At the beginning of November 2022, the GP x-ray department at Whipps Cross started a four-month refurbishment project, which included the installation of new x-ray rooms and an improved space with better patient facilities.
In the interim, an appointment system was implemented to manage the demand with reduced capacity. This means that any patients referred by their GP for an x-ray have been able to be seen at Whipps Cross Hospital via appointment only. There hasn’t been a walk-in service since the renovations started.
Due to unexpected delays in the refurbishment works we will remain with 50% less capacity until at least the summer and subsequently we’ll be continuing with the temporary appointment service.
The walk-in service will be reinstated upon completion of the refurbishment project, which we’ll communicate about in due course.
Patients are currently being advised that other Barts Health hospitals provide a walk-in service:
- Mile End Hospital (Monday – Friday 09:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 16:00) Tel: 0203 594 4809 (No A&E facility)
- Royal London Hospital (Monday – Friday 09:00 – 16:00) Tel: 0203 594 0101
- Newham General Hospital (Monday – Friday 09:00 – 17:00) Tel: 0207 480 4601 (Routine x-rays only)
- St. Bartholomews Hospital (Monday – Friday 09:00 – 16:00) Tel: 0207 377 7000 ( Adult patients only / No A&E facility)
Other local hospitals outside of Barts Health that offer walk-in services for GP x-ray referrals are:
• Homerton University Hospital (08:00 – 16:00, Monday – Friday)
• Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals including:
The Fanshawe Clinic (10am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday) – chest x-rays only
Barking Hospital (9.30am to 12.30 and 2.30pm to 7pm, 7 days a week) – chest x-rays only
Harold Wood (9am to 12.30 and 2.30pm to 6pm, 7 days a week) – chest x-rays only
King George Hospital (9am to 7pm, 7 days a week) – chest x-rays only
Queens Hospital (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) – chest x-rays only
Please note that St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and Mile End Hospital are not attached to an A&E, this means that St. Bartholomew’s Hospital don’t accept paediatric patients and Mile End Hospital don’t accept referrals that are querying hip or spinal fractures.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Important information for GPs
GP x-ray referrals to Whipps Cross Hospital are only valid and accepted within 6 weeks of a request being made by the GP. Please note that this is a temporary measure that only applies to WXH in response to the backlog of GP x-ray requests at Whipps Cross Hospital. However, all other sites across the Barts Health NHS Trust only accept GP x-ray referrals within 3 weeks of when the request is made.
Following the introduction of the GP x-ray appointment-only service at Whipps Cross Hospital, an analysis of patient feedback was undertaken, leading the service to now perform checks on all referrals received from GPs prior to booking in patient appointments. This process ensures that the clinical information provided by referrers meet the updated national radiology referral guidelines. We understand that our patient’s time is valuable, and this vetting step is pivotal to ensure that we provide a more efficient service to our patients in the community whilst we remain on a temporary appointment-only system.
Under the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations (IR[ME]R) 2017), radiographers, as practitioners, have a statutory duty to justify x-ray requests. If an x-ray referral is rejected by our department because the clinical information provided does not meet the referral guidelines, our department will notify the referring GP practice via email.
Expected appointments are currently being scheduled at approximately 4 weeks (clinical urgency dependent) from the date of referral. However, patients have the option to access an x-ray services immediately at other hospital sites as a walk-in patient, as mentioned above. Patients are not required to telephone the GP x-ray department to book an appointment. We aim to contact patients, through either telephone or post, within approximately 1 week of the referral reaching our department.
We receive electronic referrals (t-Quest) almost immediately and paper referrals are received depending on when the referral is emailed to the GP x-ray department inbox ( firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note that we are transitioning to a complete paperless referral system. Whipps Cross Hospital will no longer be accepting GP x-ray paper referral forms after 31st December 2023. To be set up on the electronic tQuest referral system please email our PACS team - email@example.com.
Please refer to iRefer (www.irefer.org.uk), owned and operated by The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR), to ensure that x-ray requests meet the referral guidelines.
Please use this form for the relevant contact details for patients to book their appointment:WXH Imaging GP Xray Referral Form Aug 2023.docx [docx] 96KB
Please do share this at any relevant forums and feel free to contact our department directly if you have any queries in relation to this message.
If you have any questions about these changes, get in touch with Michael Thambiah, service manager.