The Panel was formed in July 08 but due to initial leadership and communication difficulties action was delayed until earlier this year with the nomination of a new Chairman and Vice Chairman.
The Panel decided at its initial meeting to review and discuss the following topics:-
· Patient Information Pack
· Outpatient Care
· Inpatient Care
· Diagnostics (Access to X Rays for example)
· Support and Community Awareness
Several meetings were spent discussing the Patient Pack and its possible content. Unfortunately no samples were available before the trial of the pack went ahead in August / September 09 – so the Panel were unable to input comments. The Panel support this initiative, which will enable newly diagnosed patients to receive clear and concise information on their condition and its management. We look forward to feedback once the trial results are available.
The Panel discussed various issues concerning the Outpatients Department and the care received. The following is a summary of the outcome of these discussions:
· Registration and Weighing at Clinics – The Panel suggested the introduction of a “check-in” procedure to ensure that patients are weighed prior to seeing their Consultant. It was noted that there is often only one Nurse to deal with several clinics. Anita Coulson, IBD Specialist Nurse, said she would review the situation and report back.
· Location of Clinics – It was generally agreed that Clinics held on Level 8 are better than those in the Outpatient Department.
· Blood Tests – All were concerned about blood tests in general. The main concern being that it is the patient’s responsibility to remember when they are due to have a test and there is no feedback following such tests. It would be appreciated if there could be some form of notification system to ask patients to book a blood test and feedback once the results were known.
With regard to other aspects of Outpatient care, it was suggested the following issues be mentioned:
· Parking – The Trust are investigating the parking problems and it was felt by the Panel that this topic should be shelved for the time being.
· Waiting Times – it was suggested that communications could be improved regarding waiting times / delays at clinics (e.g. regularly updating boards).
· Consultation Times – the Panel agreed that when undergoing procedures / tests that they had not felt rushed and were happy with the information they received. It was agreed that this aspect had improved over the past two years.
On the publication of the National IBD Standards, Cathryn Edwards attended our July meeting to review the main topics in the document and outlined Torbay’s performance in comparison with other UK wide Trusts. Following discussions the Panel submitted a report to the Trust Chief Executive outlining the urgent need for an additional IBD Specialist Nurse.
An Endoscopy Nurse attended out September meeting to provide information on their questionnaire and its results. She also outlined how the department was proposing to improve their service. The presentation was well received and the questionnaire would be useful to the Panel when considering other projects relating to the department.
The idea of a website was discussed and is now live – the address is as follows: www.torbayibdpanel.co.uk. The site has been approved by NACC and links will be added to their main site and the local Torbay site. Links to other sites will be added when available. It is hoped this website will improve communications between the Trust and patients.
Plans for 2010 include:
· Actively promote the Panel’s role and its website.
· Encourage the setting up of a Buddying Scheme.
· Improve Communications with the Trust – secure Trust representation at meetings.
· Establish links with other IBD Panels.
Chairman – Torbay IBD Patient Panel