About this service

Welcome to Colchester Virtual Fracture clinic

What is the ‘Virtual Fracture Clinic’ or VFC?

This is a new approach to managing patients with a fracture or a soft-tissue injury.  Following your attendance at either Accident and Emergency (A&E) or Minor Injuries Unit (MIU), you will be referred electronically to the VFC.

The VFC will review your case history and imaging. The VFC is held daily and is led by a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, helped by Specialist Plaster Technicians and Admin Staff.  The VFC aims to review your case within 24 to 36 hours of referral.

Diagram of the referral process:

When will the VFC contact me?

You will usually be contacted within 48-72hrs after your referral to the VFC. If your injury is sustained between Friday to Sunday, you will be contacted by the following Tuesday.

If, following your VFC assessment, more urgent treatment or assessment is required, you will be contacted earlier.

What should I do?

It is critical that we have up-to-date contact details for you, especially your telephone number(s). You should expect a call from the VFC. If we cannot contact you, we will leave a short message explaining how to get in touch with us. If you have not received a phone call or message, within the appropriate time frame, then contact the VFC.

Who/ When decides Treatment Plan?

It is important to remember that the Orthopaedic and Trauma Consultants and their team, in combination with the patients, decide the treatment plan. This is especially important in relation to surgery.

What are the possible outcomes following review by the VFC?

  • Urgent review – This may be because further assessment is needed or imaging (e.g. X-Ray) is required or we urgently need to change your treatment or assess for surgery.
  • Fracture clinic follow-up – Your case will be triaged according to clinical need and availability of clinics.
  • Physiotherapy follow-up – Your case doesn’t require fracture clinic management and a direct referral to physiotherapy for rehabilitation will be made. The physiotherapy department will contact you.
  • Discharge – You will receive a phone call and advice regarding treatment, rehabilitation, expected outcomes and how to seek help if there are problems.
  • Request for more information – More information is required and the VFC will either contact you or ask Accident & Emergency or the Minor Injuries Unit to do this.
  • Inappropriate referral – The referral to the VFC was inappropriate (e.g. a long-term problem or problem not managed by the usual fracture service). The referral will be sent back to the A&E or MIU who will arrange further management/assessment as required.

Contact details for the VFC Clinic Appointments and Administration team:
07734 235 830 (Monday to Friday  8am to 4pm)

Contact details for clinical issues related to the VFC only:
07717 367 583 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)

Orthopaedic Department, Colchester Hospital, Turner Road, Colchester  CO4 5JL




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