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Cardiff and Vale UHB tops 10,000 video consultations

The use of video consultations is accelerating at Cardiff and Vale UHB (credit – Cardiff and Vale University Health Board)

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has conducted more than 10,000 video appointments since it rolled out the NHS Wales Video Consultation service in April.

The popular service enables patients to attend their hospital appointment from the comfort of their own home or without having to leave work.

It has given thousands of patients the option of safely continuing to see their clinician face-to-face throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to giving patients more flexibility in how they attend their appointment, the service is helping to minimise traffic and improve parking at Health Board sites, reduce levels of pollution locally, and facilitate social distancing in hospitals.

The Health Board estimates that the new service has already prevented more than 100,000 miles of travel to and from hospital appointments, equivalent to approximately four trips around the globe. It adds up to more than four tonnes of CO2 emissions having been avoided.

With use of the service rapidly accelerating, its impact is expected to escalate in the coming months. Cardiff and Vale UHB held 861 consultations in the first week of November, compared to 546 and 339 in the first weeks of October and September respectively.

Allan Wardaugh, Chief Clinical Information Officer at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: “We are pleased with the early success of the video consultation service, and recognise its great potential.

“As we pass this significant milestone of 10,000 consultations, I would like to thank the staff and patients who have embraced and driven the service forward.

“It has given patients greater flexibility in how they attend their appointment, helping facilitate social distancing through reducing the numbers of people on site and minimise travel, with positive environmental benefits for patients and staff.

“The service is delivering a wide range of benefits that are significant, far-reaching and continuing to grow. It is something we had planned to do as part of enabling care closer to home so will look to continue and develop the service beyond the pandemic.

“While we acknowledge that video consultations aren’t always the right option, they provide a service that values our patients’ time and offers a safe and practical alternative to a face to face appointment.”