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23 per cent of NHS outpatients had a hospital appointment postponed in 2011

Published on 15/02/2012

A new NHS survey has revealed that thousands of patients waiting to see a specialist in England have had their hospital appointment changed to a later date more than once.

Figures from a survey of 72,000 patients who attended outpatient departments at 163 NHS trusts showed that one in four patients had a hospital appointment cancelled and pushed back to a later date.

In 2011 around 23 per cent had their consultation with a specialist postponed once, twice or even three times.

This is an increased from the 2009 figure of 21 per cent.

The poll, carried out by the Care Quality Commission, also reveals that half had waited more than a month to get a hospital appointment. Nearly a third (31 per cent) said their symptoms got worse during this time.

Once they were seen, 36 per cent of patients said they were not warned by doctors or nurses about potentially dangerous side effects of their medication.

Another 33 per cent claim that they were not told what ‘danger’ symptoms to look out for if their condition got worse.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: ‘Patients are not at the centre of their care if they are given inadequate or confusing information about their condition.’

One of the benefits of private medical insurance is the power to be treated in a private hospital of your choice, at a time of your choice, with a top consultant of your choice. Compare health insurance online now to take control over your healthcare.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
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