Boost for community ultrasound services in east Suffolk helping to reduce waiting times

Advanced practitioner ultrasonographer, Jo Honey, and ultrasound administrator, Poppea Hewitt, with

Advanced practitioner ultrasonographer, Jo Honey, and ultrasound administrator, Poppea Hewitt, with one of the new scanners Picture: JOE CROSS - Credit: JOE CROSS

Community ultrasound services in east Suffolk are being expanded following a £120,000 investment in three new scanners.

The service, run by Suffolk GP Federation, has also recently employed two new sonographers – at a time when many are finding it difficult to recruit.

The Community Ultrasound Service offers patients the chance to be scanned locally from 12 locations across east Suffolk, most of which are GP practices.

It means patients can be seen quickly and closer to home – reducing the number of people who have to travel to hospital.

Shavarne Patterson, clinical lead for the Community Ultrasound Service, said: “The reliability and fantastic imaging quality of these new machines has allowed us to offer extra clinics, extending into weekend and evening work to improve accessibility for all our patients.”

Paul Driscoll is medical director and chairman of Suffolk GP Federation, which has managed the Community Ultrasound Service since 2011.

He said: “Our approach has led to a much-improved service for patients, with shorter waiting times at more convenient, practice-based locations. Scan reporting is clear and GP friendly, while both patient and GP feedback continues to be very positive.”

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The Community Ultrasound Service is suitable for patients who require a general, non-pregnancy related scan. Patients are referred via their GP.

Dr Driscoll added: “The growth of Suffolk GP Federation has meant that we’re now able to support such services in a way that we were unable to in the past. It demonstrates the importance of local ownership as it has given us the flexibility to meet the needs of our patients and practices.”

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