Health Service Focus

16.12.16

Joining up care in Sunderland

Source: NHE Nov/Dec 16

Paul Gibson, interim programme manager at Sunderland CCG, explains how a new care home tablet is helping transform the way that healthcare professionals are spotting early signs of illness.

As NHE went to press, the successful roll-out of a new technology, which uses universal medical assessments to track the health and wellbeing of older people, was being completed in Sunderland. 

The project, which is being led by Sunderland CCG, is part of the All Together Better vanguard. One key aim of the new care model is to reduce frequent hospitalisations, allowing care teams to monitor people they look after more closely, and ensure that the right support is given quickly to prevent people’s conditions from escalating. 

In what is thought to be a UK first, the NEWS (National Early Warning Score) system – which includes a medical assessment that is used by GPs, ambulance crews and hospitals to flag up potentially serious health problems – has been added to tablet technology that tracks and shares information about people’s health conditions with the professionals who care for them. 

The new system, developed with Solcom, using the company’s telehealth technology Whzan, makes use of digital care home technology used across the city. 

By using a co-productive team, Sunderland CCG’s interim programme manager Paul Gibson said it has been able to build a tool that can be used by care home staff to help them monitor the health of their residents. Once the data is submitted it then allows healthcare professionals to make assessments based on the information collected over a long period of time. 

“The benefits are pretty straightforward,” said Gibson. “It takes a while to collate all the statistics to get a true impact on unplanned admissions, but the care home staff are a lot more confident now in having dialogue with clinical teams because, for example, they have the facts and figures there and can explain that someone’s blood pressure is reducing.” 

Coupled with other information, like nutrition plans and pain scores, data is pooled together to give a full overview of a person’s health at any given moment in time. The CCG is also looking at further tools which include hydration and falls. 

“They [the care home staff] now have some structure to have a conversation [with their health colleagues] because of the different scoring systems being standardised across the whole of the patch, so it is a common discussion,” said Gibson. 

He added that the project has gone well, and a major factor in its success was early dialogue with the care homes. 

“Initially there was apprehension from staff, because they were not used to collecting all the vital signs,” explained Gibson. “But because there has been a lot of wrap-around with regards to change management it is proving really valuable. The key thing was having a dialogue with the senior nursing teams.” 

As well as clinicians and commissioners working with care homes, Gibson noted that collaborating with Solcom, which is new to the health sector, has been refreshing “as they were not blighted by the issues around healthcare development in technology”. 

“We are going to continue working with Whzan tablets, and we are looking to put that into a shared care record that we are looking to develop,” he said. “There is no point in having all these separate pots of data. Our challenge is creating a shared record, but making sure there isn’t a separate silo for this Technology Enabled Care Services data – it needs to be integrated into that record.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

Comments

Dan David   19/12/2016 at 18:21

This is a great clinical innovation, shame it's based on an expensive standalone platform that overcharges for kit!

Keith Chessell   21/12/2016 at 09:30

It actually the complete opposite Dan, the inclusive price of the kit consisting of an 8” 4G tablet, health application, wireless instruments including BP monitor, Pulse Ox, Thermometer, customised case with cleanable insert, extension battery for a whole day’s roaming operation and annual monitoring charges for 50 patients is less than many smartphone contracts. The platform is on the Microsoft Azure cloud, there are no limits or additional charges to the number of clinical users, each patient can have their own private portal and we can share the data on to any third-party system required. Users get access to new features, share documentation, can suggest/partner further development (there are plenty in the pipeline) and have office hours support. Again no extra charges.

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

Mackey hails ‘tremendous’ effort as trusts slash £1bn off agency staff bill

01/03/2017Mackey hails ‘tremendous’ effort as trusts slash £1bn off agency staff bill

Major agency controls across the health service have so far succeeded in saving £1bn since they were introduced in October 2015, latest NHS... more >
Major NHS ambition to shift to community care ‘elusive’ without extra cash

01/03/2017Major NHS ambition to shift to community care ‘elusive’ without extra cash

A report released today by the Nuffield Trust has revealed that STPs are working towards “undeliverable expectations”, warning that S... more >
Murphy steps down as Patients Association CEO

01/03/2017Murphy steps down as Patients Association CEO

The CEO of the Patients Association (PA) Katherine Murphy, who wrote for the most recent issue of NHE, is set to relinquish her role after nine y... more >

editor's comment

07/02/2017Handling the pressure

Although NHS trusts have been feeling the pressure this winter, as demand on A&E services continues to rise and the financial challenge deepens, it is worth noting and applauding the professionalism, determination and resilience of the workforce in still delivering world-class healthcare.  However, as you’ll read throughout... read more >

last word

Lessons from Finland for NHS mental health

Lessons from Finland for NHS mental health

While many countries across Europe struggle to deal with a rising demand for mental health services, Finland is successfully improving service provision via a new online portal. Professor Grigori... more > more last word articles >
681 149x260 NHE Subscribe button

the scalpel's daily blog

Communication in the NHS: Who has control?

08/02/2017Communication in the NHS: Who has control?

On behalf of the Patients Association, Nic Hart has recently penned an open letter to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman in an attempt to keep pressing for answers around the 2012 death of his teenage daughter, Averil, whilst in the care of Cambridge and Peterborough NHS FT. Here, he writes about the importance of communication and co-ordination across a whole NHS care pathway in order to avoid similar tragedies. Averil wanted t... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Transforming community care

23/02/2017Transforming community care

Chris Gregory, head of clinical systems for LGSS Local Health and Care Shared Service — a public sector organisation providing back-office ... more >
Maximising the value of public engagement

20/02/2017Maximising the value of public engagement

Jane Mordue, the newly appointed permanent chair of Healthwatch England, explains why listening to feedback from the public is much more likely t... more >
Time to value ambulance staff

20/02/2017Time to value ambulance staff

Alan Lofthouse, Unison's national ambulance officer, discusses the need for policymakers to address the rising rate of ambulance staff leaving th... more >
Technology at the bedside: The benefits of mobile

20/02/2017Technology at the bedside: The benefits of mobile

Aaron Powell, chief digital officer at NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), explains why the organisation sees mobile very much as the future. ... more >
Time to act in the fight against AMR

20/02/2017Time to act in the fight against AMR

Katherine Murphy, chief executive at the Patients Association, calls on the government and the healthcare community to work together to combat th... more >

interviews

Improving the flow

13/02/2017Improving the flow

Glen Burley, chief executive of South Warwickshire NHS FT, explains how his organisation has been able to improve patient flow through its emerge... more >
Leadership development should be for all in health and care

07/12/2016Leadership development should be for all in health and care

Back in August, Stephen Hart joined Health Education England (HEE) as the organisation’s new director of leadership development, which incl... more >
The powerful link between staff and patient satisfaction

03/10/2016The powerful link between staff and patient satisfaction

David Behan CBE, chief executive of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), talks to NHE about the correlation between high rates of staff satisfactio... more >
Dame Fiona Caldicott: We’re not quite ready for sharing back-office function on data security

07/07/2016Dame Fiona Caldicott: We’re not quite ready for sharing back-office function on data security

NHE’s David Stevenson talks to Dame Fiona Caldicott following her much-awaited Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs. In the f... more >
Benchmarking what good looks like

01/07/2016Benchmarking what good looks like

Lord Carter of Coles discusses the findings of his recent review, the work of NHS Improvement (NHSI) and the importance of benchmarking. Dav... more >