Reporting of test results still too long says watchdog

Clinicians still have to wait too long to get diagnostic test results according to findings within a report by the Healthcare Commission.

X ray reporting still too long
X ray reporting still too long

Waiting times in hospital X-ray departments have fallen significantly, for some tests by 33 per cent. However, two out of three clinicians say that often they still do not get the results when they need them.

Imaging departments carry out 33 million patient examinations in England each year. Despite increasing demand, most imaging departments have significantly reduced long waits.

The Commission reviewed the performance of imaging departments using data from all 196 departments in England and a survey of 5,500 doctors and nurses.

One in four trusts took over 10 days to report examination requested from outpatient clinics. One half of respondents said that the delays impacted daily on patient care decisions.

Ten per cent of imaging examinations were never formally reported to the referring doctor by the X-ray department.

Anna Walker, chief executive of the Healthcare Commission, said: ‘The fact that the results from 10 per cent of imaging examinations are never formally reported means that injuries and serious conditions can go undetected, and this potentially puts patients at risk.'

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