The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

LTHT to pilot virtual video clinics

20 March 2019

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is inviting patients to attend clinic from the comfort of their home surroundings by using video technology for outpatient appointments.

Nearly thirty departments across the city’s hospitals are taking part in a pilot that uses the video functions found on most mobile phones, tablets and computers to link patients directly with their clinical teams.

Eligible patients who consent to trialling this new service will be sent a unique link to their devices which will allow them to see and speak with a clinical team member as usual, without having to travel to the hospital itself. This technology means patients will not have to take additional time off work, saves travel time, and avoids waiting around in an outpatient clinic.

Rob Child, Programme Head of Digital Health Programmes for the Trust explains there is a whole host of possibilities for this kind of technology.  “There is considerable demand from clinical teams who want to make a real change to the way they deliver care to their patients. This technology will help us to deliver truly support patient centred care as well as aiding Trust efficiencies.

As the pilot service develops, we want to offer every clinician in the hospital their own Virtual Clinic. This will help us to continue improving patient care by using digital solutions and is the start of a really exciting digital journey for Leeds Teaching Hospitals.”

Dr Andy Webster, Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Chief Clinical Information Officer, said: “Overall 10-20% of all patients could have a video consultation instead of a traditional clinic, it also provides an option for patients where due to wellbeing or infection risks an alternative to a hospital attendance is preferable.

The enthusiasm shown by clinical teams for adopting new technologies have been fantastic. The one-year pilot will inform us what type of clinical encounters could be replaced by video technology and maximise its potential for patient safety, quality and experience”.