A new era of digital leadership #covid19rftlks

A new era of digital leadership  | NHS Providers

This guide aims to help trust leaders build on the momentum made during Covid-19 and support NHS boards lead their organisations into the next stage of digitisation. It includes a number of board-level case studies as well as key Covid-19 reflections and lessons from other sectors. It also sets out useful questions for board leaders as they reflect on their own digital leadership.

Full detail: A new era of digital leadership

Surgeons embrace virtual consultations to meet patients’ needs during pandemic #covid19rftlks

Surgeons embrace virtual consultations to meet patients’ needs during pandemic | BMJ | 2020; 370: m2644 

The Royal College of Surgeons of England has published guidance on conducting virtual consultations after a survey found that 90% of surgeons had used them during the covid-19 pandemic.

A survey of 1741 surgeons and surgical trainees conducted by the college from 8 to 15 June found that 91% of surgeons had used telephone or video conferencing for patient consultations and outpatient clinics during the pandemic. Most (83%) also said that they had conducted team meetings remotely, such as multidisciplinary team meetings.

While virtual consultations are relatively common in the NHS, the college said that they would play a particularly significant role in the NHS after covid-19 and in future pandemic planning.

Further detail: Surgeons embrace virtual consultations to meet patients’ needs during pandemic

See also: Royal College of Surgeons of England | Virtual consultations

NHSX launches national patient video library

Health Tech News | June 2020 | NHSX launches national patient video library

As part of the NHSX COVID-19 response, a national video library has been launched in collaboration with healthcare video provider, Health and Care Innovations.

The videos have been developed with NHS clinicians to work within care pathways to help patients; to help support a reduction in length of appointments, and to enable patients to better understand their condition and how to manage their care at home.

NHSX has procured the video library of over 600 patient information videos on a 6 month licence, to make it available free for users.

Full details from Health Tech News 

Observational study of UK mobile health apps for COVID-19 #covid19rftlks

The Lancet Digital Health | 24th June 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused global disruption to society and their health-care systems.  In the setting of COVID-19, organisations in the UK such as National Health Service (NHS) Digital, NHSX, and NHS Business Services Authority have emphasised the need for mobile technology in managing the situation. This technology focus has led to an increase in the mobile phone apps developed for COVID-19.

This observational study evaluates the features of mobile phone apps released in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full article: Observational study of UK mobile health apps for COVID-19

Next phase of NHS coronavirus app announced #covid19rftlks

The government has announced the next phase of development in building an app that supports the end-to-end NHS Test and Trace service | Department of Health and Social Care

This next phase will bring together the work done so far on the NHS COVID-19 app and the new Google/Apple framework. This will allow the development of  an app that will bring together the functionality required to carry out contact tracing, and also making it easy to order tests, and access proactive advice and guidance to aid self-isolation.

Full detail at Department of Health and Social Care


Stay alive app: Free access for NHS and social care staff #covid19rftlks

NHS Employers | May 2020 |Bereavement support for NHS staff during COVID-19

NHS and social care staff have free access to the Stay Alive app, which aims to provide help to people with existing mental health concerns, suicidal thoughts, and those struggling in self isolation. It provides information to help colleagues stay safe, including advice for people concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.

Available for free through the App Store and Google Play, the app is fully functional for offline use once downloaded. Users also have the option to create a profile to synchronise their data for use with the online version.

Details from NHS Employers

Digital innovations to support vulnerable people during COVID-19 outbreak #covid19rftlks

New parents, unpaid carers, the homeless, young people and cancer patients could benefit from digital solutions as part of the TechForce19 challenge | Department of Health and Social Care


People who may be particularly vulnerable or isolated during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including new parents, the homeless, unpaid carers, young people and cancer patients, could soon benefit from a range of innovative digital solutions selected as part of the TechForce19 challenge.

NHSX, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have announced 18 innovative digital solutions being awarded up to £25,000 under the TechForce19 challenge.

The funding for each project will be used to develop new ways to support vulnerable people who need to stay at home or need other help in the community for extended periods of time.

Full detail at Department of Health & Social Care

Greater Manchester launches digital mental health services

UK Authority| April 2020 | Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has launched a range of digital services and online support for people with mental health issues

Mayor Andy Burnham and Sir Richard Leese, chair of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, announced the move as a city-region response to complement work already going on at local level, and emphasised its significance within the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

They highlighted the launch of SHOUT, a confidential 24/7 test service for people aged 16 and over and operated by trained volunteers who will chat with text responses. It is overseen by clinical supervisors and covers a range of issues including anxiety, depression, self-harm and relationship issues.

Full details from UK Authority


NHS launches mental health hotline for staff tackling Covid-19

The NHS has launched a mental health hotline as part of a package of measures to support the NHS’s 1.4 million staff as they help people deal with the coronavirus | NHS England


NHS staff will be able to call or text a free number staffed by thousands of specially trained volunteers, to receive support and advice for the pressures they face every day during the global health emergency. The volunteers will listen to NHS staff and give psychological support to those in need. Anyone who requires further help will be signposted to other services ranging from practical and financial assistance through to specialist bereavement and psychological support.

Full story at NHS England

Hospify becomes first NHS-approved clinical messaging app

Digital Health | March 2020 | Hospify becomes first NHS-approved clinical messaging app

Hospify has become the first clinical messaging app to be made available on the NHS Apps Library.

The app offers similar functionality to popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, but includes additional security features to make it a secure platform for sharing patient information.


The app, which provides an NHS-compliant platform for sending and receiving messages and can be used by clinicians to share patient information, is now approved for use by professionals and patient across the NHS.

Hospify said it had taken more than a year for the app to pass through “rigorous” testing and assessment processes by various NHS organisations and regulatory bodies (Source:  Digital Health).

Read the full news story from Digital Health