King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is undergoing a large-scale transformation to “create an ecosystem of technology solutions” for outpatient appointments, its site chief executive has said.

The programme aims to improve outpatient care across the trusts seven sites.

Jonathan Lofthouse, site chief executive at Princess Royal University Hospital, said the trust is “seeking to re-imagine how care can be provided moving forward”.

He said the programme would be crucial to help the trust deliver “rich, dynamic and high-quality outpatient services in a socially distanced format”.

Executive directors across the trust have created a 12-point System Health Improvement Plan for improvement across outpatient services.

A phased approach to the introduction of a virtual clinic platform provided by Intouch with Health and Healthcare Communications is underway, with full integration key to managing video consultations across the trust’s sites.

“We need to provide patients with the opportunity for extremely high-quality video consultations, but we also need to make it very easy for a clinician to administer that process,” Lofthouse said.

“We have already launched phase one which is video consultations with patients, and phase two will see us deploy the fully PAS-integrated virtual clinics platform so that each clinician can manage video and face-to-face patient consultations from one place, regardless of where they are located across the hospital group.

“Going forward, virtual clinics will help reduce the requirement for patients to attend hospital for their consultation, in turn giving them much greater convenience over their appointments while improving their overall experience and maintaining open lines of communication with their clinician.”

The trust will also introduce Intouch with Health’s iReceptionist solution and use self-service kiosks to connect visiting patients across its four hospitals to a centralised reception team via video call.

The providers pre-operative assessment solution, Synopsis, will also be deployed to better manage elective procedures.

“Technology allowing us to assess patients for pre-operative care who, ultimately, might not have their operations at King’s, will support our drive on infection control and social distancing objectives for our patients,” Lofthouse added.