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POC30 Telemedicine—a useful tool to link people with complex disabilities to specialist neurological services
  1. V Stevenson,
  2. E Keenan,
  3. K Nutman,
  4. M Koch
  1. National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to val.stevenson{at}uclh.nhs.uk

Abstract

People with complex neurological disorders often benefit from a specialist multidisciplinary team approach; however access can be logistically difficult. We run a spasticity management service offering all aspects of treatment including intrathecal baclofen and phenol. Recognising the problem faced by patients living in rural communities, we tried a video linked clinic.

How Referrals were approved by GP's and treating neurologists. The patients gave informed consent and attended their local community hospital with family/carers, they were joined by their community physiotherapist who was involved in the consultation and was able to demonstrate aspects of examination. At the neurological centre a Consultant Neurologist, specialist nurse and physiotherapist were present. All patients and clinicians were interviewed afterwards by an independent health research team.

Findings Feedback was extremely positive.

Patients A “local” service with less travel. Having both groups of clinicians present made patients feel more involved in decisions about their care. They felt at ease asking questions.

Clinicians Shorter/faster care pathway; enhanced communication; seamless, patient-centred care planning.

Conclusions Patients with complex disability require comprehensive assessment and care management. Creating a local, seamless and patient-centred service for this patient group is both challenging and exciting; using a telemedicine approach seems both feasible and effective.

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