Offering a remote option to patients is something that I’ve been working towards over the past couple of years in my NHS role. We began rolling this out (for postnatal mums) in the first 3 months of 2020. The early postnatal period can be such a difficult time to put yourself first, get organised and get out of the house. So these mums have really appreciated physiotherapy where they can stay at home. In our survey the average satisfaction rating so far is 9.6/10.
Introducing virtual clinics as an option has been slow in health care settings. This article from The Independent discusses some of the reasons why this has been the case.
We were lucky. Our experience of running the postnatal virtual clinic enabled us to quickly scale up and transition the rest of the service over to remote clinics, when suddenly forced into this by the current covid-19 situation.
I’ve found it really surprising how much can be achieved over the phone, or with video assessment. Whether screening for urgent medical conditions, offering support and advice, or assessing and directing to appropriate individual support. We can’t do everything we could face-to-face, but it is also a great opportunity to support people in self management and becoming the experts in their own condition. Covid-19 has certainly been a force for change in the progress of virtual clinics and the amount of quality video, phone app and You Tube support that’s suddenly accessible.
Although we don’t have access to NHS Attend Anywhere for our private consultations we do have a range of suitable applications including Zoom, FaceTime or Skype, as well as the trusty telephone.