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Setting Up And Running Virtual Clinics

Friday 29 March 2019
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London

Follow the conference on Twitter #VirtualClinics

Chaired by Mr Bibhas Roy Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Virtual Orthopaedic Clinic Lead at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, this conference focuses on setting up and running virtual clinics. Virtual clinics are increasingly being used in healthcare to reduce outpatient appointments, reduce DNA rates, 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.

Expert sessions, case studies and an extended masterclass will focus on understanding service virtualisation, developing virtual clinics, developing policy and procedure to support clinic working and understanding information governance implications. Case studies will share experience from a variety of virtual clinics in specialties such as Orthopaedics, Paediatrics, Diabetes, Diagnostic, Cardiology, Breast Cancer and Opthalmology. The conference will also reflect on the experiences of NHS Trusts that are developing trust wide Virtual Clinics Programmes including moving to a Virtual Hospital.

“The outpatient system is older than the NHS and the time has come to grasp the nettle and use tech and other innovations to improve patients’ experience and care. As part of the long term plan for the NHS, it’s right we look at ways to cut unnecessary appointments, save thousands of journeys, reduce traffic and pollution and make the NHS more efficient.” The Royal College of Physicians 9th November 2018

“Alternatives to face-to-face consultations should be made available to patients and included in reporting of clinical activity.” The Royal College of Physicians 9th November 2018

“Non-face-to-face consultations will utilise technology to enhance delivery of effective care.” The Royal College of Physicians 9th November 2018

Telephone and video consultations:  These appointments are not designed to totally replace face-to-face consultations, but are able to deliver some of their functions via video-link, eg Skype for Business, or the telephone. The benefit of these appointment styles is reduced disruption to patient lives and a reduced need for hospital infrastructure (eg clinic rooms, parking and support staff). The Royal College of Physicians 9th November 2018

“28% of doctors say 10–20% of their follow-up patients could have been seen using an alternative to face-to-face consultation” The Royal College of Physicians 9th November 2018

Clinical staff and patients shared similar frustrations with outpatient care, but from their individual perspectives….both recognised the benefit of alternatives to face-to-face consultations in appropriate settings, such as telephone or videoconferencing. The Royal College of Physicians 9th November 2018


Alternatives to face-to-face appointments could be utilised where appropriate to support healthcare delivery. Alternatives include remote monitoring and telephone or video-link appointments, which can trigger a face-to-face appointment when clinical or patient need arises. Alternative consultation methods can allow the same clinical input to be provided in a more convenient manner for the patient…. Any alternative consultations which offer the same clinical input and outcome as a faceto-face consultation should be recognised as clinical activity in job planning and commissioning structures. The Royal College of Physicians 9th November 2018

“Patients reported that, compared to face-to-face appointments, web consultations saved them time, were far more convenient, cheaper, that they preferred them and would be more likely to attend them. This has implication for DNA rates. Staff and patients reported that the quality of care over webcam was at least as good as that provided face to face. Initial savings are modest, through increased productivity, however results indicate that more substantial savings will follow through.”  Dr Shanti Vijayaraghavan Consultant Physician, Diabetes and Endocrinology Newham University Hospital Barts Health

“The primary beneficiary of virtual consultations should be the patient and those benefits should be clear to and consented to by the patient” Dr Tim Yates, National Medical Director's Clinical Fellow NHS Digital, October 2018

“Virtual consultations should be conceptualised, understood and risk-assessed from first principles and through testing, not through drawing similarities with superficially similar face-to-face approaches” Dr Tim Yates, National Medical Director's Clinical Fellow NHS Digital, October 2018

This conference will enable you to:

  • Network with colleagues who are working to develop Virtual Clinics
  • Learn from established practice in setting up Virtual Clinics
  • Understand the practicalities of setting up and running Virtual Clinics
  • Learn from NHS Trusts that are developing trust wide virtual clinics programmes, and moving to a virtual hospital approach
  • Reflect on national standards for Virtual Clinics
  • Develop your skills in the use of virtualization technology: from Skype to specialist systems
  • Understand risk issues and which patients are suitable for Virtual Consultations
  • Ensure delivery of effective governance and security
  • Understand how the patient journey, and thinking around the patient journey needs to change
  • Identify key strategies for commissioning and negotiating tariffs
  • Update your knowledge on legal issues and developments
  • Self assess, reflect and expand your skills in improving patients experience through virtual consultations

100% of delegates at our previous conference on this subject would recommend it to a colleague

Delegates from the last conference stated:

“excellent, overall a very good conference and provides lots of confidence to new consultants who wants to set up a clinic”
“very informative, knowledgeable and experienced speakers”
“very useful information on existing and expected virtual aspects of healthcare”
“clinical examples very relevant to help deliver context applications – lots of different models shown – all relevant to my practice"


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