The Isle of Wight NHS Trust has taken ‘prompt and effective action’ to address concerns that a limited number of Endoscopy patients may not have received their appointments in a timely way and may have suffered with symptoms longer than necessary due to a problem with the administration of appointments.
On 25th April 2016, as part of the Trust’s performance monitoring process, staff identified a problem with the administration of appointments for the Endoscopy service at St Mary’s Hospital. The initial investigation revealed that there was unusual activity – patients cancelled, patients marked as ‘did not attend’, plus enquiries from patients who had not received an appointment – in the Endoscopy Unit appointments booking system. The concern was that some patients may have had their diagnostic test, and ultimately their treatment if required, delayed.
The incident has been investigated in line with the Trust’s policy on Serious Incidents Requiring Investigation (SIRI) with oversight from Isle of Wight CCG, NHS England and NHS Improvement. Only patients referred for colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy gastroscopy or endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) are involved. It does not involve urology patients referred for bladder examinations (cystoscopy). In addition, no children are involved as the service offered on the Island is only for adults.
At an early stage in the investigation GPs across the Island were alerted and asked to notify the Trust of any patient who had not received the Endoscopy treatment they were expecting. No concerns have been raised by GPs or GP Practices.
Between October 2015 and May 2016 there were a total of 3,118 patients referred for Endoscopy. The records and clinical pathways of all these patients have been reviewed and concern raised about 42 patients. These have been further scrutinised and as a result 25 patient’s records have been reviewed by a Clinical Specialist at a neighbouring NHS Trust to confirm that the process followed has been robust. The Isle of Wight NHS Trust say they are currently awaiting a response on 4 of these patients where the Clinical Specialist has asked for further information.
A ‘Duty of Candour’ letter has been sent to 7 patients; 3 who had a delay in their pathway and may have suffered with symptoms longer than necessary plus 4 patients who did not receive an appointment. All 7 patients were contacted to clarify the arrangements for their appointments and treatment, where that was required. All were offered the opportunity for an appointment.
The Trust has also reviewed all complaints and SIRI reports for the last 3 years looking for any correlation with the Endoscopy Department or process. No correlation has been identified.
The process for appointments with the Endoscopy Unit has been reviewed and training provided to all staff involved in the process.
Karen Baker, Chief Executive Officer said:
“We are sharing this information in the spirit of openness and transparency that we believe public services should adopt. We identified a problem, we have investigated the problem and we have resolved it. I want to apologise to any patient who is concerned by this announcement. We are assured that the quality of the service offered by the Endoscopy Unit is very good.”
Any patient who still has concerns relating to their need for an Endoscopy between October 2015 and May 2016 should call 01983 232123 which will be staffed 09:00-17:00 Monday through to Friday from midday today (7th September) through to 21st September 2016.