Fife pioneers QR codes on stookies and splints patients can scan for information

QR codes are being added to casts, splints and surgical boots to help patients in Fife in a new initiative which is a first in Scotland.
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The aim is to make it easier for people to access information about their stookie. The project is the work of NHS Fife’s orthopaedics department.

Cast technician, Stuart Main, who led it, believes the stickers are a simple and effective way to supplement information that has already been provided by a nurse practitioner or doctors.

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Scannable QR code stickers are applied by plaster technicians - effectively they are vinyl tape printed with a code pointing to the NHS Fife website's cast care section, which features up-to-date information on how to care for a cast, as well as a list of recommended actions, activities to avoid, potential complications, and other troubleshooting advice. The online cast-care hub is part of the NHS Fife website and can be accessed at

Cast technician, Stuart Main applies a QR code to a patient's cast (Pic: NHS Fife)Cast technician, Stuart Main applies a QR code to a patient's cast (Pic: NHS Fife)
Cast technician, Stuart Main applies a QR code to a patient's cast (Pic: NHS Fife)

Casts, splints, and surgical boots are used to help heal injuries to bone or soft tissue, as well as managing pain.

Stuart, who is based at the recently opened National Treatment Centre at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy believes the stickers are a simple and hi tech way of providing information.

He said: “Previously, we would hand out leaflets with helpful information about cast management – but people would routinely lose these or forget where they were kept, and they would have to ring us up and ask questions.

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“With these new stickers, because they are applied directly to the cast using a durable, water-resistant material, as long as people have their mobile phone nearby – which most people do nowadays – they will always have access to the information they need. Aside from the benefits for people wearing a cast, there have also been some great results for our department with a significant reduction in the number of phone calls coming in where people are asking questions about their cast-care.”He added: “ I am really pleased with the response to the stickers, and we’ve already had interest from colleagues across different specialities keen to learn more.”