Wiltshire Publications

New X-ray facility is for some patients only

PATIENTS are unhappy that an X-ray facility at the new White Horse Health Centre can only be used by some Westbury residents – with other residents still having to travel further afield to receive the same service.
Patients who are registered with Salisbury Hospital can use the facility at the White Horse Health Centre, but patients who come under the care of other hospitals, such as the RUH in Bath, are not entitled to use the facility in the town.
Because the X-ray service is provided by Salisbury Hospital, the commissioners of the service have limited the use of the service to their own patients.
One patient said, “Only if you are under the care of Salisbury Hospital can an X-ray be carried out at this centre, everyone else has to go elsewhere for it to be done. Is the human body structure different for Bath and other hospital users?”
Debbie Riddiford, practice manager at the White Horse Health Centre, says the health centre hopes that the accessibility of the service will expand in the future. She said, “The service is provided by Salisbury Hospital, the service will be for patients under the care of Salisbury Hospital at the moment.
“This has been a decision taken by the commissioners of the service.  However, having the x-ray service here does mean that patients who previously had to go to Salisbury Hospital can come here rather than travel to Salisbury and also that consultant outpatients can take place here as the outpatient service can be supported with the necessary diagnostics.
“We are hoping that given time, this service will grow to become more accessible to all.  Patients can choose which hospital they are referred to if they need to see a consultant. There is a national system called ‘Choose and Book’ which means that patients always have a choice of where they are referred to see a consultant, whether that be RUH, Salisbury, another hospital or local outpatient service.
“There are many other new services planned that will mean patients don’t have to travel. These include surgery,  a range of consultant outpatients and chemotherapy services.”