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Wednesday 26th October 2016

X-ray results take too long

19th March 2007

The Healthcare Commission has found that patients in England are waiting too long for the results of x-rays and other scans.


Two out of three medical staff said scan results were not available when needed and half said the delay affected their decisions over patient care on a daily basis. A quarter of trusts took more than 10 days to provide reports from the scans they had performed and the Commission found that almost 10% of imaging examinations were never formally reported to the referring doctor. The Commission has recommended that trusts have formal reporting arrangements to avoid putting the health of patients at risk.

Anna Walker, chief executive of the Healthcare Commission, said: "The results of this review have been reported back to individual trusts so where there is a problem, they can address it.? The government responded by saying, "The NHS is working hard to tackle the issues of report turn round times.?

On a more positive note, the commission found that most imaging departments had managed to reduce the time taken for a patient be scanned – up to 33% in some cases. The news comes in light of Department of Health (DoH) stipulation that, from this month, all diagnostic tests should be done within 13 weeks of referral. The DoH has also ordered that, by the end of next year, the maximum time from referral to treatment must be 18 weeks.

Imaging departments carry out 33 million patient examinations in England every year.


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