Skip navigation

Setting up and running Virtual Clinics: Speaker news and updates

Virtual clinics are increasingly being used in healthcare to reduce outpatient appointments, save money and ensure the patients that do need to be seen face to face by a consultant have enough dedicated time. A large number of appointments can be replaced by virtual clinics, for decision making, consultation and outcome analysis. 

Chaired by Mr Bibhas Roy, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Virtual Orthopaedic Clinic Lead at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, this conference focused on setting up and running virtual clinics. 

Expert sessions, case studies and an extended masterclass focused on understanding service virtualisation, developing virtual clinics, developing policy and procedure to support clinic working and understanding information governance implications. Case studies shared experience from a variety of virtual clinics in specialties such as Orthopaedics, Cardiology, Urology, Follow Up and Obstetrics & Gynaecology. 

Speaker Presentations and News:

Virtual Clinics & Consultations: The Evidence

Joe Wherton Senior Research Fellow Queen Mary University of London

  • the role of virtual clinics in managing demand and reducing unnecessary appointments
  • developing virtualization by non face to face interaction
  • what defines ‘quality’ in a virtual consultation and what are the barriers to achieving this?
  • how is a successful virtual consultation achieved in an organisation whose processes and systems are mostly oriented to more traditional consultations?
  • what is the national-level context for the introduction of virtual consultations in NHS organisations, and what measures might incentivise and make these easier?
  • looking ahead to the health service of the future


Joe discussed the Virtual Online Consultations: advantages and limitations  - to define good practice and inform its implementation in relation to clinician-patient consultations via skype and similar virtual media.  Joe stated that where technical connection is successful outcomes are usually positive and DNA rates are reduced. He said "there is great potential for the use of virtual online media tools such as skype for remote consulting. There is a need to focus on the social processes that make technology work in practice." 

Joe Wherton Full Presentation Click Here

Understanding service virtualization: where to start

Case study: Virtual clinics: From Urogynaecology to Pre Operative Assessment

Dr Stephen Radley Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

  • understanding service virtualization: the theory
  • tools and pathways
  • where to start? Lessons from our virtual clinics
  • developing a web-based ‘Virtual Clinic’, provided by the Urogynaecology unit which combines on-line interviewing, using an electronic personal assessment questionnaire for pelvic floor conditions (ePAQ-PF), with telephone consultation
  • the benefits of virtual clinics for ‘sensitive’ conditions
  • the practicalities and a walk through how the clinic works in practice

Dr Stephen Radley Full Presentation Click Here

Dr Stephen Radley Presentation Abstract:

The initial development of an electronic Personal Assessment Questionnaire (ePAQ) was driven by issues of data entry as well as accessibility, value and burden of questionnaire use in clinical practice. Harnessing the power of detailed, reliable, objective and meaningful patient self-assessments is now proving valuable, not only for outcomes monitoring, but more importantly, for better understanding of patients’ conditions, particularly those of a sensitive or complex nature and when patient’s views of their condition and symptomatology are critically important. Well-designed web-based self-completed questionnaires can enhance communication and support Virtual Clinics, where elements of patient assessment are conducted remotely and valuably inform consultations and subsequent management. This technology is now being applied more widely in other areas, such as vascular disorders and pre-operative assessment, enabling enhanced communication, efficiency and quality of healthcare. 

Dr Stephen Radley Biography:

Stephen is a Consultant Gynaecologist and Director of Research for Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Neonatology in Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust where he is also Clinical Lead and Training Programme Director for Urogynaecology. His medical education was at Queens’ College Cambridge, and King's College Hospital London, where graduated in 1987.

During his training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Sheffield, he spent 2 years working in Urology and Urology research. He was awarded MD in 2005 and holds an Honorary Senior Lectureship with the University of Sheffield. His clinical interests include pelvic floor disorders, prolapse, bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunction.

He was responsible for the initial concept, design, development, testing and implementation of ePAQ-PF (electronic Personal Assessment Questionnaire – Pelvic Floor). The ePAQ system is now being deployed in over 20 units in the UK and overseas and supports web-based assessments and outcomes monitoring of patients in routine clinical practice, including ‘Virtual Clinics’. He has co-authored over 50 peer reviewed publications and is currently involved in a number of NIHR & locally funded research projects, including development and clinical application of instruments for Vascular Disorders (ePAQ-Vascular) and Pre-Operative Assessment (ePAQ-PO).

Extended Facilitated Session: Setting up and running Virtual Clinics

Mr Bibhas Roy Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon & Virtual Orthopaedic Clinic Lead Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

This interactive session focused on setting up and running virtual clinics including:

  • clinical process mapping
  • developing the business case
  • the supporting technology
  • communicating the clinic and developing referral processes
  • monitoring quality and effectiveness
  • what are the costs involved, and the savings

Future events of interest:

Masterclass: Designing a Reliable Response to Sepsis
Thursday 20 October 2016 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Effective Operating Theatres Summit
Friday 11 November 2016 
Asia House Conference Centre, London

Breast Surgery as Day Surgery: A Joint HCUK & BADS conference
Thursday 24 November 2016 
ICO Conference Centre, London

National PROMs Summit 2016
Wednesday 7 December 2016 
Broadway House, London

Innovations in Day Surgery: Development of Emergency Day Surgery Pathways
Thursday 23 February 2017 
De Vere W1 Conference Centre, London

19 October 2016


    Partner Organisations

    The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation TrustInPracticeClinical Audit Support CentrePlayoutJust For Nurses
    GGI (Good Governance Institute) accredited conferences CPD Member BADS (British Association of Day Surgery) accredited conferences