Virtual Fracture Clinic – The Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust patient experience

Marieta Franklin, Nicholas Boyce-Cam

Background: In 2016, NICE called for research comparing Virtual Fracture Clinic (VFC) to the traditional face-to-face fracture clinic model. The Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust serves approximately 300,000 people. In 2014-5 its Fracture clinic saw 5577 new and 7085 follow-up appointments. Our aim was to evaluate the patient reported experience pre- and post- VFC introduction.

Methods: Two surveys were run, Round 1 before VFC was introduced and Round 2 after. In Round 1 a 27-part questionnaire was developed with the hospital’s Patient Experience Team, 60 patients completed this. The business case for a Consultant-led VFC Service was proposed and in October 2017 VFC was introduced. Following this in Round 2 46 patients completed a questionnaire to re-evaluate and close the audit loop of this quality improvement project. Round 2 was conducted 4 months after the introduction of VFC, targeting patients who had experienced VFC management for their initial appointment and who had had subsequent face-to-face review.

Results: Round 1 found that 80% of patients spent between £5-15 on their journey to hospital. 45% were not seen on time, with 10% waiting more than 45 minutes. 43% of patients had to take time out of work to attend appointments. Round 2 analysis found that over 50% of those responding to the question found there were benefits to having a VFC appointment for their 1st appointment. Approximately only a quarter of people would have preferred their VFC appointment to have been a face-to-face one. Nearly 80% of patients rated their overall experience as 8 or more out of 10 and 94% would recommend Leighton’s fracture clinic to friends/ family as compared to 80% in Round 1.

Conclusion: VFC has been well received by patients in this District General Hospital setting.

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