SBRI Healthcare awards over £180,000 to HIN-backed innovations for autistic people and people with learning disability

SBRI Healthcare has awarded over £180,000 to two HIN-supported projects that help narrow inequalities for autistic people and people with learning disability in south London.

The projects include an annual health check and health planning tool to improve access to services; and a software tool to help people with a learning disability or autism to capture their needs and tailor support accordingly.

SBRI Healthcare is an Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) initiative – a partnership between patient groups, government bodies, industry and the NHS hosted by NHS England – and is delivered in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).

It is estimated that about 1.5 million people have a learning disability in the UK, and about 800,000 people are autistic. Many people have both a learning disability and are autistic. There has been a rise in referrals for autism assessment, with systems under pressure to meet demand. Significant health inequalities can impact access to the right support for autistic people and people with a learning disability.

The Successful HIN-backed Projects

Maldaba

Improving annual health checks and design EMIS interoperability

Awarded £96,396 

This project will open up a digital communication pathway between primary care and service users so that annual health check (AHC) and health action planning (HAP) processes will be more inclusive and provide better access to health and care services, including health promotion.

RIX Software

RIX Multi Me Toolkit – for person-centred integrated health and care for people with learning disabilities and autism

Awarded £83,277

The RIX Multi Me Toolkit enables people with a learning disability and autistic people to capture their needs and share how best to provide them with support and healthcare, using simple multimedia apps and a secure online support network. This project will refine these tools in partnership with service-users and providers.

Background

‘Competition 20 – Autism and Learning Disabilities’ was launched in May 2022, as a Phase 1 development funding competition, funded by the Accelerated Access Collaborative, in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and Autistica. It specifically sought innovations to help with early identification and diagnosis and equal access to effective support and care.

Alongside progress being made by the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England’s Transforming Care Programme, and the Core20PLUS5 initiative, the new funding aims to accelerate change and use the best of cross-sector collaboration and technical expertise.

The competition was open to single companies or organisations from the private, public, and third sectors, including large corporates, small and medium enterprises, charities, universities and NHS providers.

The projects will run for up to six months, with the aim to demonstrate whether the innovations are technically feasible. Innovations that can prove their impact and potential will be able to seek further funding for prototype development and evaluation, with the aim for successful technologies to be adopted for use by the NHS.  

Matt Whitty, Director of Innovation, Research and Life Sciences at NHS England and CEO of the Accelerated Access Collaborative, said:

“Earlier this year our learning disability and autism demand signalling report identified the most important research questions and innovation challenges that need addressing to help deliver for those impacted and we’re delighted to build on that work by investing in the fantastic innovations we are announcing today.

“We have selected these innovations because they have the potential to make a big difference to tackling health inequalities in autism and learning disabilities – and by supporting the most promising innovations the NHS will continue to evolve, helping meet more patients needs and encouraging more innovators to come forward with ideas that make a difference.”

Dr Lorcan Kenny, National Research Lead for Autism, NHS England, said:

“NHS England remains committed to improving healthcare for autistic people and people with a learning disability, who can face significant health inequalities. Innovative technology along with good quality research about its effectiveness will be key in achieving some of the goals set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, such as reducing diagnosis waiting lists, delivering efficient services and improving coordination and quality of care.”

Dr Amanda Roestorf, Head of Research at Autistica, said:

“Autistica is delighted to be partnering with NHS England and Small Business Research Initiative Healthcare (SBRIH) to solve unmet needs of autistic people and people with learning disabilities. The SBRIH funding pathway will support the research initiatives to bring new technologies to the NHS as a crucial step to enabling autistic and other neurodivergent people to live happier, healthier, longer lives. These projects demonstrate that rapid innovation based on high-quality evidence and collaboration between industry, health and care services, and academic experts, is both possible and necessary to create practical solutions to improve the lives and outcomes of autistic people.”

Find out more

You can find out more about the other projects awarded by SBRI across England.

Find out more about the winning projects

Primary Care Automation Grant Winners Announced

The winners of the London Digital First Primary Care Automation Grants have been announced today by the Health Innovation Network, working in partnership with NHS England. Grants of up to £65k will be awarded to projects across London to pilot automation solutions in primary care.

Automation refers to the design and implementation of technologies to provide services with minimal human involvement. Automating high-volume, repetitive, rule-based tasks can improve productivity, efficiency, reliability, compliance, speed and accuracy, colleague morale, and integration between people and process. This can help free up clinical and administrative staff so they can focus on securing the best possible outcomes for patients.

Over £600,000 has been allocated across eleven innovative primary care projects in London. Grant applications were assessed upon the scope, scale, impact, sustainability, and opportunities for spread and adoption of their projects. Pilots will be monitored against agreed metrics over the next 12 months, before being evaluated.

