St George’s Healthcare has established an outpatient taskforce to improve services and to address issues raised by GPs and service users.
The taskforce, led by Dr Patrick Kiely, clinical director for outpatients, covers all outpatient departments, including endoscopy, therapies, phlebotomy, diagnostics and imaging services.
As well as developing an improvement plan for outpatient services, the taskforce is in the early stages of establishing a virtual outpatient directorate that will be made up of GPs, patient representatives and clinicians from St George’s Healthcare. This virtual directorate will help the trust to achieve tangible service improvements and oversee performance.
Dr Kiely said: “We have been working with local GPs and service users to identify the priority areas for the taskforce to get to work on. As a first step we are developing a dedicated appointment helpline for GPs that will be manned by senior staff. Our call centre now has a target of answering 70% of calls to our patient call centre within 30 seconds, and 90% within 60 seconds.
“We are also working on a new system that gives patients 14 days to respond to an outpatient appointment offer before the offer is withdrawn. Currently patients have seven days to respond. We hope that these changes will have a positive impact on patients, their families and other health professionals.”
Programme manager Gavin James is arranging to meet with GPs across south London to find out what they think of services and to develop workstreams that the taskforce will work on.
If you want to let the outpatient taskforce know how you think outpatient services at St George’s could be improved, or if you would like to find out more about getting involved in the virtual outpatient directorate, contact:
Telephone 020 8725 4333