SOUTHEND Hospital is considering plans to improve the way outpatient appointments are dealt with.

The hospital is holding a public consultation on plans to allow outpatients to have an appointment without having to attend hospital.

It is asking residents for thoughts on this from Monday June 3 until Friday June 7.

Patients attending outpatient clinics at the hospital, or one of its satellite clinics across Essex, will be asked how they think consultant appointments could work better in the future, whether that be more telephone consultations or video appointments using apps like Skype.

The short, five question survey will be offered whilst patients are waiting for their appointment by hospital volunteers, who will be asking people to answer the iPad survey. Answers will be completely anonymous.

Clare Burns, director of operations for Planned and Scheduled Care at the Trust, said: “It’s an exciting opportunity to be a part of shaping how these positive outpatient appointment changes could take place at Southend. They could mean less of a struggle for public transport, road congestion or parking, or not having to book time off work or having to ask a friend or relative to take you to your appointment. You could have the same consultant service ‘in’ your own home. Such developments would save both patients and staff time and money, making it a much more effective and efficient service.”