Top doctor visits east London hospitals to see work to cut wait times

The country’s leading tumour treatment specialist whose research helped set up fast-track diagnostic centres has been on a fact-finding mission to see how two east London hospitals are cutting waiting lists.

Consultant oncologist Sir Mike Richards, who also used to be the chief inspector of hospitals, recommended in 2020 set up the centres away from main hospital sites.

The latest centre is being set up at the Barking Community Hospital to reduce waiting lists by speeding up the process from diagnosis to surgery.

“There are some interesting developments being tested here,” Sir Mike said. “These new ways of doing things really will bring benefits to patients over time and reduce waiting lists.”

He was shown around the new Barking centre where work is starting on a building to house scanning and ultrasound equipment and consultation rooms for other tests.

His tour ended with a visit to King George Hospital to see robotic colonoscopy that uses minute cameras for internal bowl examination, which speeds up treatment and needs far less recovery time in hospital.

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