If you missed the live Health Matters webinar Patient experience of digital consultations, a recording is now available on the trust Youtube channel. The event coincided with Oxford Health reaching the landmark figure of 100,000 digital consultations, which have enabled important therapy to continue while keeping patients and clinicians safely distanced.

Graph showing the increase in the number of digital consultations to over 100,000 by mid-November 2020

Rapid increase in the take-up of digital consultations since the beginning of the lockdown. Click on the image the watch the Health Matters event recording.

Over 120 people attended the live event where chief nurse Marie Crofts, cognitive behavioural therapist Natasha Browne and digital lead Oliver Shipp answered questions from the audience.

The programme also includes video recordings from four patients who kindly shared their experiences: Mrs Kay Perkins tells about her experience with the community respiratory service; Lisa Parker-Smith about support on chronic fatigue syndrome; Peter about physiotherapy, and Cheryl about speech and language therapy.

Your questions answered

While mental health services trust-wide account for the majority of digital appointments, our audience was intrigued by how a service such a physiotherapy could be offered over a laptop screen.

Physiotherapist Jenny Page from Physical Disabilities Physiotherapy Service tells us:

“Our experience has been specifically with neurological patients – mainly the Parkinsons population but other neuro-conditions too. Any equipment required for simple exercise, for instance theraband, is provided via post. Patients can also purchase simple equipment such as balls, scarves and floor markers.”

She continues:

“I have reviewed patients online using their existing walking frame, four wheeled walker or similar – usually with the help of someone else to hold the camera whilst the patient is walking or by clever positioning of the device – you can see a patient head to toe.”

“Obviously initial assessment with new walking aids and any new equipment needs to be face to face. However, a preliminary screen can sometimes mean we go out with the appropriate equipment in our cars to minimise the need for an additional visit.”

In addition, there are groups to join, Jenny says:

“We quickly started running our popular PD activ8 face to face exercise classes online/ group virtual appointment back in May.  There has been a lot of work into the booking system, patients now log in and book a ‘seat’ in the class of their choice and book ahead.  It works really well.”

YOUR experience matters

Oxford Health and the Global Digital Exemplar programme team are keen to hear from all patients about their experience of digital consultations.

“We know we are doing a lot, but we want to know how good they are,” says programme lead Oliver Shipp.

Please have your say on the survey Patient experience of digital consultations. The survey has eight cascading questions and will take only a few minutes to fill.

You can also help us help us to develop a training tool so our clinicians can be trained in best practice for digital consultations: please take part in this Patient survey. This project is part of an international service evaluation led by Oxford University.

Next Health Matters in December

Join us again for Health Matters on Tuesday, December 15 at 12.30. Our topic will be Creating with Care, the creative activities programme that has brought a great deal of joy to patient and staff in our community hospitals over the past four years.

The event will be chaired by service director Emma Leaver and Creating with Care work presented by its creators arts coordinator, trust governor Angela Conlan and dementia nurse Paula Har. The programme has just been shortlisted for a national award.

Sign up as a member of Oxford Health to receive an invite straight to your inbox! Membership is free and carries no obligations, but you can enjoy many benefits.