often called within seven working days of being referred by their GP to assess what investigation is required and book their appointment there and then at a time to suit them.
5,000 people have been assessed by the service since its launch in 2008.
The service is managed by Lead Colorectal Nurse Julie Lane. She said: “Bowel symptoms are very common and some patients who were referred via the routine (non fast-track) route were found to have cancer. We decided we needed a fairer system so all patients referred to us were seen quickly.
“It means that patients don’t have the inconvenience and worry of coming in for a hospital appointment simply to be assessed and given another appointment to come back for tests.
“Most of our colorectal cancers are diagnosed through this route now so this is a major improvement in preventing late diagnoses.
“Waiting times for non-urgent referrals have been reduced from up to 13 weeks to two weeks.
“Patients have the flexibility to choose an appointment within the seven clinics which take place each fortnight and many are contacted at their request on their mobile phones.
“Commonly the dates for any recommended investigations are booked during their appointment which helps to ensure that the patients are available to attend and have the necessary support on the day. This reduces non-attendance and cancellations.”