Orthopaedics get many referrals for conditions where active treatment or surgery is unlikely to be needed
Examples include early knee arthritis, tennis elbow, bunions and wrist ganglions.
Most of these patients get simple information and discharged at their first appointment.
Some people do not attend the appointment, having not desired a referral when they saw their GP.
A pilot project is now underway at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. We respond to these referrals by providing written information direct to the patient.
A clinical advice line staffed by extended role physiotherapists and podiatrists provides backup. If a patient calls, they get further information and advice. If the patient still wishes a face-to-face appointment, this can be arranged.
This system gives patients written advice and direct access to high quality advice without coming to hospital. In some cases, referral is made to more appropriate teams such as physiotherapy.