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Research and Projects


Who is involved?

Theme: CLAHRC - Person-Centred Care
Status: Complete


Follow-up appointments are routine for many patients, treated for a variety of conditions.  Currently there is often a delay in holding these appointments due to pressure of clinical resources; something that is likely to be increasingly relevant with changes to the NHS.  The South West Strategic Health Authority’s initiative for improving healthcare in the Southwest (2008/9 to 2010/11) states that many follow-up appointments with out-patients are unnecessary.  Patients who have had routine surgery, or those suffering with long-term conditions, such as thyroid disease or asthma, may benefit from telephone follow-up appointments.

Best practice is described as having a ‘no wait’ culture where all stages of care are delivered in a timeframe suitable for the needs of the patient, as opposed to at the convenience of the hospital or health organisation.  In some cases, it may be that telephone appointments are suitable and preferable.  Telephone appointments decrease waiting time and travel costs for patients, as well as being a cost effective means of reducing delays to follow-up appointments.

Project aims

The aims of the telephone consultation project are to:

  • Establish a telephone consultation clinic for patients with thyroid disease
  • Discuss symptoms and blood results via telephone consultation rather than face-to-face
  • Take questions and offer advice via telephone

The clinic will generate patient feedback, allowing us to measure patient satisfaction and to look into complications and achievements.

We will publish the results of our study in a Systematic Review and also as Literature Publications.

Anticipated impacts

We hope to:

  • Reduce the number of unnecessary follow-up appointments
  • Improve patient satisfaction by decreasing waiting time and offering consultations that will be more convenient to them
  • Improve cost-effectiveness

Others Involved

Dr Bijay Vaidya, Dr Jo Thompson-Coon, Dr Obioha Ukoumunne