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Video-conferencing technology benefiting patients – video conferencing


Haematology cancer patients across Devon are benefitting from video link up technology between the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital and North Devon District Hospital.


The joint Haematology Service started in 2008 serving the patients of both hospital trusts.  
The clinical team, through the help of investment by the North Devon Cancer Care Centre Trust (founded by the Bonetta family), are now able to communicate with patients on both hospital sites regardless of where staff are based for the day.


As part of the clinical network arrangement, the haematology consultants are on site at NDDH one day a week which means that North Devon patients do not have to travel to Exeter for their appointment. Now, with the video link up technology, more patients will be able to be seen by their consultant no matter where either the patient lives or the consultant is working.

The patient is always accompanied by a nurse specialist or doctor during the link up for additional support. The video-link provides an opportunity for a face to face consultation to discuss clinical reviews, treatment plans and any worries or concerns the patient may have.

Consultant Haematologists Dr Jason Coppell and Dr Tony Todd had the idea for this departmental link-up, after using the internet at home to videoconference with family and friends across the world.


The link has helped to significantly cut down travelling and courier times for patients and staff and has helped to make the service more flexible in terms of meeting times and patients’ consultation times.  


It has allowed more North Devon based team members to attend more educational sessions which are largely based at the RD&E.


The link is also being used for weekly educational meetings for the whole department, training for lab and junior medical staff and opportunities to share and present journal articles to help improve knowledge and practice.


The technology is a high quality video link up across the internet set up specifically for the joint haematology service. It is linked via a secure internet facility which is part of a NHS Connecting for Health initiative.

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