Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on ENT two week wait referrals an | 60106
Advances in Medical Research

Advances in Medical Research
Open Access

ISSN: 2564-8942

+44 7868 792050

Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on ENT two week wait referrals and clinic appointments at a secondary care service

10th Edition of International Conference on OTORHINOLARYNGOLOGY

November 22, 2021 Webinar

Dr Noah Strang, MBBS, LLB, St Bart??s Trust; Pavandeep Toor, Medical Student, St George??s

University of London; Phillipa Tostevin, Professor of Practice in Surgical Education and Honorary Consultant ENT Surgeon

Posters & Accepted Abstracts: Advances in Medical Research

Abstract :

Statement of the Problem: It is well documented that the Covid-19 pandemic impacted waiting times for NHS treatment within the UK during 2020 (1). Whilst attendances at AE reduced during this period (2), the burden of Covid-19 impacted access to primary care, consultant level care and elective surgical procedures. We wanted to evaluate how Covid-19 impacted an existing virtual ENT service. This service, set up in 2017, allows patients to receive their results via letter following an initial face to face consultation. It has reduced unnecessary follow-up face to face appointments and improved waiting times in the process (8 weeks mean average in 2019). We wanted to establish how Covid-19 impacted 1) waiting times for 2WW services and 2) follow up clinics for 2WW and routine patients who have already had an initial consultation. Methodology: A retrospective analysis was performed of 742 patients from 15/01/2019-15/12/2020. After exclusion criteria were applied, 433 patients remained. Conclusion & Significance: Within this period, there were 61 2WW patients which accounted 8.2% of patients within the cohort. From the onset of national lockdown in March 16 2020, the 2WW time actually improved: patients waited on average 12 days (instead of 14 days prelockdown). However, the average waiting time from date of the 2WW clinic to subsequent virtual clinic increased from 96 days to 144 days. For non-2WW patients, the average wait for virtual clinic after the initial face to face consultation also increased. In 2019, there was a mean waiting time of 54 days for a virtual clinic. This increased to 82 days in 2020 with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This data shows that Covid-19 can impact existing virtual services designed to reduce waiting time and unnecessary face to face appointments. More work will be done to understand the structural reasons for this.

Biography :

Professor Tostevin specialises in General Otolaryngology care within the ENT department at St George’s London with both general and paediatric clinics and operating. She has led the successful implementation of virtual clinics for the team since 2018. Professor Tostevin is deeply involved in the training and development of the future workforce from admission to medical school through to CCT and beyond. Noah Strang is an academic foundation doctor (special interest ENT) at Bart’s Health Care Trust. Pavandeep Toor is a final year medical student interested in pursuing a career in ENT.