With social distancing guidance in place, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn moved quickly to adapt in its outpatient department to ensure appointments could still go ahead safely.
To reduce patient visits to the hospital, outpatient’s appointments have been moving into online, with appointments over the telephone or video.
From dermatology to paediatrics, many different specialities were quick to sign up to new ways of working.
Alison Melton, Outpatients Booking Manager said: “The Referral Booking Team and Outpatient Clerks have been ringing thousands of patients every day to inform them of the changes, letting them know if appointments will be via telephone or video consultation.
“Whereas previously we were sending letters regarding appointments, our patients are now getting personal contact from our team, improving their overall experience as it’s another opportunity to ask questions and understand the appointments process.”
Using the online system, called Attend Anywhere, patients check into a virtual waiting room through smart devices and computers and wait to be “called through” by their consultant.
Some face-to-face appointments – where a physical examination, treatment or procedure is needed, for example – are still going ahead.
Alison says: “The feedback from patients has been really positive, and GPs are getting used to sending their referrals through with photos of the patient’s condition to improve care even further.”
“Many of our teams and consultants are seeing the benefits of video consultations or follow-ups over the telephone, and I expect they will become more and more popular as the roll out continues beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.”
If you have questions about your appointment please call our dedicated Covid-19 helpline, open between 9am and 3pm, Monday to Friday. Telephone (01553) 214545.
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