Health Watchdog To Push For More Video-Link Consultations

A drive to cut unnecessary NHS costs could make islanders lives easier.

Scilly health watchdog, Link, says the Primary Care Trust hopes to reduce the number of patient or clinician trips by using a high tech video link that’s just been installed at St Mary’s Hospital.

Link is now collecting stories from patients who felt their mainland medical visits may have been unnecessary if consultants could follow up from an initial meeting using a webcam. The Chairman of the PCT has requested feedback and will put ideas to the board later this month.

Carol Clarke from Link says she’s been surprised that so many consultants come here to see patients and the hope is that follow-ups could be conducted for up to 80% of cases using video conferencing at St Mary’s hospital.

From Radio Scilly

Hear a full update from Carol Clarke of Link

Link is also claiming success in pushing for more appropriate appointment times for islanders. Early morning or late afternoon appointments at mainland hospitals are difficult to attend on a winter day-return ticket. Since Link flagged up the challenges of winter flight times, an effort has been made to schedule Scilly patients in the middle of the day.

Later this month, islanders will be offered tips on how to manage their long-term illnesses. Carol says the NHS wants to run a course in November called The Expert Patient Programme, which aims to turn patients into experts on how to manage their own condition.

The programme will run for 6 weeks and there’ll be an introduction at the Church Pavilion on the 20th September.