HEALTH: Nearly half of virtual A&E patients successfully treated remotely 

97% patient approval rating

Nearly half (40%) of all patients to NHSGGC’s virtual A&E service are now fully discharged entirely remotely thanks to a team of highly trained A&E care practitioners delivering urgent care over video and telephone.

Launched in December 2020, the service sees upwards of 2000 patients per month suffering from a vast range of injuries and ailments.

A new survey* which offers virtual A&E patients the opportunity to feedback on their experience reveals of 1077 patients who have responded so far, that 431 were fully discharged through the virtual service with no ongoing care required. The survey also reveals overwhelmingly positive feedback for the service, with 1050 patients indicating they’d use the service again (97%).

Accessible via NHS24 on 111, the NHSGGC led service is specifically designed for patients who would otherwise have gone to a physical A&E. The digital-first approach allows experts to assess and provide health advice to patients remotely, in many cases helping them avoid a trip to hospital altogether. The team at the virtual A&E can also schedule Minor Injury Unit appointments, meaning if a patient does need to be seen in person, they can avoid sitting in a waiting room for any long period of time. Patients can also be referred to a more appropriate service for their needs such as a pharmacy or GP.

Ed Pool, who leads the Flow Navigation Centre (virtual A&E), said: “The FNC plays a vital role in helping our patients get urgent care in the easiest and quickest way possible.

“Wait times are far less than physical A&E and patients find the service helpful – which is reflected by the extremely high satisfaction rates measures across all patient demographics.”

Dr Scott Davidson deputy medical director for acute services across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, added: “Virtual care has come into a league of its own since the pandemic started. Our virtual A&E is becoming truly embedded as a means of providing urgent and unscheduled care provision to our patients and is quickly becoming a recognised front door to A&E services. We expect the service to continue on an upwards trajectory as more patients become aware of the benefits.”

You can find out more information about the Virtual A&E service on NHSGGC’s website: Virtual Accident & Emergency (A&E) – NHSGGC

A full list of injuries which the FNC can treat includes:

  • Any limb injuries: shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, ankle, foot
  • Minor head injuries
  • Chest injuries and back injuries
  • Falls
  • Accidental overdoses
  • DVT
  • Cellulitis
  • Foreign bodies in the ear, nose, eyes, under the skin
  • Back pain
  • Gynaecology and early pregnancy problems
  • Burns
  • Wounds
  • Suture (stitches) problems
  • Dressing issues

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