New scheme for follow ups to be axed at hospital

Scarborough Hospital
Scarborough Hospital

Patients at Scarborough Hospital will no longer get automatic follow appointments with their consultants under new plans to free up time slots.

The NHS Scarborough and Ryedale, and Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Groups have announced joint plans to scrap the current routine of offering patients follow up appointments with their specialist consultant.

In a bid to “streamline the service, improve convenience for patients and reduce the costs of providing appointments in a hospital setting”, patients will be discharged back to their GP subsequent care.

Dr Phil Garnett, chairman of NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Changing the system for follow-up appointments from consultant to GP will bring benefits for both the patient and the local healthcare economy.

“Many of the follow-up appointments that are currently provided by consultants could be done in a GP practice, resulting in less inconvenience for patients in terms of having to travel to hospital and also freeing-up the consultant’s time to see those patients with a more specialist need.

“The change will also save money as for every appointment with a consultant or one of their team, there is a cost which comes out of the local healthcare budget.”

Patients affected by the change are currently being written to.

Not for everyone

Dr Phil Garnett told the Scarborough News that not all patients will lose their follow up appoitments and that each case will be reviewed on an individual basis. He said: “It is important to highlight that GPs will still have the opportunity to refer patients back to the consultant if necessary, so there is no comprise on the quality of breadth of care available to patients.”

debt wipe out

Dr Mark Hayes, chief clinical officer for the Vale of York CCG added: “The savings this will create means we can wipe out our inherited debt and have money to deliver more types of healthcare in a setting that’s more accessible for patients.”