A HOSPITAL trust’s appointments booking system has made significant improvements in recent months.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust’s booking hub has had a difficult few years since it was set up, with many patients struggling to get through.

However, in a report to the trust board, which meets tomorrow, chief executive Marianne Griffiths said the system had turned itself around.

She said: “By recruiting more permanent staff, and ensuring these staff are properly trained, supported and developed in their roles, they have vastly reduced reliance on agency staff.

“This, alongside using recognised improvement tools to make their processes work better, has resulted in huge improvements to the telephone service they provide to patients and across everything else they do.

“The booking hub receives on average 4,000 telephone enquiries and 3,000 referrals a week.

“There was a time when it was ‘dropping’ around 60 per cent of incoming calls from patients.

“This week it dropped just one per cent of calls and answered 95 per cent of all telephone enquiries in two minutes.

“It now processes all referrals within 24 hours and the two-way texting project has helped reduce the trust ‘did not attend’ rate from ten per cent to less than seven per cent on average.”