Aberdeen surgeons partner with digital hospital to enhance patient support


NORTH-EAST Scotland is leading the UK’s digital healthcare revolution thanks to a partnership between Aberdeen Orthopaedics, Scotland’s largest private specialist group for musculoskeletal conditions, and Medbelle, a digital healthcare company.

Medbelle uses technology and personalised support to help patients navigate a fragmented and confusing private health sector. As more patients than ever turn to private treatment to deal with their chronic pain and injuries, there is very little guidance or information on how they should do this, or where they can go for support.

This partnership means patients across northern Scotland, including some of the most remote areas, will have access to some of the most streamlined, efficient and patient-centred orthopaedic care in the country.

Aberdeen Orthopaedics is a group of twelve experienced consultants specialising in the full range of musculoskeletal conditions including joint replacements, spinal problems, hand conditions and shoulder injuries. Patients can make an appointment with one of the group’s consultants without a prior GP appointment or referral.

Medbelle provides a digital pathway for private patients, bringing together the disparate aspects of healthcare into one easy-to-access place. Patients can discuss their care with a personal Patient Care Adviser, book treatments online, and access transparent information about pricing and procedures. Medbelle will coordinate further specialist treatment with local private hospitals and providers. The benefits of digitalisation are especially pronounced for those living in remote areas, as patients only have to travel to physical hospitals when necessary.

All of the Network’s surgeons are now partnered with Medbelle, which means their patients can take advantage of all of these benefits, improving their experience and giving them more time to focus on preparing for and recovering from their treatment.

James Bidwell, a specialist lower limb surgeon and member of Aberdeen Orthopaedics, said: ‘Our network has always aimed to improve the patient experience by adopting the latest equipment or surgical techniques. This approach should also apply to other aspects of patient care, like support with logistics, the referral process, and transparent guidance. This partnership with Medbelle allows us to continue improving the patient experience.’

Dan Howcroft, Medbelle’s Chief Medical Officer, said: ‘The vast clinical experience of Aberdeen Orthopaedics  will play an important role in Medbelle’s mission to improve access to high-quality private healthcare. As more people rely on private treatment, it’s more important than ever that the sector enhances patient support.’

Private patients often have to deal with a fragmented sector, in which they must arrange their own appointments and scans, with referrals between specialists causing delays as documentation is not always shared automatically or electronically.

These issues are equally felt by clinicians, as collaboration between specialists is hindered, and time is taken up with unnecessary logistical headaches. Because Medbelle guides patients across their entire care journey, from initial inquiry through to aftercare, it also gives clinicians access to far better information about patient outcomes. Medbelle’s technology allows these outcomes to be analysed, giving clinicians the opportunity to assess the impact of different treatments and continually improve patient care.