REmote Follow-up consultations: Lessons and Experiences during Covid-19 Time In ONcology Services (REFLECTIONS)
Chief Investigator: Dr Susan Catt
Co Investigator: Prof Valerie Jenkins
Clinical Co Investigators: Dr Richard Simcock, Dr Leroy Okonta
Data Manager: Shirley May
A systematic review concluded there was evidence to suggest video consultation is both feasible and effective for use in the clinical care of oncology patients. Despite such positive findings, limited application of remote consultations in NHS patient practice was in evidence. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it the need for social distancing and ushered in rapid universal changes to NHS consultation practices. The routine of face-to-face consultations between doctors and their patients has altered, with new models of care being adopted, including in the cancer setting.
The REFLECTIONS service evaluation will describe & explore the experiences of doctors and patients of having to change from the usual routine of face-to-face meetings, to either telephone or video consultations.
SHORE-C researchers will interview consultant oncologists (approx. n=12) and a sample of patients (n=24) treated through the Sussex Cancer Centre. The work is being conducted over a 6-month period. It has ethical approval, opened to recruitment on 05/10/20, and the first few patients approached have expressed interest in participating.
The evaluation aims to highlight the benefits and challenges of remote consultations from the perspectives of oncologists and patients. Its findings will be used to identify areas that could be improved and positive elements that may be capitalised on to ensure consultations in the future get maximum benefit from alternative ways of working.