Clinicians and patients across West Yorkshire have come together in a series of videos to help promote the use of remote appointments at hospitals across the region.To help combat the elective backlog in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, NHS England introduced guidance that at least 25% of outpatient appointments should take place remotely.In 2022, the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) Outpatient Transformation Programme and the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT) engaged with Trust outpatient teams across West Yorkshire, and collated feedback about what they felt would help them deliver more remote appointments.Outpatient colleagues identified a need to help both clinicians and patients feel more comfortable, well-equipped and provide a greater understanding of the benefits of remote appointments.The subsequent #ReadyforRemote campaign signposts both patients and staff to tailored, video-led content, which supports both patients and staff to feel more confident in accessing or delivering remote appointments.West Yorkshire hospital clinicians who have shared their experiences of using remote appointments for the campaign include:
Sal Uka, Consultant Paediatrician, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation TrustAmanda McKie, Matron Lead for Learning and Disabilities (Adults), Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation TrustSteph Burgess, Senior Speech and Language Therapist, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust
Sal Uka, Consultant Paediatrician at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I tend to find conversations really do get straight to the point and, we address any issues that there may be in a much quicker way. Offering variety in my clinic is one part, but the best bit is that they are definitely more efficient.”The series of videos also includes testimony from Toseef Ahmed, who has a learning disability. He finds remote appointments easier for communicating with medical staff. He said: “It’s really helpful for me because people who have learning disabilities can not always have face-to-face appointments and they find it really difficult, so in a way phone telephone appointments are the best way to communicate.”Kathy Green, who features in some of the videos, said that older people shouldn’t be dissuaded from going remote. Speaking in the series, she said: “Be prepared, write a list of everything you want to ask the clinician and if possible, do a run through with a friend or family member.