Patients’ treatment time error corrected

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NHS Borders has identified and fixed an error in its data entry system which affected the treatment time guarantee (TTG) for some patients who had treatment agreed and were added to the waiting list between September 2, 2014 and January 6, 2015.

During that period, 1,767 patients were listed for treatment. Of these, 38 were treated beyond their statutory TTG. In 20 cases the delay for treatment was four days or less. In a further 11 cases the impact of the delay was between four and seven days. The maximum delay was 11 days.

Of the patients who have yet to receive treatment, approximately 60 cases are currently at risk of exceeding their TTG. Steps are being taken to minimise this impact and treatment dates will be agreed directly with patients.

It is anticipated that all other patients who were listed during the period and have still to get treatment, will be treated before their TTG.

All dates for treatment that have previously been agreed with patients remain unaffected by this situation, unless they have been notified otherwise.

Every patient whose TTG was affected has been sent a letter of explanation and apology from the Board.

Commenting on the incident, NHS Borders Head of Information Management and Technology, Jackie Stephen said: “The cause of this error was a configuration error within our IT system, and regretfully the treatment time guarantee for a small number of patients has been affected. I would like to apologise on behalf of the Board for any inconvenience that this has caused.”

Chair of the BGH Clinical Board, Dr Hamish McRitchie added, “I would like to reassure the public that we have taken this situation very seriously and every effort is being taken to minimise the impact for our patients.

“The efforts of staff in recognising and correcting the error are to be commended, and our learning will be fed into future system developments and checks.”