“Primary care faces an ever increasing workload. It is exciting to see these automation pilots provide hope for a range of solutions to tackle this workload with improved outcomes for both staff and patients. It might not be long before we look back and wonder how did we ever manage without some of these automation solutions” - Dr Shanker Vijay London Region GP Clinical Lead Digital First Programme, NHS England 

The grants programme provides a unique opportunity for us to pilot a variety of innovative automation solutions that can transform the way practices manage their workload. We hope that through this work patient care and staff morale will be improved by automated processes freeing up both clinical and administrative staff from some of the most time consuming and repetitive tasks they currently undertake." - Matt Nye, Director, London Digital First Programme

The grant winners are:

Dr Lucy Goodeve-Docker, Lambeth Digital Lead, Lambeth Healthcare Federation South East London

Lambeth Healthcare Federation are using Healthtech-1 automation technology to establish full automation of online registration into the clinical system (EMIS). Automating online patient registrations will allow patients to register within minutes, remove user data errors, reduce administrative data input time, allow accurate demographic collection, and ensure households are appropriately aligned to support safeguarding principles. Health-tech 1 is currently on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme.

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Lucy McLaughlin, Cancer Recovery Program Lead for North Central London (NCL), North Central London ICB - Performance & Transformation Directorate

NCL plan to improve patient appointment non-attendance for cervical screening in Islington by using a SPRYTs AI powered virtual receptionist named Asa, which interacts with patients via WhatsApp and email. Asa incorporates behavioural science approaches and linguistics to change behaviours. This allows Asa to adjust language and other messaging content and design for specific population segments, to optimise attendance at screening appointments.

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Dr Nisha Patel, GP Partner and Trainer, Nightingale Practice in City and Hackney and City and Hackney GP Confederation Clinical Lead

The Nightingale Practice is working with Edenbridge (APEX), to automate workforce rota management, predict patient demand and workforce requirements, highlighting surplus and deficit staffing levels. By applying “rules” around capacity requirements and leave-booking, the administrative burden on practice staff will be reduced and access for patients to GP appointments improved.

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Dr Sian Knight, Executive Partner, Modality Medical Services, Lewisham, SEL

Modality Medical Services are working with their in-house Robotic Process Automation Team to automate pathology results filing, specifically the automation of bowel cancer screening results. A bot will file 'normal' bowel cancer results, automatically send an SMS to patients with normal BCS results (with guidance of when to contact the GP) and communicate with patients that have been identified as not having participated in the BCS.

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Dr Raza Toosy, lead GP, Sutton IT Solutions, and Jagdish Kumar, Head of New Business for Sutton PCNs

The Park Road Medical Centre are working with PatientChase to improve long term condition management and risk stratification in Sutton, Wallington, Cheam, and Carshalton. The automation of self-booking coupled with enhanced risk stratification will allow our centralised call and recall team to focus their efforts on patients with the highest clinical need to access various pro-active health services. A Customer Relationship Management system will be used to record insights through engagement with groups with health inequalities to better understand how best to reach and engage with them.

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Dr Robbie Howell, Clinical IT Lead; and Anastasia Remos, Asthma WAF Project Lead for N1 PCN & Islington GP Federation, NCL

North 1 PCN & Islington GP Federation will be using GP Automate’s Robotic Process Automation functionality to automate processes for clinical and admin staff through 5 automated products: Lab Reports, New Patient Registration, Accurx Asthma Floreys, Accurx BP Floreys and Accurx Diabetes pre-appointment questionnaires. Through automating these manual and time-consuming tasks they intend to improve patient outcomes, workforce satisfaction and sustainability of general practice.

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Dr Joanna Yong, GP Partner at St Andrews Medical Practice, Barnet PCN 2, NCL

Barnet PCN 2 is using Blue Prism’s (BP) cloud-based intelligent software to automate the clinical document workflow process. A bot will determine:

  • no action;
  • coding only,
  • identify specific documents which are coded and go to an allocated team member for a decision, and;
  • further action for low risk pathways such as smear results, appointment letters and follow-ups eg breast screening mammogram results and long term conditions. 

This bid complements existing locally run GP Assistant Programme and complements a second PCN2 cancer based clinical pathway automation. 

