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Virtual Fracture Clinic

Virtual Fracture Clinics have launched for Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) and Westmorland General Hospital (WGH) patients.

The Virtual Fracture Clinic (VFC) is a new service designed to speed up access to orthopaedic trauma care.

Traditionally, patients who visited the RLI Emergency Department with orthopaedic injuries would require multiple hospital visits for face-to-face assessments and treatment.

Now, orthopaedic trauma patients will be referred to the VFC where the fracture clinic team will review cases within 3 days following attendance at the emergency department, with no need for the patient to attend the hospital for an assessment.

Clinicians will look at patient x-rays and medical notes, and an orthopaedic physiotherapist or specialist nurse will telephone to discuss treatment and management. Following the phone call, patients may be discharged by phone or, if further specialist help is required, a referral will be made to the most appropriate clinic.

If any patients are not available on the telephone, a letter will be sent detailing their treatment plan. This letter will also be sent to their GP.

Although this is a new service, it is a well-established and safe way to manage patients with more minor fractures. The Virtual Fracture Clinic model has been used by other Trusts for many years, and is hoped to be introduced at Furness General Hospital soon.

Patients with fractures who are likely to require surgical treatment will still follow the inpatient pathway.

For any queries, please contact the Royal Lancaster Infirmary Virtual Fracture Clinic team on: 01524 591410.

These resources have kindly been provided by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.