Kidney ‘e-clinic’ at Royal London gets award for cutting waiting times

On screen... how kidney specialists at the Royal London Hospital analyse patients' treatment. Pictur

On screen... how kidney specialists at the Royal London Hospital analyse patients' treatment. Picture: Barts NHS Health Trust - Credit: Barts NHS Trust

An east London kidney service that has slashed hospital waiting times in Whitechapel for people with chronic disease has been awarded £75,000.

Kidney experts at the Royal London Hospital’s ‘virtual e-clinic’ view GP patient records and give instant advice to surgeries about the next steps to take for treatment, which has reduced by a third the number of patients needing to see a specialist face-to-face and has saved the NHS £30,000.

“We access all medical investigations so we can give advice and avoid unnecessary test duplications,” consultant renal physician Neil Ashman explained.

“A GP 20 years ago would have phoned a consultant and asked for advice. The e-clinic restores this immediacy.”

The service set up by Queen Mary University with Barts Health NHS Trust which runs the Royal London has been chosen by the Health Foundation as one of 21 health care projects to share its £1.5 million health care improvement programme.


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Queen Mary University’s head of ‘clinical effectiveness’ research, Sally Hull, said: “The e-clinic project is a chance to test ways of improving identification of chronic kidney disease.”

Patients who still need hospital care now wait just one week for specialist assessment, compared to three months previously.

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The speeded up specialist advice following routine blood tests automatically triggers alerts to GPs about patients most at risk of kidney disease.

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