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Transforming outpatient services – Better for patients, better for the environment

In the last year a total of 10,108,993 miles related to the delivery of healthcare, have been avoided by University Hospitals Plymouth changing the way we deliver outpatient appointments.


This figure, equivalent to driving 400 times around the world, has been made possible by transforming the delivery of our services and offering residents more flexibility and convenience in how they receive their care.


As well as offering telephone and video appointments the trust is enabling patients to be more in control of their follow up care through the implementation of Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU) pathways. PIFU pathways give patients and their carers the flexibility to arrange their follow-up appointments as and when they need them, based on their symptoms and individual circumstances.


The changes not only improves things for patients, but also helps support the NHS ambition to reach Net Zero - the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere - by 2045.


Andrew Dickinson, Consultant Urologist and Clinical lead for Outpatient Transformation said: “We know that offering remote appointments is much more convenient for our patients as it means they don’t need to travel or take time away from work or other responsibilities. Additionally with the current cost of living pressures, these changes mean patients are able to save money through not needing to travel.


“New initiatives and digital solutions help us to deliver the same care, in a different way – ensuring services continue to meet the needs of all our patients in a way acceptable to them but also allowing us all to reduce our carbon footprint and doing our bit for a sustainable greener future.”


Transforming care in this way is a key commitment set out in the NHS Long Term Plan and plays a significant role in supporting the recovery of hospital services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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