Throughout the pandemic, the Trust has had to adapt very quickly to offer safe alternative ways for patients to continue to receive their care, without the need to come into hospital.
As a result, there has been a significant rise in the use of virtual patient appointments and remote consultations using telephone and video.
Thousands of planned outpatient appointments, which historically have been mainly held in hospital settings, have now been successfully held over the telephone or by using remote video consultations.
Since the start of the pandemic this had helped the local NHS with the ongoing response to COVID-19 by dramatically reducing the number of people needing to come into hospital and thereby reducing the risk of infection. It has also allowed patients to access a range of services from the comfort of their own home.
The local NHS is now keen to hear about peoples’ experiences of accessing these virtual hospital appointments. This will help the Trust understand both the benefits and challenges people may have experienced in order to continue to improve the way virtual appointments are delivered in the future.
Laura Bond, Head of Outpatients and Clinical Administration at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The speed at which we have had to adapt in light of this global pandemic has been simply incredible and COVID-19 has really accelerated the adoption of a ‘digital front door’ for patients.
“It is important, however, that we now take stock to understand from our patients what their experience of virtual appointments has been like so that we can continue to improve and overcome any challenges they may have encountered.
“If you have had a virtual appointment with the Trust over recent months we would love to hear from you and encourage you to complete our online survey. Your feedback is incredibly important and will help us to continue to make improvements to our services.”
To access the online survey, which closes on 11 September, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/virtualpublicsurvey. All feedback will be treated in strictest confidence and does require any personal information.