Evaluation of type/location of clinic appointments in Older Persons Services Parkinson Disease patients in rural East Suffolk
East Suffolk is a large area with the county town of Ipswich being the location of the hospital where our frail patients with a degenerative neurological condition have to come for their 30 minute outpatient appointment. Many had complained about long journey, difficulty parking and difficulty navigating the hospital site.
Our project aimed to improve patient experience. We set about mapping where our cohort of patients with Parkinson’s disease lived and their proximity to Ipswich Hospital. We identified 147 patients in rural areas who may be better served avoiding a long trip to a large hospital with difficult parking and either being seen at a smaller satellite clinic closer to their home (specifically in the smaller towns of Stowmarket, Felixstowe and Aldeburgh) or having their consultation conducted by telephone/video consultation. We surveyed these 147 patients as to their preference and 71% preferred to be seen face to face at a satellite clinic, 22% had a preference of coming to Ipswich Hospital, 7% preferred telephone consultation and 0 patients wanted video consultation.
Following these results we set up the satellite clinics in these locations (as well as continuing to see patients local to Ipswich Hospital at Ipswich Hospital) and have a named consultant for each location. Anecdotally there has been vastly improved patient satisfaction and after the satellite clinic has been up and running for a prolonged period of time we plan to re-survey to assess their satisfaction. Interestingly amidst the drive for video/telephone consultation in the NHS this is not something that was preferred by our cohort of patients.
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'The things you can't get from the books'
Parkinson's Academy, our original and longest running Academy, houses 20 years of inspirational projects, resources, and evidence for improving outcomes for people with Parkinson's. Led by co-founder and educational director Dr Peter Fletcher, the Academy has a truly collegiate feel and prides itself on delivering 'the things you can't get from books' - a practical learning model which inspires all Neurology Academy courses.