Heatherwood and Wexham Park NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust has launched a new section on its website designed to host real-time procedures and live Q&As on speciality topics for both healthcare professionals and members of the public.
The move comes from a desire to raise awareness across the board of certain therapeutic areas, and give medics the opportunity to showcase the good work being done at the hospital at the same time, spokeswoman Anne Diamond told PharmaTimes World News.
The first one, which took place last night (Monday), was centred on urology and featured a live Q&A session led by top UK urologists Omer Karim and Marc Laniado, followed by the opportunity for a general consultation with members of the urology team via Skype, accessible by anyone.
The idea is to give the public and healthcare professionals a better insight into prostate cancer - through discussion on the disease, its symptoms, and its treatment - in the hope of speeding up diagnosis and helping patients ask their doctors the right questions when they see them.
Also, in what could potentially be an extremely valuable service, patients are now able to have an online conversation with a urologist at any time (via email@example.com), enabling them to ask questions they may not think of within the time constraints of a normal appointment with their own physician.
If successful, the hospital hopes to run similar webcasts in other disease areas, such as orthopaedics, Diamond said.
CQC rating 'inadequate'
The FT is also likely responding to an 'Overall Inadequate' inspection rating dished out by the Care Quality Commission last month.
The Trust is facing being placed into special measures after inspectors concluded that the quality of care provided by Wexham Park Hospital at Slough was inadequate, although Heatherwood Hospital at Ascot was rated as 'Good'.
Inspectors found unsafe staffing levels were a consistent theme throughout the trust, and that Wexham was also failing to consistently meet national targets to admit, transfer or discharge patients from the A&E department within four hours.