How can I support safe remote consultation approaches?
Organisations should implement governance, policy, and standards with a safety focus:
- Governance, policy and standards should be developed using staff feedback and public and patient engagement. There should be a continuous focus on evaluation and service improvement.
- Explore the clinical safety of any platforms and/or devices and the environments being used to deliver clinical services.
- The NHS Futures platform has an example of a standard operating procedure template (you need to be signed in to view this – anyone working in health or social care can register, and you do not need an NHS email to do so).
- Stafford University has created guidelines around developing remote consultation services including advice on governance, standard operating procedure and staff training needs. Find out more about the guidelines.
Governance should ensure that systems are interoperable to support the effective sharing of information:
- Data should be able to flow safely, appropriately and efficiently between systems used to deliver clinical services.
- Ensure systems and processes are set up to support the collection and evaluation of safety data. Data should include: safety issues and adverse events; and monitoring the safety of hybrid models of service delivery.
- Read the CSP's further information on system interoperability.
- The workforce should be able to explain and apply governance, policy and standard operating procedures to patients as part of shared decision making. Feed back to line managers and the wider organisation if these are not meeting the needs of your patients or if the service is not correctly resourced.
Understand the principles already available.
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) defines high-level principles that define how registrants should act to prevent harm and safeguard their patients with a focus on remote consultation:
- Understand the principles and compare them to your practice.
- Can you identify any improvements or changes that you could make?
- Does the data you are collecting show that the use of remote consultation is safe and meeting the needs of your patients?
- Is there any additional information that would help show how your service works or evidence any service changes that might be needed.
- How can this information be shared most effectively?