Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has introduced an innovative new Virtual Fracture Clinic (VFC) in a bid to reduce outpatient appointments.
The new clinic which comprises a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Virtual Fracture Clinic Nurse and Administrative Support will significantly help cut the number of times patients have to attend a traditional fracture clinic.
Under the new approach, hospital patients with acute injuries will initially be seen in A&E and advised they will be assessed in the Virtual Fracture Clinic within a couple of days. Each case is then assessed by a 'Consultant of the Week' and the patient's care pathway is developed from there.
Patients will then receive telephone advice from the VFC team who offer guidance on the next steps for recovery. Follow-up advice on care management is sent to each patient via email or post. Additional patient advice and guidance videos will also be available on the Surrey iMSK website surryimsk.com
Cathy Parsons, Director of Clinical Services, Trauma and Orthopaedics said: "Since its launch, up to 50% of our patients have been discharged directly after assessment in the Virtual Fracture Clinic and up to 20% have been seen at a later date for follow up care. This is simply fantastic news for patients, many of whom will now have reduced or no further visits to hospital following their initial A&E attendance.
"The service is a further boost to our ongoing efforts at ASPH to continually improve the patient experience and will also help the Trust realise some financial benefits."