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Dr Kiran Nakrani, NCL GP Website Clinical Lead, Barnet PCN 2, NCL

This automation project builds on the EMIS e-safety netting template which is already used across London and aims to track the outcome of important cancer documents via the Health information Exchange (HIE) Cerner portal for patients referred via the two week target pathway. A bot will mimic current process of:

  • identifying the clinical letter;
  • filtering it into the correct process for DNA vs Clinician Workflow;
  • identifying the outcome of the target referral as either DNA or patient contact made by secondary care;
  • advising the referring clinician on next steps.
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Dr Rob Seal, GP at Lavender Hill Group Practice and joint Clinical Director at Battersea PCN; and Dr Soleman Begg, GP at St John’s Hill Surgery, Wandsworth PCN and Battersea PCN, SWL

Wandsworth PCN and Battersea PCN are working with JiffJaff and Automation Anywhere to automate high volume and repetitive tasks that can be clinically significant. These include:

  • clinical safety validation process for laboratory tests;
  • patient compliance with antipsychotic mediation;
  • division of clinical administrative workload;
  • reducing workload for pharmacy technicians.

Time saved from automating these processes will allow clinical staff members to spend more time on patient care and administrative staff to focus more on patients who require personalised engagement.

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Dr Manotheethan Jegasothy, GP in Kingston and Richmond; and Dr Soleman Begg, GP at St John’s Hill Surgery, Chessington and Surbiton PCN

Chessington and Surbiton PCNs are working with JiffJaff and Automation Anywhere to automate the filing of ‘normal’ pathology results. Improved automated processes will ensure results are processed quicker and will benefit patients with real-time reporting of their results. Time saved through this automated process will result in clinicians and administrative staff having more time available for the practice and patients.

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Dr Jwala Gupta, Clinical Director, Havering North PCN; Dr Gurmeet Singh, Clinical Director, Havering North PCN; Dr Pratheep Sunthara-Moorthy, Co-Founder of Care IQ

Havering North Network will be using the CareIQ proprietary automation engine to provide automated recall of patients with hypertension, diabetes and atrial fibrillation.

A central team will oversee the recall using staggered invites and providing a uniform process across the PCN. This will include CareIQ questionnaires, telephone, video, and face to face consultations.

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Health Innovation Funding Opportunities

Health Innovation Network funding opportunities

The latest funding opportunities and grants for innovation in healthcare.

We update this page monthly so check back for the latest opportunities or subscribe to our newsletter for updates.

Featured health innovation funding opportunities:

NIHR i4i Connect Opens: 6 December 2022

i4i Connect is aimed at small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) developing medical devices, in vitro diagnostics and Tier C digital health technologies with direct patient benefits, looking to ultimately integrate into the NHS. The funding stream aims to help SMEs reach the next stage in the development pathway to apply for further funding, in particular for an i4i Product Development Award. i4i Connect is researcher-led and does not specify topics for research.

NIHR i4i Product Development Award Deadline: 7 December 2022
i4i Product Development Awards (PDA) support translational research and development of medical devices, in vitro diagnostics and high-impact patient-focused digital health technologies for ultimate NHS use. The research proposals may address any disease or health area, provided there is a clear unmet clinical need. There is no upper funding limit for Product Development Awards, but costs must be fully justified.

British Heart Foundation Innovation Fund (Round 1) Deadline: 5 December 2022
The fund will operate through Expressions of Interest (EoI) in the first instance. The proposals outlined in the EoIs can range in scale of maturity, from a problem statement that is yet to be defined through to ideas and solutions that are ready to be tested. A maximum of £10,000 will be awarded to support the exploration of selected EoIs. Between £50,000 to £300,000 will be awarded to test the implementation of worked up proposals, and will be subject to a formal application for funding to be assessed by peer reviewers.

General health innovation funding opportunities:

SBRI HEALTHCARE:
SBRI Healthcare is an NHS England & NHS Improvement initiative, supported by the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and managed by LGC Group. We aim to promote UK economic growth whilst addressing unmet health needs and enhancing the take up of known best practice.

Innovate UK:
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

Digitalisation and Automation of Medicines R&D and Manufacture. Deadline: 21 December 2022
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £5 million. This is to support digitalised and automated technology innovation and implementation for pharmaceutical development and manufacturing. This funding is from Innovate UK.

Innovative technologies for nucleic acid medicines manufacturing Deadline: 21 December 2022.
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £5 million for manufacturing innovation for nucleic acid medicines. This funding is from Innovate UK.

BIOTECHNOLOGICAL AND BOLOGICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL:
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, is a non-departmental public body, and is the largest UK public funder of non-medical bioscience. It predominantly funds scientific research institutes and university research departments in the UK.

BBSRC standard research grant. Deadline: Open call

You can apply for research grants at any time in any area within the remit of BBSRC. BBSRC funds research in plants, microbes, animals (including humans), and the tools and technology underpinning biological research from the level of molecules and cells, to tissues, whole organisms, populations and landscapes.

DEFENCE AND SECURITY ACCELERATOR (DASA)

DASA aims to find and fund exploitable innovation to support UK defence and security quickly and effectively, and support UK prosperity.

