Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has implemented online consultation software in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Healthcare Communications’ E-clinic software allows patients to see their clinicians via online consultations, from their own homes, meaning that regular health checks and medical reporting can continue even if patients or healthcare professionals are self-isolating.

The trust has 40 clinicians set up to use the system.

Dr Muhammad Javed, consultant paediatrician and CCIO at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust said the e-clinics system has made a difference in outpatient care during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added: “We have always felt that a significant number of our patients do not actually need to come to the clinic. During the current pandemic, having a service like e-clinics has become a necessity.

“The clinicians are able to tailor the consultation to patient’s needs which has resulted in improved clinician satisfaction and hopefully will result in improved patient satisfaction as well.

“The clinicians feel that the ability to provide clear instructions to the patient by in-consultation text chat and transferring information leaflets using the file transfer facility has made this mode of consultation safer. The ability to share the screen to show the patients their x-rays etc has also proved to be invaluable.”

The whole PAS clinic list is automatically replicated on the e-clinic platform with patient demographics and contact details. All the clinician needs to do is click a button to be virtually face-to-face with the next patient.

Technology and IT systems have seen a surge in demand since the outbreak of coronavirus. The most notable increase in use was recorded for Microsoft Teams, the NHS App and NHS 111 online.

Healthcare Communications, which provides patient communication services, is offering its eClinic software to health and care teams worldwide, for free, for a whole year in response to coronavirus.

Kenny Bloxham, managing director at Healthcare Communications, said: “The solution is clinician led, so patients don’t spend lengthy periods in ‘virtual’ waiting rooms and clinicians can immediately connect with their patient. It can be rolled out at scale across hospitals and GPs within days and is a sustainable way to redesign the patient pathway for the future.”

Any trusts interested in the free e-clinic software from Healthcare Communications can email Covid19@healthcomm.uk.