A game-changing virtual clinic run by East Surrey Hospital in Redhill has prevented over 12,900 hospital trips since 2020, after a new digital platform revolutionised the delivery of orthopaedic trauma care.

The platform, which improved patient outcomes and experiences, transformed access to referrals and test results such as X-rays to help orthopaedic specialists give patients quicker, real-time updates on their treatment plans.

Alongside boosting patient care, the digitised orthopaedic clinic has also reduced hospital CO2 emissions by 118,906kg - the equivalent of a round trip to the moon – and reduced the hospitals paper carbon footprint by 474kg of CO2.

Last month the clinic won its trust - Surrey and Sussex Healthcare - an award at the Integrated Health Awards 2023 for Best Green NHS Initiative of the Year, with it also scooping up a prize in the 2023 Health Tech Digital Awards for Best COVID-19 Solution for Community Care award in April.

The Open Medical’s Pathpoint eTrauma and Virtual Fracture Clinic (VFC) ,which make up this new virtual orthopaedic clinic, are just two parts of the Trust’s long term green plans which aim to improve patient outcomes and experiences in an environmentally conscious way.Photos wall.PNG

Mr Murali Bhat, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said:

“The eTrauma and VFC platform is game-changing for us. I am delighted that our work has not only been recognised with this award, but is boosting the experience of thousands of our patients by getting rid of unnecessary journeys to hospital, and giving them quicker, real-time updates on their treatment – all whilst contributing to the NHS’ Net Zero goals.”

Paul Simpson, Deputy chief executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and lead for the SASH green plan, said:

“This is a fantastic achievement and shows the innovation and commitment of our staff to reduce our carbon footprint whilst improving and maintaining outstanding patient care - and I am delighted that they have been recognised for their work. It is a significant contribution to the Trusts’ green plan goals, as well as a powerful demonstration of the positive impact that greener healthcare can make for us all.”

With the NHS’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions accounting for 4.4% of the UK’s total GHG emissions in 2019, there is a recognised need across the sector to reduce its carbon footprint. By 2040 the NHS is aiming to become net-zero.