Orthopedics receive many referrals for conditions where active treatment or surgery is unlikely to be desired or required.
In these cases, the majority of patients are provided with simple information and discharged at their first appointment.
A number did not attend the appointment, having not actually desired a referral when they first consulted their GP.
These conditions include early knee arthritis, tennis elbow, hallux valgus (bunions) and wrist ganglions.
A pilot project is now underway at Glasgow Royal Infirmary to respond to these GP referrals by providing written information directly to the patient.
This is backed up by a clinical advice line that is staffed by extended role physiotherapists and podiatrists. If a patient calls, further information and advice will be provided. If the patient still wishes a face-to-face appointment, this can be arranged.
This system provides patients with both written advice and direct access to high-quality advice without needing to attend hospital. In some cases, referral can be made to more appropriate teams such as physiotherapy.