1. Virtual fracture clinic delivers significant NHS savings
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    Virtual fracture clinic delivers significant NHS savings

    September 29, 2016
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    Virtual fracture clinic delivers significant NHS savings

    An innovative clinic that is transforming the way patients receive care for fractured bones has proved a real success. The virtual fracture clinic enables patients to manage their own care from the comfort of home, delivering significant savings for the NHS.

    Virtual fracture clinic delivers significant NHS savings

    An innovative clinic that is transforming the way patients receive care for fractured bones has proved a real success. The virtual fracture clinic enables patients to manage their own care from the comfort of home, delivering significant savings for the NHS.

    Virtual fracture clinic delivers significant NHS savings

    An innovative clinic that is transforming the way patients receive care for fractured bones has proved a real success. The virtual fracture clinic enables patients to manage their own care from the comfort of home, delivering significant savings for the NHS.

    • Lucy Cassidy

      Following assessment of a fracture in A&E, patients can now receive follow-up care online and remotely manage their recovery through a virtual fracture clinic. The service avoids the need for further hospital visits, saving time and money.

      Since its launch in 2013, at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, more than 10,000 people have benefited from the service. The reduction in traditional face-to-face hospital appointments has saved the NHS more than half a million pounds.

      The virtual fracture clinic involves physiotherapists assessing X-rays online with an orthopaedic consultant to determine the next level of care. If they agree that an injury can be managed remotely, patients then receive instructions via a phone call, supported with online videos to explain diagnosis and guide them through the first six weeks of their rehabilitation.

      Lucy Cassidy, advance practice physiotherapist at Brighton and Sussex NHS Trust said: “The service is a ‘win – win’. Patients really appreciate the convenience, and it frees up clinicians’ time making it cost-efficient for the hospital.”

      Lucy’s work developing the virtual fracture clinic and her ambition to extend the service on a wider scale was recognised with an NHS Innovation Challenge Prize this year.

      The Challenge Prize was supported by 3M, and included mentoring by the company’s project management experts and a visit to its global innovation centre in St Paul, USA.

      Following 3M’s support, Lucy is poised to roll out a national model of the virtual fracture clinic – a blueprint to enable hospitals around the country to easily replicate the service.

      “Working with 3M significantly impacted the pace of my project” said Lucy. “I gained a great deal from its expertise, including an introduction to business tools such as Lean Six Sigma, which proved very useful in scoping and developing the national model.”

      Mentor Carol Aries, head of strategic partnerships for 3M’s healthcare business, explained: “Innovation is key to improving healthcare provision, but one of the key challenges faced by the NHS is how to take forward great ideas like the virtual facture clinic and replicate them in other Trusts.

      “For this reason we worked with NHS England to create a Challenge Prize supporting the adoption of best practice. This ‘in-kind’ award offered an insight into 3M’s culture – how we share ideas across our diverse global organisation and turn innovative concepts into reality.

      “We’re delighted that our support has helped Lucy to progress her aims. The national roll out of her exciting virtual care model offers many patient benefits and the potential for multi-million pound savings for the NHS.”

      Find out more about the NHS Innovation Challenge

      Find out more about 3M