Children and young people with broken bones will no longer need to come back to hospital as often in Brighton after the start of a new virtual fracture clinic.
The clinic, at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, will reduce the need for follow-up appointments at outpatient clinics.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, the NHS trust that runs the Royal Alex, said: “Young patients will benefit from fewer hospital visits and shorter waiting times thanks to the introduction of a new Virtual Fracture Clinic at Brighton’s Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.
“The launch of the virtual clinic means there is no longer a need for hundreds of children a year to attend outpatient clinics.
“Each child’s x-ray is now assessed within 24 hours by a consultant and physiotherapist and parents are then phoned with a treatment plan and supported to manage their child’s recovery at home.
“By assessing patients this way, the paediatricians and physiotherapists can ensure each child gets the best treatment as quickly as possible.
“It also means young patients and their families don’t have to take time off school or work to return to the hospital.
“The Fracture Clinic at the Alex is one of the hospital’s busiest clinics – treating up to 5,000 children a year.
“The launch of the new Virtual Fracture Clinic also frees up time for the teams to see those patients who do need a face to face appointment.”
Consultant paediatrician Tom Crompton is the Virtual Fracture Clinic lead. Dr Crompton said: “I am delighted to get the children’s virtual clinic running with support from Rockinghorse charity.
“This is a huge improvement for the families of Sussex and beyond. Thousands of children could benefit, avoiding a day off school and time off work for parents.
“The virtual clinic also enables parents to avoid the expense and inconvenience of travel and parking to attend an appointment in person.”
The opening of the virtual fracture clinic at the Royal Alex follows the successful launch of the adult’s Virtual Fracture Clinic in 2016 at the Royal Sussex County Hospital which has handled 12,000 referrals in its first three years.