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J R Soc Med. 1995 June; 88(6): 330–333.
PMCID: PMC1295235

Clinical audit of a specialist symptomatic breast clinic.


The efficient delivery of health care requires vigilant quality assurance. We describe the audit of our symptomatic breast clinic, which includes the option of a one-stop diagnostic service. A total of 134 new and 386 follow-up patients attended over four consecutive clinics. The majority of new referrals (68%) were seen by a consultant surgeon. Urgent referrals were seen significantly sooner than routine referrals (P < 0.001, chi 2-test), and the mean wait from designated appointment to seeing the surgeon was 37.6 (range-68 to 171) min. One-stop investigations were offered to 50 patients; of these, 36 women (72%) had a total wait of less than 2 h. For those not investigated at the same clinic, the mean time until investigations was 6.1 (range 0-36) days and mean recall was 2.7 (range 1-8) weeks. Patients undergoing definitive surgery for cancer (n = 5) were operated on average 14.2 (range 7-27) days after the decision was made in outpatients, while the mean waiting time for non-cancer operations was 49.7 (range 15-98) days. Objective audit on outpatient services is possible and can lead to improvement of services.

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Selected References

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