Trust recruiting ‘cyber nurse’ to continue virtual clinics beyond Covid-19

A hospital trust is introducing a permanent “cyber nurse” role to its hepatology department to maintain a virtual offer for liver patients beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust said the move was part of its drive to lower its impact on the environment and would benefit patients living in rural areas with limited transport options.

“We very much support this new way of working and intend to champion this as much as possible in the future”

Roz Davies

The role is a first of its kind for the trust. Once recruited, the virtual clinical nurse specialist, also known as a cyber nurse, will work from home delivering online video consultations for the liver population of Cornwall.

The band 7 nurse may also be involved in teaching and training within the clinical environment, according to the job advertisement.

Hepatology nurse consultant Liz Farrington explained how there were “a lot of remote, rural communities” in Cornwall that sometimes struggled to access public transport.

“This new role within the hepatology department, that will allow one-to-one clinics to be conducted remotely, will hopefully remove some of the barriers that might exist for people accessing important services, both during lockdown and beyond,” she said.

Ms Farrington added: “While embracing our new way of virtual working, there really is no reason why we can’t deliver clinics by someone working from home in Cornwall or indeed further afield.

“Not only is this a firm step towards improving our environment, it will also help us to increase access to specialist liver services for our most vulnerable patient population.”

Roz Davies, care group manager and sustainability lead, explained how the trust was “always looking at different ways of working to become more sustainable” and that it was aiming to become carbon net zero by 2030.

“We very much support this new way of working and intend to champion this as much as possible in the future,” added Ms Davies.

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