The Chesterfield Royal Hospital will be bringing in a new system for referrals to fracture clinic from A&E starting today.
The new Triage Fracture Clinic will see all patients attending with suspected fractures given a triage appointment but, in a change from the current process, will be contacted directly by the outpatient department on the next working day to confirm whether they will in fact need to attend.
Trauma care has seen a 5% growth year on year, and currently 30 or 40 suspected fracture patients a day are seen in A&E – with around 50% of them proving not to be a break.
To help reduce the number of people coming to Fracture Clinic for follow up appointments unnecessarily, X-rays will now be reviewed on the next working day by an Orthopaedic consultant and the patient will instead then be referred on – to a more suitable clinic, their GP, or discharged by telephone in the first instance, with a follow up letter arriving soon after.
Records show that, currently, a patient with a fracture can take up to 3 days to secure an appointment due to clinic capacity.
The new system will not only reduce waiting times for fracture clinic appointments , but will mean that patients have better access to more effective treatments , quicker. It will also reduce expense, and the use of imaging.
Matthew Morris, Orthopaedic consultant, commented:” We are always looking to make the patient experience better here at The Royal Hospital, and we believe that this new way of working will alleviate some of the stress and anxiety for patients who would normally have to make another unnecessary journey to hospital.
“All X-rays will be thoroughly checked by a consultant before any decisions are made so no one need fear that they will be walking around with an undiagnosed fracture and if there is any doubt, the patient will be asked to attend clinic on the next day. It will mean that patients are treated more effectively, and in the right environment from the beginning, with less appointment time and more streamlined care.