Older man talking with a medical professional on a video call

Ep 20. Early pioneers of video consultations, Dr Shanti Vijayaraghavan & Will Warburton

Video consultations have become one of the buzzwords of the NHS throughout the last 18 months, as healthcare had to balance patient and staff safety, and managing the pandemic, alongside ensuring a continued level of care for those needing it.

But, the use of video to support NHS services is not a new innovation for the pandemic. It has certainly been scaled to a previously almost unimaginable national scale, but long before the pandemic reared its head, there were digital pioneers across the health service innovating with video.

One such pioneer was Dr Shanti Vijayaraghavan, of Barts Health NHS Trust, who had been working with her colleagues to introduce video consultations into the standard care pathways for patients in Newham, London for a decade.

Joining us on Episode 20 of NHE’s Finger on the Pulse podcast, alongside returning guest Will Warburton from the Health Foundation, Shanti explained how the ability to provide some news, results and support virtually to patients which did not require an in-person visit, allowing much greater convenience for patients.

And many of the successes Shanti and her team saw challenged the expected norms too. Digital innovation such as video consultations are often seen as cutting off many older residents, and yet some of Shanti’s patients well into their later years of life were a whizz with the technology - the diverse makeup of an area like Newham meaning that many were already accustomed to using digital tools like Skype to communicate with family and friends around the country and overseas.

Internally too, there was hesitation towards digital innovation such as video consultations, but as Will, Director of Improvement at the Health Foundation - who helped back the scheme Shanti and her colleagues were rolling out - explained this simply took people to step up, take the lead and be counted.

“It takes a lot of organisation buy-in. It takes clinical champions like Shanti; a financial and business case. There were actually quite a lot of barriers we came up against.

“There was a lot of organisational change [needed] to support video consultations.”

But, as a scheme which placed a lot of focus in ensuring peer-reviewed reporting of its successes and progress, that much-needed evidence and support soon developed, reaching a point where soon backed - putting them in a position of strength when the pandemic demanded a much broader shift to video consultations.

Listen to the full podcast episode with Shanti and Will below:

NHE Sept/Oct 21

NHE Sept/Oct 21

Improving care for long-term conditions

Join us in our September/October edition of National Health Executive, as we explore a range of topics impacting and improving the care that we can deliver to patients, the facilities within which we deliver them, and the opportunities in the digital space to accent and evolve our care capabilities


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National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Festival: Digital Healthcare

The integration of new technology, such as using virtual outpatient appointments instead of face-to-face reviews of patients in the hospital. Adapting the ways in which our NHS workers serve people has been critical in continuing to provide high-quality treatment, a positive patient experience and preventing Covid-19 transmission during the pandemic. Our healthcare sector has the potential to transform the way we continue to provide essential services while also improving patient care. But how easy is the integration of these innovations into routine NHS practice?

On the 28th of October, at the NHE365 Virtual Hospitals & Technology Enabled Care online event, we will be discussing patient flow and experience, reducing waiting times, reducing the patient backlog and increasing technology adoption. Will you be attending? 

Finger on the Pulse

Ep 14. Health messaging is a science, Professor Craig Jackson

On Episode 14 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, we're joined by Professor Craig Jackson, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology
Birmingham City University to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the health messaging around it and how those in power have missed a trick by overlooking the key role of psychology in informing the public of restrictions, measures and the ever-changing situation

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