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Royal Preston Hospital to benefit from innovative new video clinic

The Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS FT’s, Royal Preston Hospital, will benefit from an innovative new video clinic, making it easier for clinicians to see patients remotely.

The new clinic will have 12 fully-equipped, soundproofed booths, which will improve the sound quality when speaking to patients via video conferencing or phone calls. The trust has already made several improvements to the functionality of the video software in the last few months.

This has enabled service users to access support when managing their appointments, through a virtual reception service, which is one of the advantages compared to phone clinics. 

Medical Director, at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, Dr Gerry Skailesm, said: “We are among the first hospital trusts in the country to invest in this kind of telemedicine facility, and we think this will bring significant benefits to patients and staff. 

“Although use of video calls has become a daily feature of life during the last year, we think it will be here to stay even when social distancing measures are completely lifted. 

“Video clinics offer lots of benefits to patients, especially the convenience of reducing travel and waiting time.”

Consultant Nephrologist, Professor Alex Woywodt, said: “I’ve always been interested in technology and its use in medicine, so I volunteered to be one of the first users of video clinics in the trust. 

“It’s been fantastic and I wouldn’t know how to make my clinical role work without video clinics any more. 

“The patients took a bit of time to get used to it, as with all new things, but they all got used to it, and now the feedback is really very good. I think the patients like the fact that not only can I see them, but they can see me. I know my patients quite well, so the fact they can see their trusted doctor is an advantage that telephone clinics can’t provide.”

The Virtual Suite expected to open in late June, and the bookings for the booths will work in the same way as a normal outpatient room. The option of conducting clinics by phone will also be offered for each booth.

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The integration of new technology, such as using virtual outpatient appointments instead of face-to-face reviews of patients in the hospital. Adapting the ways in which our NHS workers serve people has been critical in continuing to provide high-quality treatment, a positive patient experience and preventing Covid-19 transmission during the pandemic. Our healthcare sector has the potential to transform the way we continue to provide essential services while also improving patient care. But how easy is the integration of these innovations into routine NHS practice?

On the 28th of October, at the NHE365 Virtual Hospitals & Technology Enabled Care online event, we will be discussing patient flow and experience, reducing waiting times, reducing the patient backlog and increasing technology adoption. Will you be attending? 

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