PERFORMANCE: External investigators are examining why 250,000 patient pathways were not updated on the computer systems at a West Yorkshire acute trust.

The issue meant more than 5,000 patients at Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust were not notified of their appointments.

The trust said a clinical review found no patients suffered harm as a result.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust

The issue meant more than 5,000 patients at the trust were not notified of their appointments

The problem affected outpatient cases in every specialty at the trust, and meant they had no active referral to treatment pathway or were not on a review list.

The trust said the majority of cases simply required “closing” on the system by administrators, as the patients had been discharged correctly but the pathway was left “open”.

A significant proportion needed an appointment date added.

Patients on 2 per cent of the pathways (about 5,200 cases) should have been sent a clinic appointment, but had not.

A trust spokeswoman said: “As soon as we identified those patients with no active RTT pathway, we took immediate and comprehensive action by performing an administrative and clinical validation of each patient.

“All these patients’ medical records, from a variety of specialties, were clinically reviewed. Any patient that was deemed to be urgent was then offered an outpatient appointment within one week, and any that were non-urgent within eight weeks.

“When seen in clinic, an assessment was made by their clinician as to whether they may have suffered any harm as a result of the delay in receiving a follow-up appointment.  The medical director’s office further reviewed any patient where there was deemed to be any potential concern.”

The FT said the work of the review was being finalised.

According to minutes of the trust’s April board meeting, the problem was discovered last year, and a second group of patients without a “see by” date was found in recent months.

The trust has commissioned independent investigators to identify the cause of the errors, but would not say who is conducting this work, or how much it would cost.

The spokeswoman said this investigation was in addition to a wider review into how the trust manages outpatient bookings and how to best use its new centralised patient booking service.

She added that both reports are expected to be finalised and presented to the board late this month.