"TRAQS system is slow and complicated"

About: Telford referral and quality service (TRAQS)

(as a service user),

TRAQS system is slow and complicated.

I was not happy with the choice of hospitals - the earliest appointment at a hospital which could be offered was Cannock. If you don't know the area, then Cannock hospital is too far to travel, especially if you are in pain and not well, and have to make more than one journey. My preferred hospitals were the PRH or RSH.

You were slow in responding and I was disappointed with the waiting time for an appointment. I was told I could wait up to 6 weeks for a referral, so because I was in pain asked for a faster appointment or cancellation.

I rang you several times - you were supposed to contact me with a cancellation. Had I not contacted you, I would have missed out on an appointment.

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Response from Helen Handy, TRAQS & CAB Co-Ordinator, Telford and Wrekin CCG

Thank you for repsonding to our request for feedback.

I am disappointed to read your comments but am glad of the opportunity to explain how TRAQS works. TRAQS is a referral management service which enable patients to be offered a Choice of hospital so that the patient is aware of the soonest appointment available, not just sent directly to the local hospital who currently have an exremely long waiting list for a number of specialities.

Unfortunately this was the case for you as there were no available appointments at either PRH or RSH. This is due to there being more patients being referred than there are appointments available and is not something which is under the control of TRAQS. The hospitals release appointment slots to TRAQS via the Choose and Book system and TRAQS can only book appointments if they are there to book.

In your case it seems that the soonest appointments were at Cannock Chase Hospital. We fully understand that it is not always suitable for patients to travel further to be seen sooner. You commented that TRAQS were slow in responding. TRAQS contacts patients within 5 working days of receiving the referral letter from the GP for a routine referral or 2 working days for an urgent referral.

You state that TRAQS were supposed to contact you to offer a cancellation appointment?Unfortunately it is not possible for TRAQS to offer a cancellation service as we use an electronic booking service (Choose and Book) and it is impossible to tell when there has been a cancellation as the system is used by most NHS Hospitals and a number of private hospitals offering NHS appointments within England.

Once an appointment has been booked into the Choose and Book system information is sent out to the patient by TRAQS confirming the appointment details and instructions as to how the patient can rebook the appointment if necessary, either by phoning TRAQS or using the internet to access the Choose and Book system themselves.Some Community clinics do offer a cancellation service but it depends on the clinics and their booking process as to whether this is an option or not.

Thank you again for taking the time to provide feedback as all comments we receive help us to develop the service further for the benefit of the patients within the Telford and Wrekin area.

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