Following our earlier story “Hiccups with the new Brent Community Cardiology Clinics” we can now report some progress, but only after intensive probing by BPV.
There are now clinics at both centres each weekday. More specialist cardiologists have been appointed although not all have started yet. At the same time there has been turnover at senior level. There was a gap in the contact specification with no provision for diastolic heart failure. The CCG have now decided to issue a contract variation to cover this when the projected volume of patients and their needs have been clarified.
BPV Steering Group member Peter Latham has been appointed as a patient representative on the joint Brent CCG/Royal Free Hospital monthly contract review group for this service. The main continuing concern for patient safety is on the 14 day contract maximum waiting time for urgent cases from GP referral to first offered appointment. There has been no explanation relating to the case of a 62 day wait for an urgent appointment which we mentioned before.
At the monthly meeting on 4 November 2015 with an agenda item for waiting times as at 30 October no figures were published for current waiting times. It was said by Brent CCG that the figures will only be published after they have been verified. So patients have no confirmation that all or any patients assessed as urgent are being offered a first appointment within 14 days. Peter Latham requested the figures ‘subject to verification’ but this was refused. Brent Patient Voice have reported this problem to Healthwatch Brent and they have forwarded the papers to the Care Quality Commission.
BPV Steering Group Member