04 October 2021 (Last updated: 14 Oct 2021 10:30)
The BSSH Trauma day on Wednesday 8 September, “Riding the wave; putting patients at the centre of post-Covid hand trauma care” was the first face to face conference day for many since the pandemic began. The day was opened with the Trauma Committee Chairwoman, Sarah Tucker, discussing the impact of disruptions such as Covid on innovation which led into roundtable discussions about the opportunities the pandemic had presented for shaking up the delivery of hand trauma care. An example of this is the HandsFirst Quality Improvement Project with the Royal College of Surgeons which seeks to reduce delays in hand trauma surgery and we were updated on its progress. Continuing the innovation theme we learnt about the BSSH Hand Trauma Triage App and online referral system in Oxford and the advantages of virtual hand trauma clinics. Moving on to face to face clinics we heard about the importance of pathways to keep patient numbers manageable. These topics were explored further in roundtable discussions.
In the afternoon we explored the role of networks, specifically what they are, the hand therapy network, the Veterans’ network and finally the National Hand Trauma Network. We were then introduced to the concept of the relative flexion splint in flexor tendon surgery which could allow a far less cumbersome rehabilitation for patients. Finally, Matt Gardiner closed the day with an overview of the outcomes from the RSTN Covid hand surgery research.
On a warm day in early September I attended the BSSH/BAHT hand trauma symposium, held within the faded grandeur of the University of Oxford Examination Schools.
The theme of the day was “riding the wave; putting patients at the centre of post-COVID hand trauma care”, with the focus on harnessing the ‘positive impact of (COVID) disruption’ to drive forward hand trauma service innovation.
The RCS ‘HandsFirst’ quality improvement project offers the opportunity for collaborative innovation on a national scale, but those who are already innovating on a more local scale also shared their experiences. The range of innovation was impressive and included clinic process/pathway redesigns, virtual hand trauma clinics and the use of digital technology to deliver effective ‘remote’ hand therapy to trauma patients.
The combined surgeon and hand therapist audience provided a broad range of perspectives during the discussion sessions (and stimulating conversation over lunch!). It was also refreshing to participate in a ‘corporeal’ event, rather than the less vibrant ‘virtual’ variety.
These could be exciting times for hand trauma service evolution, with scope to improve patient care from initial presentation through to final discharge. But only if we all have the courage to embrace the “positive impact of disruption on innovation”.
Throughout the day there were interactive surveys of the attendees. Here are some of the results:
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