The Patient Experience
IVS are committed to providing the best possible quality of care and diagnosis to our patients at every visit. It’s important to us that you feel as comfortable as you can when you attend for your scan, and that your privacy and dignity are maintained whilst you’re in our care.
It’s also important to us that you understand exactly what will happen during and after your appointment, so that you feel you’re able to discuss your scan with us and ask any questions you may have.
The Patient Journey:
Referral for a scan:
There are a number of ways that patients are referred to us for a vascular ultrasound scan, including:
- An initial visit to your GP and then being referred to a particular specialist within the hospital.
- From an outpatient clinic within the hospital itself – such as a DVT clinic or TIA clinic, or via a medical assessment ward.
- Via a vascular surgeon, or other specialist.
You may already have been given some information about your scan by your GP, specialist nurse or hospital doctor. If we have sent you an appointment letter – as well as giving you the date and time of your appointment – we will also have given you some information about the scan and what to expect.
However you have been referred – our staff will always try their best to explain the scan and answer any questions you have when you come in to see us. If you have any concerns or questions prior to your appointment – please feel free to call the Vascular department within the hospital and discuss them with a Vascular Scientist. The contact numbers for all of our departments can be found here.
If you require information regarding your scan appointment to be provided to you in a language other than English – we may be able to do this via a telephone interpreter service.
If you require an interpreter to be present during your scan – we will make every attempt to arrange this if we are given notice in advance of your scan. Please let us know if you require an interpreter as soon as possible after receiving your appointment letter.
Contact numbers for all of our departments can be found here.
We are happy for a friend or family member to interpret for you if you prefer – but please be aware that we may need to communicate private medical information to you during the scan. So please make sure that you are happy for your chosen interpreter to pass on this sensitive information to you.
Each of our Vascular Ultrasound departments performs many different kinds of vascular ultrasound scan every day. You can find more information on all of the types of scans we perform here, including the causes of different types of vascular disease and what will happen during your scan.
Patient information leaflets are also available at all of our full-time sites, and can be provided on request. These leaflets are provided by the Circulation Foundation, and are an excellent source of information and advice about vascular disease, diagnosis and treatment.
More information can also be found online:
Privacy and Dignity
We know that undergoing a scan of any kind can be a worrying experience, and our patients tell us that the protection of their privacy and dignity is very important step in taking away some of that anxiety. We work hard to make sure that from the moment you take a seat in one of our waiting areas, through your scan and beyond – your privacy and dignity are maintained at all times.
We are proud that our high standards in this area are being recognised in our patient feedback – with 99%of the patients responding to our feedback surveys in the last quarter telling us that they were “given enough privacy when being scanned”
All of our staff are trained to handle your scan with sensitivity and professionalism. You will always be given the time and space you need to get ready for your scan in private – although a member of staff will normally be present somewhere in the room to be on hand if needed and for your safety.
“Do you provide gowns?” We do not routinely provide gowns for our scans, like you might expect for an X-ray or CT scan for example. This is because most of the vessels we need to look at can be seen without having to remove all of your clothing at once.
You will not be asked to remove any more clothing than is necessary to perform your scan, and we find that only asking patients to expose small areas of the body at a time is best for protecting dignity.
We have a lot of experience in dealing with patients with mental illness, hearing and speech difficulties – and of course anxious patients too. We always have time to listen to you – and we won’t go ahead with your scan until we are happy that you understand what is going to happen and you are comfortable and relaxed.
We understand that sometimes patients have specific concerns over the way a scan is carried out. Some patients prefer or require only female members of staff to perform their scan for example. Others wish to have a friend, family member or carer close by for support, or require more time for their scan due to mobility problems. We will always strive to accommodate any request that protects the privacy and dignity of our patients. If you have a specific concern – it may be best to let us know before your scan so that we can have everything ready in place for you before you arrive.
More details on our Privacy and Dignity policy can be found here.
At the end of your scan – your Vascular Scientist will inform you of what will happen with your results. Depending on where your results are going to after the scan, you may be given a copy of your results to take back to a particular clinic, doctor or nurse so that they can be discussed with you before you leave the hospital.
Otherwise, results are normally sent back to the person that requested your scan, who may then contact you at a later date to discuss the results with you.
We often get asked – “Will my GP get a copy of the results?”. A copy of your results may be sent to your GP by the person or team that requested your scan – but we have no control over this, or how long it takes to reach you GP if they are.
The Vascular Scientists across all of our sites are not permitted to discuss results with you directly – so please don’t be alarmed if the Scientist performing your scan declines to discuss your results with you. We do this because it can take time to perform a detailed analysis of your results, and it is important that your specialist doctor, nurse or GP has the opportunity to discuss your results with you themselves. Along with the results from any other tests you may also be having, your doctor or nurse can then answer any questions you may have about your results or any treatment.
Everything that we do is aimed at providing our patients with the very best of care – and we should expect you to hold us to a high standard.
We are confident we will meet this standard at every step of your journey with us, from referral to scan and beyond. So that we know if we are doing this the right way – we have patient feedback surveys at each of our full-time sites, and we invite you to take a couple of minutes to tell us what you think of the service we provided for you or your friends and family.
If you would prefer to give us some feedback by post, telephone or email – you can find our contact details here. Of course, we are always happy to discuss any feedback with you in person too – so please feel free to tell us how we did at your appointment before you go home.
In the last quarter of the year – 86% of the patients responding to our patient feedback surveys tell us that they “would rate our service as good or excellent”.
✓ Can save 17% to 34% of the cost of setting up and running a vascular laboratory
✓ Reduces capital expenditure
✓ Lowers staff and administration costs
✓ 95% of inpatients investigated the same day
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