"Waited 14 weeks for appointment - too long!"

About: Ayr Hospital / Physiotherapy

(as the patient),

I had a very good experience with Paula, physiotherapist, and referred me for injection to one of her colleagues as requested by my GP.

Waited 14 weeks for appointment - too long! Might have been longer but I rang MSK department and explained elbow was very painful and debilitating so I was given appointment for 5 days later.

Patients and GP staff confused about the referral system recently introduced.

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Response from Craig White, Assistant Director, Nurse Directorate, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Craig White

Dear Blue536

Many thanks for using Patient Opinion to provide feedback on your recent experiences. I have passed these to our Head of Physiotherapy. I was particularly interested to read that people have been confused about the referral system that has been introduced and have also asked for some more information about this, to see if there are improvements that we can put in place. If you would like to be personally involved in the converations about this and/or tell us more about this to inform any change or improvement, please do email me at craig.white@aapct.scot.nhs.uk and I will make sure that colleagues get in touch. We will also want to share the learning and any changes we can make, which we will post on the site too.

I hope that your elbow pain and the impact on your quality of life has been addressed when you were seen.

Best regards,

Craig A White

Assistant Director, Healthcare Governance and Assurance

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Response from Craig White, Assistant Director, Nurse Directorate, NHS Ayrshire and Arran We have made a change

picture of Craig White

Thank you for using Patient Opinion to tell of your physiotherapy experience, a positive experience when you received treatment, and I will ensure that Paula is aware of your comments on this site.

I agree that 14 weeks for a physiotherapy appointment is too long and would like to reassure you that reducing the waiting time is a priority for physiotherapy services. The waiting time escalated when we introduced a new electronic system to the service and this led to a loss of capacity within staff diaries for a period of time. Also, the demand for physiotherapy is greater than our capacity and we are presently identifying ways to address these issues.

We have extended the length of some of our clinics to provide extra appointment slots, and we have recently increased the staffing levels in the outpatient clinics to cope with the demand for our service. We have also introduced a new appointment booking service, and it is hoped that this will increase the number of patients attending for physiotherapy and enable us to make full use of the appointment slots available.

The outpatient Team Leads are meeting regularly to discuss ways of improving our service and reduce the waiting times for our patients.

Ayrshire and Aran are a pilot site for the National Redesign for Musculoskeletal (MSK) Services, with the aim of ensuring the best care possible for our patients. The MSK service includes MSK clinicians from podiatry, occupational therapy and physiotherapy brought together to ensure patients are seen by the most appropriate clinician at the right time and in the right place and clinicians can refer to other health professions and for further investigations, if appropriate, without the need to return to their GP for referral onwards. The process for GPs referring to MSK Services has changed slightly and hopefully using the system will make it easier

GPs and the public were involved in our MSK Services Redesign consultation process and GPs continue to be consulted and updated on the progress of the service.

To give our patients the ability to self refer into our services we are part of the musculoskeletal advice and triage service(MATS) which is hosted within NHS 24. This service has been widely advertised, with all GP practices, pharmacies and leisure centres provided with posters and cards with the telephone number of the MATS (NHS 24) self referral number.

It is very important to us that everyone is clear on the referral process and we would be open to any ideas on how to improve our services.

I would like to thank you again for your positive comments about our service and hope I have reassured you that we are taking steps to improve our waiting times, and I hope your physiotherapy intervention leads to resolution of your elbow pain.

Best regards

Elizabeth Quinn

Physiotherapy Service Lead

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