Fantastic efforts by the Digestive Diseases Outpatient department and Hepatology team at Royal Sussex County Hospital have cut the number of patients waiting for a crucial liver scan by almost 90%, since March 2022.
A Fibroscan uses ultrasound technology, that is quick and painless, to assess liver health. It can monitor the progression or regression of an individual’s liver disease, providing an instant result.
A pause in scanning for several months during the first wave of the pandemic followed by social distancing restrictions once the service resumed, only running at 50% capacity, meant there was a growing number of people waiting to be seen.
With more referrals than appointments available, Mel Drayton, a Health Care Assistant from the outpatients service, helped reduce this growing list and played a key role in introducing and delivering weekend clinics to make sure patients could be seen quicker.
These clinics successfully helped cut the number of people waiting for a liver fibroscan from over 750 in March 2022 to less than 90 by the end of December 2022.
Mel said: “I felt so sorry for all the patients waiting for their appointment, and looking at the numbers waiting, it would have taken too long for all these patients to be seen. So, I thought that doing the fibroscan clinics at the weekend was a brilliant opportunity to be able have the patients seen.”
“I’m proud that I have helped to get the waiting times for this clinic down and have a great sense of achievement in being able to do this. I know that the patients who attended over the weekends were really grateful that they were seen, especially at the weekend, so this made me feel really happy.”
Samantha Readhead, Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist for Hepatology, said: “Mel’s dedication to reducing the waiting list has truly embodied putting the patient first and foremost. It has meant that patients were seen far sooner, alleviating anxiety around diagnosis and improving access to specialist care when needed.”
The service is now looking to continue delivering weekend clinics to help patients be seen quicker and maintain this efficient service.