The Virtual Fracture Clinic (VFC) is a new service designed to speed up patient access to orthopaedic care at our hospitals. Patients attending A&E at either Maidstone or Tunbridge Wells hospitals, or a minor injury unit, are referred to our VFC.
Patients do not have a face to face appointment. One of our orthopaedic consultants and an Extended Scope Physiotherapist look at the referral and X-Rays on the next working day and decide the management of the condition. Management may include:
- Patients may need a proper fracture clinic appointment where they can be booked to be reviewed by an Orthopaedic specialist.
- Patient may be discharged with a home management and treatment plan.
- Patient may need a plaster room appointment.
In all three cases the patient will be telephoned by a senior physiotherapist and told the outcome of the Virtual Fracture Clinic. If an appointment is needed this will be sent in the post or given to the patient over the phone depending on the urgency. If the patient requires a change of support or removal of plaster this will be explained by the physiotherapist and a plaster room appointment arranged, these are not sent in the post as they are usually needed quickly.
If the patient is to be discharged, they will be contacted by a physiotherapist and their treatment plan will be explained. We then email the patient an information sheet relevant to their injury. This saves the patient from an unnecessary trip to the hospital and gives them the ability to manage their own condition as early as possible after their injury.
We also provide a help line via email for further advice if needed and a telephone helpline for those without access to email. The best way to make contact with the VFC team is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org If you have a clinical question, or are concerned about your injury you can call the VFC mobile, this is manned by the VFC admin team who will take a message and pass it onto a physiotherapist who will then call you back : 01892 638450
If you have to change your appointment please be aware that you will probably have been booked in to have an appointment with an Orthopaedic Consultant who is a specialist in your kind of injury and sometimes these clinics are not necessarily the closest to your home address. Appointments can be changed if absolutely necessary by calling 01892 638132. Please do not use the mobile number or appointment line for general enquiries.
A copy of our standard patient letter, which contains contact details and information about referral, can be downloaded here.
Our range of patient information leaflets providing advice and guidance about fractures and injuries are available here.