NHS | January 2019 | Introducing a Children’s Health Smartphone App at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
NHS England shares a case study that considers the impact of a smartphone app on the development and implementation of a children’s health smartphone application. The app has significantly improved patient, carer and family experience as well as better use of resources locally (Source: NHS England).
Read the full case study at NHS England
National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs, Center for Health Care Strategies, and Institute for Healthcare Improvement| 2018 | Blueprint for Complex Care: Advancing the Field of Care for Individuals with Complex Health and Social Needs.
Blueprint for Complex Care: Advancing the Field of Care for Individuals with Complex Health and Social Needs is a report from the US. It draws on experts and frontline stakeholders across the US, where organisations are developing new models for complex care; recognising that innovators often pursue initiatives in isolation from one another. The report provides a strategic plan to support innovations and accelerate opportunities to improve care for individuals with complex health and social needs.
It assesses the current state of the complex care field and presents recommendations to help the field reach its full potential for improving care delivery (Source: National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs, Center for Health Care Strategies, and Institute for Healthcare Improvement).
To access the guidance, (free) registration) is required here
Further details at The National Center
Crystal Peaks Medical Centre is a GP practice in a busy retail park in Sheffield; it installed NHS WiFi in July 2018, NHS England have now produced a case study about this innovation and video interview with Dr Kirsty Gillgrass, a GP Partner at the practice. There are approximately 7,000 patients registered with the practice. It is a training practice with 5 GP partners and a large multi disciplinary primary care team.
The practice, along with other practices in the neighbourhood, is applying for digital inclusion funding to encourage digitally excluded patients to take charge of their health and wellbeing and make use of patient online services.
Practice staff will encourage patients to sign-up for patient online services while in the waiting room, and staff will be able to use mobile devices to demonstrate to patients how to book appointments online and order repeat prescriptions.
Having access to free WiFi can also reduce anxiety for patients before their appointment. Being able to make good use of their time by accessing emails, checking social media or even downloading an ebook to calm their nerves can improve the patient experience (Source: NHS England).
This policy paper outlines what is needed to enable the health and care system to make the best use of technology to support preventative, predictive and personalised care | Department of Health and Social Care
This document proposes a modern technology architecture and a set of guiding principles that will together be the foundation for a new generation of digital services designed to meet the needs of all users – for the workforce and for patients and people who use care services.
The vision sets out how digital services and IT systems will need to meet a clear set of open standards to ensure they can talk to each other and be replaced when better technologies become available. A focus on putting user needs first and setting standards at the centre will enable local organisations to manage their use of technology and spread and support innovation wherever it comes from.
The paper concludes: “By harnessing the power of technology and creating an environment to enable innovation, we can manage the growing demand for services and create the secure and sustainable future for the NHS and social care system that we all want to see”.
Full detail: The future of healthcare: our vision for digital, data and technology in health and care
Wellcome | Innovator Awards
Researchers who are transforming great ideas into healthcare innovations that could have a significant impact on human health are eligible to apply for funding awards from the Wellcome Trust. The awards are up to £500,000, or up to £750,000 for multidisciplinary collaborations.
Individuals and teams from not-for-profit and commercial organisations can apply.
You can work in any scientific discipline, including a discipline outside life sciences. You can work on any type of technology. Examples of technologies include:
- therapeutics (small molecules or biologics)
- regenerative medicine.
The work that you propose must be essential for developing your healthcare innovation (Source: Wellcome).
Full details available from Wellcome
NHS Improvement| September 2018 | NHS could free up £480m by limiting use of temporary staffing agencies
A new article from NHS Improvement outline how savings of £480m could be achieved if Trusts could use bank staff to cover temporary vacancies rather than using staffing agencies. Although in 2017/18 spending on bank staff was higher than for agency for the first time in several years, leading to a £528m reduction in agency spend for the NHS.
But for NHS Improvement, there are more potential savings to be made which could be instead used to improve care for patients (Source: NHS Improvement).
Read the full story here
NHS England | August 2018 | Rapid Access Diagnostic Clinic for vague symptoms at Guy’ and St Thomas’
At Guy’ and St Thomas’ a new Rapid Access Diagnostic Clinic (RADC) was implemented to help speed up cancer diagnosis, as well as finding more cancers at grade one and two, in patients presenting with vague symptoms. It was rolled out to the six other CCGs across South London earlier this year.
The RADC provides a diagnostic service to patients who have presented to their GP or at the Accident and Emergency Department with vague but worrying ‘red flag’ symptoms. It follows a model of fast patient triage; coordinated access to diagnostic tests; second follow up appointment or telephone consultation resulting in rapid specialist referral or patient discharge.
Although it is too early to say that the RADC has definitely improved patient outcomes the early findings are promising:
- 570 patients completed their RADC journey during its first 16 months of operation
- 300 (58.82%) patients diagnosed with a serious benign condition including cirrhosis of the liver, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, heart failure, emphysema and Crohn’s disease
- 44 (8.6% of all patients) diagnosed with cancer;
- 11 of these 44 (25%) cancers were diagnosed at grade 1 or 2
- 93% of patients rated their care as very good.
- Patients with cancer and other serious conditions are diagnosed quickly, referred for appropriate treatment and start treatment much more quickly
- Patients who have traditionally struggled to get a diagnosis, now have a diagnosis for their condition
- Patients are being diagnosed in a clinic where appropriate advice and support can be given rather than at A&E
- Patients feel listened to and that their symptoms are being taken seriously, leading to high levels of patient satisfaction
- Many patients are quickly reassured that they do not have cancer, as well as receiving a prompt referral to the appropriate specialist
- Very high patient satisfaction levels [93%  rated their care as very good].
The team at the RADC have seen:
- Patients quickly diagnosed and appropriately referred for treatment
- Increased uptake in GP referrals
- Early stage cancers diagnosed in patients who ordinarily might be missed due to vague symptoms
- Over time, the team expect to see a reduction in A&E presentations and repeated presentations to their GP of patients with certain cancers such as GI cancers (Source: NHS England)
Full details from NHS England