The Patient/Citizen Communications & Engagement Solutions framework by NHS SBS aims to improve patient care, both pre and post appointment.
Support organisations across the NHS in England have been allocated £250 million to encourage more digital technology that ‘enables elective recovery, accelerates the uptake of digitally supported care, and offers it to more patients.’
The funding forms part of the ‘Targeted Investment Fund’ of £700 million, which is part of the government’s ‘Build Back Better Plan’.
Surveys can be undertaken as part of the framework to establish whether patients are happy with the services provided and where improvements to care can be made.
Adam Nickerson, senior category manager of digital and IT at NHS SBS, said: “With the coronavirus pandemic having added to the complexity of patient appointments and waiting lists, the revised agreement provides NHS organisations with access to market leading communication tools encompassing alerts, reminders and appointment technology that support healthcare professionals to deliver effective and efficient clinical care,
“Critically, with appointment solutions on offer via the framework encompassing traditional communication methods like phone, mail, email and SMS, alongside appointment technology via digital first communication channels such as patient self-service booking solutions, the framework ensures NHS organisations and care providers can be more inclusive of patient preferences by offering them a greater number of ways in which they can interact, make and respond to medical appointments.”
Twenty-nine suppliers have been awarded a place on the framework, including Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).
Through the framework they hope to provide an easy access route for clinicians to leading communication companies to help them incorporate the appropriate technology needed to improve factors such as do not attend rates, patient journey and pathway and the current backlog.