"An observation on waiting times"

About: Royal Preston Hospital Wrightington Hospital

(as a relative),

My wife had an appointment at Wrightington Hospital on a recent morning at 11am.

She was the last appointment that morning, she actually got to see the Consultant at 12-45pm a wait of 1hr and 45 minutes. I could not think why there was such a long delay so I asked the receptionist what time was Mr Smiths first appointment was and how many appointments were down for the first hour. I was told that the 2 Consultants had 14 appointments in the first hour, this worked out at each giving each patient a 8 minutes slot, in that time they had to read the patients notes, see the patient, and record the result of the consultation.

Clearly this is not a realistic timescale. By the time my wife saw Mr Smith it worked out at 15 mins per patient, so in order to prevent long waiting in the waiting room a realistic time scale needs to be looked at, and don't put as many patients down for the first hour.

To give a you an example, if you book 7 appointments in the 1st hour and only see 4 then 3 patients will be carried over into the 2nd hour, this means you have 10 patients to see in the 2nd hour. If you only see 4 patients in the 2nd hour then you have 6 patients to then on making a long waiting time. Would it not be better if the 1st hour was spaced at every 12 mins that means you would only have 5 patients to see in the 1st hour which you would only have 1 patient carried over, this means less waiting time and the patient seeing the consultant nearer their alloted appointment.

On the same day I had an Appointment at Royal Preston Hospital for 3-45pm to see Mr Dalal and the same problem occurred here also. I actually got in at 5-15pm for a 2 minutes consultation. That means I had a wait of 1hr 30mins. My appointment was a follow up appointment which would indicate a short consultation period.

The 3 patients before me, who were also follow up patients and had been waiting at least 1hr, were in their consultations for the same amount of time that I was, this means that 4 of us went in in less than 20 mins.

In this case would it not be better if the follow up appointments were done first am and pm to give more time to see the longer time patients?

What this would achieve by allocating the appointments in a more controlled system you would in effect improve waiting times, and also would have a faster turn round on the Car Parks (it can be dificult to find one at some Hospitals ).

It is easy to put forward a suggestion when you have not got the full facts, and I am sure cleverer people than me will know better, but it is worth a look into, perhaps there may be a better way.

Thank you for listening.

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