Table 2

Pattern of outpatient clinics for suspected transient ischaemic attack based on actual service provision at participating hospitals during patient recruitment period

Hospital and serviceNo of routine clinic slots available by day of the weekTotal clinics per yearDetails of clinic allocation within the model
MonTuesWedThurFri
Hospital 1Original service*24442724All patients are assigned to the next available clinic slots in order of referral. Where two referrals are made in 1 day, high-risk patients are given priority.
Modified service*44234769Where two referrals are made in 1 day, high-risk patients are given priority. One slot is reserved at the end of each clinic for high-risk referrals. If the next high-risk clinic slot is not within 24 hours of referral, an additional slot is made available (up to one per day). All other patients are assigned to the next available clinic slots in order of referral.
Hospital 2Original service†64200624Patients are assigned to the next available outpatient clinic. Those high-risk patients who cannot be seen within 24 hours are admitted (including those presenting at weekends).
Modified service†4 or 6‡0404676All high-risk patients are seen on the ward as outpatients as required (including at weekends). Patients referred before 10:00 are seen at 17:00 on the same day, patients referred after 10:00 are seen at 10:00 on the following day. All low-risk patients seen at the next available clinic in order of referral.
  • *Clinics are divided among four specialists, each of whom were absent for approximately 7 weeks a year (annual leave). These clinics are assumed not to take place if the specialist is absent.

  • †Specialists were absent for approximately 7 weeks a year (annual leave). All absent clinicians were replaced by a specialist from another site within the Trust.

  • ‡There is a 50% probability each week that either four or six clinic slots will be available.