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NHS Trust project sees 1,000 patients in six days

Lead for General Surgery Veeranna Shatkar has thanked the team for all they’ve done (PIC-BHRUT)

An NHS Trust has hailed ‘Project Scalpel’ a success after they saw their 1,000th patient on Saturday. 

Barking, Havering, Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust has been holding a series of Saturday clinics with the aim of seeing 1,000 patients.

The Saturday sessions have been held over a series of months, the first of which was hosted back in May with the final one being held Saturday, October 9. 

Patricia Murphy is the specialty manager for general surgery, she explains how the project helped the patients, “We really wanted to tackle our waiting list and offer appointments to those who had been waiting the longest.

“Our patient’s experience was the focus of our efforts, the project ensured the right patients got seen by the right people, making the most out of our facilities.”

The clinics saw patients with a variety of diagnoses.

Patricia explained how patients reacted to the service: “The feedback was really good – we rang the patients to ask if they wanted to be seen and the weekend clinics offered flexibility to those who might not be able to attend an appointment in the week.

“One patient who stands out was a 103-year-old woman who had unfortunately been waiting over a year due to the pandemic, but she was really pleased to have been offered an appointment and was impressed with the efficiency and professionalism of the clinic.”

“We’ve been sharing what we learned from the clinics, from the logistical challenges to patient experience, with our partners like North East London Foundation Trust and NHS England so hopefully others from across the system can gain from Scalpel’s success.”

“It was a real team effort, from the admin and volunteer teams to all the clinical staff, everyone pulled together to make it a success.

Consultant surgeon and Lead for General Surgery Veeranna Shatkar said: “We had one patient who said they got their trust back in the NHS.

“It was a big achievement following a big target and something that’s not been done before in general surgery in the NHS.

“Since, we’ve had calls from various trusts across the country asking how we did it. We’re looking to build on this project, taking on the lessons learned, and to embed the positives we got out of it into the system.”

Veeranna added: “A big thank you to everyone involved, especially for giving up their weekends to make sure our patients could get the care they need.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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