"Worrying waiting for Chest x-ray results"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Respiratory medicine

(as the patient),

in the middle of July 2013, I attended the x-ray department of East Surrey Hospital for an x-ray on the advice of my GP. I attended on time to be told that my appointment was not registered in the system but that I could wait and have my x-ray. I did so.

Having developed a persistent cough I attended my GP because, as a young man, I had been exposed to asbestos. The x-ray is therefore an important diagnostic tool and I keenly awaited the results, being told that these would take approximately one week.

It is now August and I am still waiting for the results of my x-ray. Having contacted my GP three times, I have been told each time that the x-ray department at the hospital is in chaos due to the implementation of a new system and it is not, at the moment, unusual for patients to wait 4 weeks for their results to come through.

I think this delay is unacceptable: were staff trained before the new system was operational? How can it be that a "new system" can cause such delays if staff have been thoroughly trained? Why is there not a way to access results, even if only verbal in nature, to put patients' minds at rest? This is a worrying time, made worse by a system that is failing patients, namely that there is no appreciation of how much anxiety this delay is causing myself and, I suspect, others.

If there is a way for my GP to work around these delays please let me know and I will convey it. If not, could you please inform me when I can expect my results and what is being done about these delays for other patients.

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Response from Eloise Clarke, Communications Manager, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear 'davidS'

I understand your concern and appreciate that the delay in your results is causing you worry. I will respond to your comments shortly, but first of all I'd like to try and chase-up your results so we can get them to your GP without any further delay.

Because this site is anonymous, please can you call or email me with your full name and date of birth and GP name and address so we can chase this up.

My number is 01737 768511 ext 6844 or eloise.clarke@sash.nhs.uk



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Response from Eloise Clarke, Communications Manager, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear 'DavidS'

I can confirm that your results are now with your GP. I am very sorry that you have had an anxious wait for your x-ray results. We've experienced unexpected problems with the install of a new system. We had expected and planned for a certain level of disruption whilst everyone got used to the new system, but the impact on our Radiology service has been much greater than anticipated despite all the planning and pre-install training of staff. Unfortunately the delays have been caused by technical problems that are out of our hands, but we have many staff from the suppliers onsite to sort this out as a priority, and we hope to resume our normal service standards as soon as possible.

Apologies again and I wish you well,


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