Objective: To assess the impact of a virtual multidisciplinary team (MDT) review panel in reducing travel for children with a rare disease (tuberculosis (TB)) without compromising clinical outcomes. Design: Retrospective review of patients discussed in a virtual MDT panel. Independent pre-intervention and post-intervention data from Public Health England. Setting: Paediatric departments across North West England. Patients: Children aged <16 years with suspected TB infection/disease. Intervention: Weekly, virtual MDT discussion between district paediatricians and a tertiary TB team. Main outcome measure: Care closer to home, time from presentation to treatment. Results: 45% (37 of 82) children received care closer to home. Median time from presentation to treatment reduced by 28% (from 18 to 13 days). 21% more children were diagnosed before developing symptoms (76% of children presented with symptoms pre-intervention, 55% post-intervention). 5 children incorrectly labelled with latent TB infection were treated for TB disease. Conclusions: A clinical network supported by virtual MDT reviews can improve treatment for children with rare diseases while providing care close to home.
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