Pagers help to slash hospital appointment waiting time misery

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Patients travelling from the Ribble Valley for appointments at the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General hospitals are being issued with restaurant style pagers to help make waiting in clinics a more stress free experience.

The pagers are given out if clinics are running late so that people don’t have to sit in waiting rooms but can go for a walk, get some fresh air or refreshments.

The pager lets them know when the doctor is free and the new system has already reduced the number of waiting patients in busy departments, cut congestion and improved the waiting experience, according to patient feedback.

Hospital Outpatient Reception and Health Records Manager Jacqui Booth says: “We are making major improvements to our outpatient clinics, but know that some people still have to wait longer than we would like for their appointment.

“Now patients will be able to leave the waiting area safe in the knowledge that we will page them as soon as we can.”

Ninety of the antibacterial pagers are now being provided at East Lancashire Hospitals and if feedback from patients continues to be positive, the Trust will look at providing the pagers in other outpatient clinics.