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Sunday, 19 November 2017
Oral Clinic automated follow-up service launch
Telephone service to reduce unnecessary visits
01 November 2016

Patients receiving care from our Oral team will be saved unnecessary return trips into clinic thanks to a new automated telephone system.

The automated follow-up service offers patients a new way to tell doctors and nurses how they are feeling and whether they need any follow-up treatment or support. It will see suitable patients offered the chance to answer questions via a phone call or smart phone survey to help the hospital monitor their wellbeing.

Patients who no longer need medical care will be discharged, while anyone who still needs treatment will be followed up.

Ipswich is among several hospitals from across the country to take part in the pilot, which has been funded by the Government following a successful feasibility study at the Royal Free Hospital in London. It will last for five months.

Its aim is to help monitor the improvements made by patients more effectively, in turn reducing the need for them to return for follow-ups unnecessarily while keeping appointment slots free for those in greater need.

Moira Welham, transformation lead at the hospital, said: “We are really pleased to be taking part in this pilot, which will make it quicker and easier for patients to tell us how they are getting on while reducing the need for them to come back to hospital.

“The automated service is not replacing physical follow-ups, but comes in addition to the services we already offer. The service will ask patients questions which have been developed by our consultants, with their answers used to decide the most appropriate follow-up pathway for them.

“The system has received excellent feedback elsewhere, with patients finding it easy to use and saying it was a great idea. We hope that those findings will be replicated in Ipswich and will help to further improve the experience our patients have when accessing care.

“We would encourage any of our oral patients who are interested in the system to ask their doctor or nurse for more information when they next come into hospital.”

The system will initially be trialled in the Oral department, and rolled out more widely if the pilot is a success. Patients will need to opt into the service during their initial appointment, and are also able to opt out at any time.

For more information read our leaflet.