Pioneering project for patients at Hornchurch hospital

PATIENTS in Havering with severe mobility problems will be helped by a pioneering project which allows them to have live on-line consultations with specialists at a London hospital.

Consultations are held via ‘video clinics’, which link patients and their specialist physiotherapists at St George’s Hospital, in SUtton’s Lnae, Hornchurch, with clinical experts at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in central London.

The innovation, called Neuroview, was developed by a nurse consultant at the neurology hospital.

Last year, St George’s Hospital was invited to take part in the pilot project and asked to identify a number of patients who could benefit from video consultations.

Kirsten Nutman, clinical specialist physiotherapist at St George’s, said: “Neuroview is ideal for some of our patients with spasticity problems, which are muscle spasms caused by damage to the brain due to conditions like multiple sclerosis.

“People who have mobility problems suffer with discomfort and pain which affect their quality of life. These patients might have to wait a long time to see a consultant, and have to travel a long way to a specialist centre. For them, a long journey is particularly difficult and exhausting, and some patients say they take so long to recover from the travelling they would rather not go.”

She added: “As well as it being easier for Havering patients to attend St George’s, it means that I can be present at the consultation, discuss their condition with the specialist team, and immediately start any plan of action without having to wait for documents and letters.”

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Last week one of the live video clinics, attended by Havering patient Dean Wilcox, was filmed simultaneously by two BBC crews at St George’s and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. The item is being broadcast later this month.