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Virtual appointments to cut NHS waiting lists

Image: NHS

Manx Care to spend £1.86 M on thousands of virtual appointments.

The work will be outsourced to private firms in the UK in an effort to reduce hospital waiting lists on the island.

Manx Care said the backlog is currently unacceptable.

The appointments will become available within several departments including pain management, Orthopaedics, respiratory medicine and pain management.

Manx Care said it will mean about 12,500 virtual consultations from September to March next year. 

Manx Care said "Medefer" and "18 Week Support" are medical companies used extensively across the UK NHS.

Manx Care’s CEO, Teresa Cope, commented: “Addressing the long-standing waiting list challenge across our health and care service is a priority for Manx Care. It’s unacceptable that people are having to wait as long as they are for consultations and treatment. Utilising the services of Medefer and 18-Week Support will allow us to focus on reducing our waiting lists across nine clinical specialisms whilst implementing the changes we need to deliver that will allow us to provide a long-term, sustainable service here on-Island.   

“The Covid-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the pressure on waiting lists over the last 17 months, and the delivery of health and social care services more broadly. Like the UK NHS, which is investing over £5 billion into the recovery of health and care services following the pandemic, Manx Care has secured funding to address a significant proportion of our waiting list backlog which will be targeted at those who have been waiting the longest time for their outpatient appointment or procedure.”

More about the companies involved

18 Week Support utilises a hospital’s surplus theatre capacity to deliver surgical procedures across a weekend period, and provides this service across a large number of UK NHS Trusts. A full clinical team from the company – including Consultants, Surgeons, Nurses and Theatre Practitioners – will travel to the Island to deliver around 2,500 Endoscopy and Cataract procedures at Noble’s.   

Medefer provides a virtual outpatient service to NHS Trusts across the UK, employing a large number of medical Consultants with experience across a broad range of clinical specialisms. They’ll work with Consultants at Noble’s Hospital to identify patients who have been waiting the longest for a specialist appointment, and who are eligible for their medical consultation to be delivered virtually. These patients will then be referred to Medefer.

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