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Barts Health selected by charity to expand online appointments

Barts Health NHS Trust has been selected by the charity Health Foundation to take part in a programme to share advice across the NHS, following the successful deployment of online patient appointments.

The Scaling Up Improvement programme has selected seven projects in the UK to help deploy their health care interventions at a larger scale and to improve patient outcomes.

Barts Health hopes to expand its online appointments across its five hospitals and work with local and national partners such as commissioners, NHS England, NHS Digital and Microsoft to increase the update of online consultations.

The Trust’s work will be evaluated by academic leads at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Science at the University of Oxford.

The £3.5 million programme will run for two and a half years. Barts Health will receive £471,000 to help expand its online appointments.

Dr Shanti Vijayaraghavan, diabetes and endocrinology consultant at Barts Health NHS Trust said: “I am delighted that we have received this award from The Health Foundation. We have pioneered the use of online consultations locally and this has shown to increase patient attendance rates, improve outcomes and provide more patient-centred care. We now propose to create a virtual consultation unit within Barts Health and form a national network of sites working together to learn about using outpatient video consultations and develop standardised national level policy for the practice.”

Sarah Henderson, associate director from the Health Foundation said: “We are very excited to support seven outstanding project teams who have been selected because of their expertise in scaling complex improvement projects, and their ambition to achieve impact by improving care for patients. Working together, as part of the Scaling Up programme, we aim to make sustained improvements to health care by testing out proven interventions at a scale. We hope to see the interventions being widely adopted across the UK.”