Dimitris is a Registrar in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, working for the NHS as part of the London training programme. He is passionate about digital transformation in the NHS and empowering patients to take an active role in their healthcare and treatment.
He graduated from Imperial College School of Medicine with a Distinction in Medical Sciences and a First Class Honours BSc degree in Surgery and Anaesthesia. He is also a member of the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) of England, has completed an MSc in Medical Education, and serves as the London Regional Representative for the Plastic Surgery Trainees Association.
Problem: The problem we are aiming to solve is that of ineffective informed consent for surgical procedures in the NHS. ‘Failure to warn’ of potential risks and complications of surgery is directly linked to 86.1% of litigation claims in surgery processed by the NHSLA, with risk of this increasing further in view of the Montgomery ruling (2015) and new consent guidance being published by the GMC during 2019. Despite these recent changes in policy, there remains significant variation in the quality of informed consent practice between different surgeons, patients, departments and Trusts. This creates risk of poor patient understanding, reduced satisfaction and suboptimal clinical outcomes, with high risk of litigation throughout the NHS.
Solution: The solution we are implementing is an innovative, secure cloud-based platform that provides patients access to interactive visual and video resources about their patient journey and surgical procedure, that will involve them in their decision making process to provide fully informed consent for their procedure.
Scale of the project: A pilot study is currently being carried out in Mid Essex NHS Trust. Based on this we plan to expand the use of this platform and online communication tools in a large number of NHS Trusts. Our vision is to change the perception and practice of valid informed consent for patients and doctors in all clinical specialties.
Desired impact: The desired impact of the project is to improve patient understanding, involvement and satisfaction with their informed consent for surgery. We aim to maximize patient reported outcome measures and reduce the risk of litigation for medical staff, hospitals and Trusts.
Progress to date: The project is currently at the stage of a pilot study, to gather initial data and user feedback for further implementation. Concurrently, we are developing new resources to expand and innovate the platform while maintaining high quality.
“When I started the Fellowship programme I had a team, one video, and a prototype. As of December 2019 we have re-designed the platform and we have created 6 videos. I invested a lot of time into patient engagement. Video now designed in a particular way. The one-click user experience has been a focus, and this wad an insight and outcome from one of the engagement sessions. Our engagement has extended to three Trusts now from the baseline of one. We got ethical approval to run a randomised controlled trial (RCT) in July, with the trial in Chelmsford (one of the three Trusts), starting in January 2020. I am also starting the trial at the Royal Free, working with the Urology team.”