Webinar: How digital triage reduced waiting lists by 50% at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Updated: Jun 1

HBSUK held a webinar in conjunction with Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust to discuss a joint project designed to address the trust’s growing dermatology backlog.

The webinar looked at how Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust implemented Virtual Lucy, a virtual solution to tackle its dermatology backlog, and will explored how digital transformation can free up capacity within the NHS.

See Professor Stephen Smith, Professor Mark Goodfield, Titus Burwell and Lucy Cassidy discuss feedback and learnings from their experience implementing Virtual Lucy within Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

The webinar explored:

  • What led to the implementation of Virtual Lucy

  • How Virtual Lucy supports NHS digital transformation

  • Virtual Lucy pathway walk through: see how the system works

  • How Virtual Lucy reduced the trust backlog by 37%

  • Benefits to patients and sustainability benefits

  • The future potential

  • Q&A session addressing audience questions

Watch the full webinar recording here:



We have summarised and answered all of your questions, some of which

due to the time limit, we didn't get the chance to answer during the webinar

I learnt from a Consultant Dermatologist recently, of a secure national database where you can store images of lesions w/o data protection issues - but can you help with details about this on-line platform?

The only one I know of is Consultant Connect. You have this on your phone, take pictures or upload pictures through it and they are then stored centrally, but can be imported into the patient record. You need the patient’s NHS number to do the import, but the images are stored and are accessible through your login to Consultant Connect. It works pretty well.

- Mark Goodfield

I've just checked on ORCHA Health's App directory and can't find Virtual Lucy. Is it accredited?

Does this use Health-e-Intent data?

Does it take only Dermatoscopic images?

Important to discuss the GP referral letter historically not been routinely accessed but moving forwards will be?

How to ensure the photographs are of a quality that allows for a diagnosis? are there any codes for the clinicians to code uncertainty? e.g. possible bcc or scc

Do you require an N3 connection to log in remotely?

How many clinicians do you have working within dermatology?

Who is completing the case review?

Is not going back to patient slowing down process and repeating what the referrer has gathered?

Can the Virtual Lucy platform provide coded data for research?

Who uploads the photo? Is it the patient?

Would you not need a dermoscopic image?

Accepting that the virtual assessment times will differ, what is the average time allowed for the virtual assessment?

How is activity through Virtual Lucy recognised and factored into Job plans?

Of the 40% have you assessed what % are referred back in again for the same problem?

Is the consultation report linked/saved in the patient's e-records?

I'd be interested in knowing what were the local administrative challenges that stopped referrals?

What is the cost to implementing Virtual Lucy services in a foundation trust or a health board?

My concerns with these efficacy measures is that what will be left in our clinics are the complex cases that would require a longer clinic time. Therefore, clinician might be pressurised by management to see the same number of patients historically seen in clinics (having lost all the simpler cases)

It seems like the pilot was successful, is there a plan to expand Virtual Lucy to other Trusts in BOB ICS?

What engagement has been done with patients, carers and representative groups? What do patients feel about possibly not being referred to a consultant, etc?

How have the GPs responded?

How do the patients get from your service to the specialist service in the hospital if required ie are you able to complete the Urgent cancer referral for patients who have SCC/potential melanomas or does the advice go back to the GP to complete the onward referral?

Would this not be similar to electronic referrals and the advice and guidance that consultants can return to GPs

How many assessment do you think could be completed in an hour?

Over what period of time were the 1500 patients dealt with?

At what point is the information gathered integrated into patients hospital record?

What impact does the platform have on the local admin team?

How important does he think the questionnaire was? Could he make most decisions based on the GP referral letter and the photo?

30k assessments in total - how many Virtual Lucy Dermatology assessments have you been able to conduct?

Have you struggled with any patients that might be digitally excluded?

You said that 40% were discharged directly from the system without a need for a hospital appointment. but also said that there was a 30% proportion where there was failure to engage. Was your discharge rate therefore 30%. +40% of the remaining 70%? And do you know what happened with the 30% where there was failure to engage? We’re they rereferred via other routes?

Is there room to use GPwER in your Dermatology pathway rather than consultants alone?

In trusts with limited dermatology consultant capacity, how did they manage with the demand of those that required any surgical intervention.


Request a full Virtual Lucy demo or request a proposal :

Chris Birch, Service Lead (Non Clinical)


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