Patients waiting for treatment; a reflection.

by Jo Mundy, Head of Diagnostics at Xyla Elective Care

With waiting lists being so long, particularly for non-urgent scans, I wonder what the personal impact on the echo workforce is?  I recently did a list of pre-op patients, all waiting for knee, shoulder or hip surgery.  The common theme was that these patients’ quality of life was severely impacted by the pain in their joint and the inability to do the things they enjoyed (e.g. walking, playing sports etc), however, the majority were grateful they were getting to the top of the waiting list and a couple said they felt lucky they didn’t have a serious illness and that the felt bad using the resources when others were worse off than them.

Going home I felt really sad that this cohort of patients (and hundreds like them) felt less entitled to treatment than those with severe illness.  The health and wellbeing effect of living in constant pain and the mental health effects of not being able to get out and walk in the fresh air or play with your grandchildren cannot be underestimated.  As an echocardiographer we often become a counsellor, confident and trusted friend for a short time, which I think is an enormous privilege, however, sometimes the enormity of the waiting times and the personal stories you hear stays with you and sometimes we don’t always have the resilience to shake them off.  What I can do is ensure every patient I see gets the best care I can provide and hope that our small part of their journey is as seamless as possible.

To find out how we can help with your echo and ECG waiting lists please contact Olivia Perfect, Partnerships Executive

07764 931 214

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