Making staff at #UltimateULHT realise the art of the impossible becoming possible

Problem at ULHT....

- It was not a priority within ICT working plan to enable Video Consultation prior to Covid lockdown. Limited Divisions were interested and ICT support was limited

- Some specialities reluctant to use it at all, were reticent to the idea

- Engagement of staff and understanding benefits was challenging

- I was the fourth project manager to take over this project and specialities were already chosen


- Video Consultation – enabling patient choice, allowing them to be seen, avoidance of white coat syndrome, held in their own home, reduced stress and expense of travel and parking, reduced use of hospital transport

- Staff can see patients and observe non-verbal behaviour to pick up cues

- The public and staff are not as afraid of it as they were before

- Agile Working – ie Medical secretaries now working from home (benefit electronic records/utilising technology to improve patient care)


- Initial project plan went from 12 wks initiation to 10 days; COVID-19 was an enabler

- For every specialty where appropriate they could incorporate video consultation along with face to face appointments to reduce footfall in all Trust sites

- Enabled staff and patients to use technology more in the same way as public are using more Zoom/WhatsApp/Messenger/TikTok to meet virtually


- Working smartly around meetings and producing paperwork as disturbance is minimalised when working from home

- Video consultation – all departments benefitted from having the opportunity to test out the project

- Agile working – given permission to work from home/across site when the need arises and having the flexibility to do so enables production, saves time and reduces stress levels

- In one clinic alone 11 out of 14 patients accepted video consultation


- Lots of meetings can be attended in one day by staff but not felt in terms of impact as there would be no travel time between sites or departments – that’s now been removed

- Dermatology staff member test run that proved so positive she’d encouraged all team and external partnerships involved, ie hand specialist from Derby will do consultation soon

- One consultant enabled a 4-way meeting with patient and their two relatives in Cambridgeshire and Scotland

- Paediatric patients benefit from having appointment at home in collaboration with dietician in Lincolnshire and Professor based in Nottingham – with no travel involved by any party

Resources / team

- Attend anywhere is available until March 2021

- Staff who are using it and their patients want it to stay

- If we can’t fulfil posts for specialist roles, potential to source them from other areas in the country to provide video consultations on an ad-hoc basis. We will be able to source their expertise when needed and there’s no travel required. Could hold a bank contract for 4 hours/per week or month and use their own IT as this system isn’t specific to the Trust

Key learning

- Use of Teams has been very beneficial; task and finish groups can meet weekly now there is no concern about room bookings

- Attendees can raise hand to speak so there is an etiquette

- Staff can meet anywhere

- The ease of use; less problems experienced with Teams than with Video Conference systems previously used in meeting rooms

Tips for others

- Having a hub area as a resource to gather and reflect; working together when moving at pace

  • Acute
  • Campaigns
  • Acute > Clinical Support
  • Campaigns > CV-19
  • Acute > Clinical Support > UltimateULHT
  • #FabChange2020
  • Acute > Clinical Support > Digital inclusion
  • Acute > Training
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