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Looking after our out-patients – challenges and opportunities

Updated on: 09 Feb 2022   First published on 31 Jan 2022

This webinar, recorded on the 29th September 2020, featured talks on the changing landscape of out-patient work in gastroenterology from both a primary and secondary care perspective, as well as the challenges and opportunities for training. This webinar was chaired by BSG President Elect Dr Andy Veitch, and featured discussion from CSSC Chair Dr Andy Douds.

Overview of the programme and speakers

  • The view from Secondary care – Dr John Thomson
  • The view from Primary care – Dr Kevin Barrett
  • Training our juniors in the new OP landscape – Dr Bev Oates

This webinar was approved by the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom for 1 category 1 (external) CPD credit. In line with RCP guidance, this was available for four weeks after the date of the original broadcast on 29th September 2020.

Questions from the webinar

Question Answer
Excellent idea to have combined virtual clinics, but what do you propose for those patients that are not computer literates or have no access to the technique? John Thomson: Firstly I would advocate that as COVID disappears, digital interactions with Health Services are the patient’s choice. Our work pre-COVID has shown that, generally, patients are good at deciding if the consultation is suitable for video. There however is a definite gap for those in our society that are not yet digitally connected but we have found in reality this is often less than the perceived gap, for example, a relative or friend may help in the same way they would take them to the physical appointment. Pre COVID, as we already had a video clinic service established, we were expanding successful pilots of community hubs (quiet private spaces in libraries, health centres or other community-building where patients could connect from). Since COVID, distancing measures have meant this is not possible. However, in each of the 4 nations, there have been different initiatives to provide equipment where it’s needed. There is a good equality impact assessment as part of the public consultation on Attend Anywhere (Branded Near Me in Scotland).
Would e-Prescribing from hospital to community pharmacies save some of the push-back of work into primary care? John Thomson: Yes, that is the intention, aiming to provide information to primary care that a drug has been prescribed but not expect primary care to have to create that initial script. Here is some more information on NHS Grampian’s trial of the CoPPr prescribing system. It is in its infancy but has been very popular across sectors and will evolve. The ideal future would be a single drug record across sectors but that is quite a way off yet. I do think that this is just part of the picture though, and we need to bridge that chasm between sectors which will include the community investigation hubs and e-prescribing as keystones.
How would you involve patients in redesigning services? John Thomson: Most Trusts have access to a group of patients who have volunteered for this type of project, it often not that publicised with the clinicians so it may you some time to track down how to access in your particular locality. In addition, national charities often can help with an established local group or access to their members to participate. Future health and wellbeing have some good examples. A word of caution in your planning is to be aware of potential bias in opinions and try to ensure the patients involved are representative across your service. To get those wider views, consider using surveys or even pop up events in shopping centres.

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