Doncaster hospital to run 'Super Saturday' clinics to bring down treatment backlogs

Health bosses are looking to start ‘Super Saturday’ clinics to deal with a backlog of patients in Doncaster after a scheme to get help from other hospitals hit problems.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 6:00 am

Doncaster health bosses revealed in February they had called in help after doctors failed to see most of the borough’s suspected breast cancer patients quickly enough, with patients being sent to Barnsley while doctors worked to reverse the backlog that had developed.

Now they are setting up extra clinics to try to keep up because of the backlog which has been brought about by the pandemic.

Dr Marco Pieri told the Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning Group’s April meeting this week there had been difficulties with the breast clinics in terms of numbers and activity.

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He said there had been a mutual aid scheme with Barnsley, intended to allow for 20 patients a week to be seen there.

He said: “There have been clinics that have been held in Barnsley for breast screening and now this has been scaled down due to difficulties with the capacity in Barnsley itself.

"There is a plan in place for a Saturday clinic and I’m reassured that the April position will be much much improved.”

Documents, with figures up to February, shown to governors at the meeting, said due to an increase in referrals at Barnsley and Rotherham hospital there was currently no capacity for mutual aid to help Doncaster’s hospitals out.

They added: “The trust are currently looking into running ‘Super Saturday sessions’ in April where additional clinics are planned, with up to 40 patients being invited to attend. The main priority for the trust is reducing the number of patients that are waiting over 28 days for their first-appointment. The trust is hoping to have caught up with the backlog by April 2021.”

Bosses say figures were below target due to outpatient capacity.

The main impact of the breaches had been due to social distancing and a reduction in the number of radiographers that were currently working.

It was anticipated that the situation for breast screening would improve, due to changes in social distancing work, with an additional 30 slots being available per week.

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