Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust has responded to the COVID-19 outbreak to keep patients safe – by offering telephone appointments.
This has meant 7,602 patients have not had to go to hospital while still getting the care they need.
The trust has been able to offer this service across almost 700 clinics so far, and it’s likely more will follow. Patients are given an appointment time and, rather than travelling to hospital as they usually would, their doctor gives them a call at the allotted time to discuss their ongoing care and treatment.
Magda Smith, chief medical officer at the trust and a consultant gastroenterologist, who held her own telephone clinic this week, said: “This has been great as it saves us, and our patients, time. The patients I’ve spoken to have been really relieved as in many cases they are anxious about coming into hospital. It’s also a great way to protect our older and more vulnerable patients.
“However, patients who need to have face-to-face consultations will still have them.”