Nermeen Ali1, Milan Gopal1, Elisabeth Richter2, Lina Benkhardt2
1Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. 2German medical student, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Introduction: Delivering a timely brief of the clinic appointment to patients and primary carers is important for them to understand the patient’s condition, treatment & care needs ensuring safety & continuity of care.
This audit examines our adherence to the recommendations in the NHS standard contract (2016/17) suggesting that clinic letters should be sent to GPs within 14 days of attendance, reduced progressively to 10 days (from 01/04/2017) and 7 days (from 01/04/2018).
Methods: We reviewed clinic letters for appointments between 09/01/2023 & 20/01/2023. All consultants (8/8) had clinics during this period. Non-attenders with no letters were excluded.
Trust e records and IT files were used to identify patients with appointments and dates of the three stages the letters go through (dictation/typing date, finalization date, signing date).
Results and Conclusions:
• 345 clinic letters were dictated/typed.
• The mean time from the clinic to signing the letters is 16.5 days.
• Typing/Dictation mean= 0.4 days with 91% typed/dictated on the same clinic day.
• Finalization mean= 11.4 days from typing/dictation.
• Signing mean= 4.8 days from finalization.
• Our adherence to the current 7-day standard is only 10.7%.
Working on causes of the delay & re-auditing aiming next for a target of 10 days from clinic appointment (progressing to 7 days on the 3rd cycle), divided as follows:
• Typing/dictation on same day of clinic (increasing from 91% to 100%).
• Finalization in a maximum of 7 days from typing/dictation.
• Signing in a maximum of 2 days from finalization.