One stop clinic for deafness, tinnitus & dizziness shortlisted for national award
Last updated on 03 February 2012
A hospital in Liverpool has been shortlisted for a special healthcare award for its work with patients with deafness, tinnitus and balance problems.
Aintree University Hospital’s Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) department has been recognised for changes it made to improve the experience of patients with these problems. The Advancing Healthcare Award recognises projects that lead innovative healthcare practice and make a real difference to patients’ lives in the healthcare science and allied health professions.
The ENT department was selected for its new ‘fast track service’ which gives patients quicker access to specialist support.
Previously patients with tinnitus or balance and dizziness were initially assessed by a Consultant. Investigations were arranged and patients were referred on for physiotherapy or audiological rehabilitation and/or further appointments. The new service sees highly experienced physiotherapists and audiologists with extended roles holding their own one-stop clinics for patients.
Approximately 60 per cent of patients require just one visit but for those with long term chronic conditions a treatment plan can be created at the first visit, saving time and reducing the number of hospital visits for patients. Following examination and investigations any patients that require surgery, or have unusual findings, are fast tracked to the appropriate Consultant (which happens in 15 per cent of cases). Complex cases are discussed at regular multi-disciplinary team meetings to ensure that all cases are managed appropriately.
Tony Kay, Senior Chief Audiologist at Aintree University Hospital, said: “We always want to ensure patients receive the best service. Reviewing how we provide services for patients with tinnitus and balance problems and involving patients in this meant that we looked at the quality of the service as well as the speed. Creating one-stop clinics, and improving the skills of staff to make sure they can offer a wider range of services, has meant patients have a better experience and our specialist staff have more time to spend with those patients that need extra treatment.”
Patient support groups for tinnitus and balance disorders have also been set up by the hospital, and members of these groups take part in patient forums to help improve the quality of the patient experience in clinic. A tinnitus support group website has been designed and a balance support group website is in production.
The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony which takes place at the Radisson Blu Portman Square Hotel (London) on Friday 30th March.
patients have a better experience and our specialist staff have more time to spend with those patients that need extra treatment