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20 May 2016

Bristol Royal Infirmary team behind innovative remote clinics with video pre-op assessments shortlisted for national award

A team of consultants and nurses from the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) have been recognised for their work towards reducing the amount of time between a patient being referred to hospital by their GP and their operation.

The team have introduced remote specialist surgical clinics with integrated pre-operative assessments via a video-link, meaning that rather than travelling to the BRI for their appointment, patients from across or outside the city have the option to attend a local hospital involved in this scheme.Video Pre-Op Assessment

The clinicians work with patients who are in need of thoracic surgery which involves procedures on their lung and chest region, for either benign conditions or suspected cancer.

They are currently running these video clinics from the BRI to Southmead Hospital and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, twice a week 

During these sessions patients can be seen by nurses, have a discussion with a University Hospitals Bristol specialist and be assessed by an anaesthetist.

There has been very close collaboration and great team working between the staff at the BRI and Southmead and Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals, with consultant surgeons, physicians and anaesthetists working closely with North Bristol NHS Trust specialist nurses and pre-operative assessment staff.

The scheme has resulted in the 'remote clinics' working so effectively that they have cut down the time from the clinic to the operation by more than a half - from over 44 days to just over 17 days - when comparing those who received a video consultation to a similar group from the year prior, before this service was available.

Video Pre-Op Assessment Team

This project is part of wider plan to collaborate with local hospitals for the entire thoracic surgery pathway, ensuring patients who require an operation get rapid access to specialist surgery whilst minimising unnecessary trips to hospital.

The team submitted this service as an entry for the Health Service Journal's (HSJ) Value in Healthcare Awards and are now finalists in the Acute Service Redesign category.

Alistair Johnstone, a consultant anaesthetist involved in this project, said:

"We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award and look forward to the ceremony on 24th May.

"Patients have told us how pleased they are with the video assessments, saving them a journey while still delivering the same quality of care.

"We have had amazing support from specialist nursing staff at North Bristol NHS Trust and this is a great example of how collaborative working between NHS Trusts can improve patient care. We hope to be able to expand this service in the future."