Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS FT’s (LTH) Royal Preston Hospital, has opened a new video clinic suite to make it easier to speak to patients during video and phone appointments.
It features 12 fully-equipped, soundproofed booths and is located on the first floor of the Day Treatment Centre building.
Following the popularity and growth of video clinics among clinicians and patients during the start of the pandemic, LTH decided to invest in the new facility.
It has saved patients time, reduced travel, and been particularly beneficial for those who would have normally faced challenges visiting the hospital due to work, caring commitments, or mobility issues.
Chief Operating Officer, Faith Button, said: “The new Virtual Suite underlines our commitment to building back better from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We know that many of our patients have appreciated the convenience and safety offered by video and phone clinics and continuing to offer these services forms part of the trust’s Covid recovery plan.
“Meanwhile, as clinical activity at the trust increases, this development will free face-to-face clinic rooms and allow us to increase the number of patients we are able to see each day.”
Kidney patient Ryan Bamford, has enjoyed the experience of video clinics since early 2020.
He said: “I’ve been having video appointments since the pandemic started and at first, I was a bit unsure because I wondered if they would definitely know I’m okay and if I could get everything checked.
“But the video appointments have been brilliant. I’m still going for my blood tests and you can test your own urine at home. It’s made me feel at ease that I’m still being checked as if I was going into the hospital.”
One of the first users of video clinics in the trust, Consultant Nephrologist Professor Alex Woywodt, has welcomed the opening of the virtual clinic.
He said: “Video clinics are here to stay and it is good news that Lancashire Teaching Hospitals has made this investment.
“Used appropriately, video clinics bring excellent benefits to doctors and their patients and this facility is a significant step forward in embedding the use of video in our future activity.”
Outpatients at Royal Preston Hospital, Chorley, and South Ribble Hospital, who have been offered a phone clinic appointment, but would prefer to be seen via video are able to alternatively speak with their clinician, or call the outpatient call centre.