Connecting to you: Introduction of a Telephone Follow-Up Clinic for Orthopaedic patients undergoing steroid injection treatments.
Trainee Advanced Nurse Practitioner: Trauma & Orthopaedics
Place of work
Fracture Clinic, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
The CQC (2014) highlighted that Outpatient Services within East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) were not responsive to the needs of its population. The Trauma & Orthopaedic (T&O) Directorate within ELHT provides elective steroid injection treatments to an average of 1200 patients per year. These patients are followed up face-to-face with the Consultant in the Orthopaedic Outpatient Department.
As this procedure is minimally invasive, patients could be safely reviewed post-procedure via telephone consultation by an Advanced Practitioner (Wilson & Bickerdike, 2015; Department of Health [DH], 2010). Role substitution would enable the Consultant to focus on more complex patients whilst having a positive impact on clinical flow within the T&O Directorate.
To revise the existing outpatient follow-up service for Orthopaedic patients who undergo elective steroid injection treatments by introducing a Telephone Follow-Up Clinic.
The introduction of the Telephone Follow-Up Clinic has made this service more responsive to patients’ needs whilst enhancing stakeholder engagement by offering alternative methods of contact. This intervention has had a positive impact on patient waiting times and Consultant activity.
Three key learning points
1. Utilising alternative methods of patient contact ensures continuing patient participation in care
2. Communication and multidisciplinary team working are the cornerstones of excellent clinical practice
3. A robust support network is a necessity to facilitate successful navigation of the complexities of service provision
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