Community Cardiology Clinics update

The new Brent NHS Community Cardiology Service provided at Willesden and Wembley Centres for Health and Care continues to have serious shortcomings.

Brent Patient Voice has been monitoring the introduction of this service since it started in April 2015 and is represented on the joint contract review group with the provider the Royal Free London NHS Hospital Trust (RFL) and Brent Clinical Commissioning Group (Brent CCG)

We appreciate that setting up new clinics at non-hospital locations was always going to be challenging. We know that more resources are being applied than when we first blew the whistle last summer. However problems remain and we learn that Brent GPs are voicing concern.

Some issues at the last contract review group meeting on 13 January were:

Some 54 patients assessed as urgent were offered a first appointment within 14 days from referral by their GP in November, but due to the inadequacy of the design of reporting systems we do not know how long they waited. This issue affects all the reporting.

A clinician and manager recruited in January 2016 were undergoing induction when the contract review group met. Further recruitment was needed for two other posts subject to change-over .

The Saturday morning service is not being provided at either centre as required by the contract.

We note that Brent patients have access to an alternative NHS out-patient cardiology service at Central Middlesex Hospital at Park Royal provided by London NW Hospital Trust who run Northwick Park Hospital. This was mentioned by the Brent GP clinical director at the review meeting.

Peter Latham and Robin Sharp

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