Traditionally, all patients with fractures would receive an appointment at the next day’s fracture clinic, regardless of nature of the injury or the treatment needed.
This has been transformed to a system where the injury and x-rays are reviewed by a consultant and nurse in a “Virtual Fracture Clinic” and the patient is then telephoned with a management plan. This means that patients only need to come to hospital if and when needed.
It reduces unnecessary medicalisation of simple injuries and improves access to specialty care when it is most needed.
At the same time, the Emergency Department has been empowered to manage the most simple and straightforward injuries without the need for referral to orthopaedics at all.
The system’s success has been recognised by numerous awards and widespread acceptance and implementation. The unit has been supported closely by the Scottish Government Whole System Patient Flow Programme to audit the results and help spread the techniques to other units.