Open Competition Applications: Open call
The Open Call is one of the funding competition mechanisms DASA uses to find proposals that address challenges faced by government stakeholders. It gives bidders the opportunity to present their ideas to defence and security stakeholders at any time, without waiting for a relevant Themed Competition.

MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (MRC)
The Medical Research Council (MRC) improves the health of people in the UK – and around the world – by supporting excellent science, and training the very best scientists.

Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund (LSIMF) – Open call
This fund is to support businesses investing in life sciences manufacturing projects in the UK.

THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH RESEARCH
The nation’s largest funder of health and care research, providing the people, facilities and technology for research to thrive.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (ESRC)

ESRC Research Grant Applications: Open call
If you have an excellent idea for a research project, the ESRC have their Research Grants open call. Awards ranging from £350,000 to £1 million (100 per cent full Economic Cost (fEC)) can be made to eligible institutions to enable individuals or research teams to undertake anything from a standard research project through to a large-scale survey and other infrastructure or methodological development.

ENGINEERING AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL (EPSRC):

The EPSRC is the main funding body for engineering and physical research sciences. For EPSRC funding opportunities.

NC3RS:
The NC3RS is a UK-based scientific organisation dedicated to helping the research community worldwide to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals for medical testing.

Data at Scale Improvement Projects:

The London Health Data Strategy programme has announced funding and support for new Improvement Projects to use pan-London data to improve health outcomes.

NHS organisations, academia and the healthcare industry are invited to apply to lead innovative new projects in healthcare outcome improvement, planning, clinical research and product research and development.

Trusts and Charities

The Health Foundation (HF)
HF’s aim is a healthier population, supported by high quality health care that can be equitably accessed. HF learns what works to make people’s lives healthier and improve the health care system. From giving grants to those working at the front line to carrying out research and policy analysis, they shine a light on how to make successful change happen.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF)
BHF provide personal support for clinical and non-clinical cardiovascular researchers at all stages of their career. They also provide grants for short and long term research projects, essential infrastructure and strategic initiatives.

Association of Medical Research Charities
Over 30 years ago a small, diverse group of medical research charities form the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) to unite the sector and provide it with a leading voice. Since then their membership has grown to over 140 charities. In 2018, these charities invested £1.3 billion in medical research.

Other UK Government, Seed Funds & Loans

The British Business Bank (BBB) Applications: Open

BBB are a government-owned business development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses. Whether you’re looking for finance to start a business, grow to the next level, or stay ahead of the competition, they say that they can deliver greater volume and choice of finance.

Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) funding. General ‘collection’ of news and funds

Information about SBRI for businesses and public sector organisations that might want to use the scheme.

UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund Applications: Open

The UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (formerly known as The Rainbow Seed Fund) is a £27.1m early-stage venture capital fund building and growing technology companies stemming from the UK’s research base.

Creative England Investments Applications: Open

Creative England is supporting SMEs by providing competitive loans to digital businesses in order to make their growth plans a reality. The investments on offer are intended to fuel this fast-growing sector by financing business expansion and new products, leading to the creation of new high-quality jobs and Intellectual Property (IP). Loans from £50,000 – £250,000 are available with repayment terms ranging from 3-36 months. Interest rates range from 5% – 10%, depending on the risk profile of the applicant. This includes companies from within the digital healthcare sector.

HSBC Loan Fund Deadline: Open

HSBC UK has announced a £14 billion lending fund to support the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Fund includes a ring-fenced £1 billion to help UK companies grow their business overseas, as well as a broader package of support. The initiative is available to UK businesses with a turnover of up to £350 million. Applicants do not need to be an HSBC customer to apply.

International Grants

Global Innovation Fund Applications: Open
GIF focuses on solutions that have the potential to address an important development problem more effectively than existing approaches, can come from anyone, anywhere. 
They seek out innovations they believe have the greatest potential to improve the lives of millions of people living in poverty.

The EIC Accelerator: Open Competition (Grants only)
The EIC Accelerator supports individual Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in particular Startups and spinout companies to develop and scaleup game-changing innovations. 

Other international funds of interest:

NICA Healthy Ageing Accelerator: China Competition
The Global Challenges Research Fund
The Newton Fund
Grants available to UK through US Defense – medical research program

New NHS Innovation Service streamlines national support for innovators

Doctor using tablet device

HIN Chief Executive Rishi Das-Gupta has hailed this week’s launch of the NHS Innovation Service as an important step forward in delivering life-changing innovation more quickly.

Coordinated by the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), the service has been developed to support the UK’s Life Sciences Vision and accelerate the uptake of promising and impactful innovations into the NHS.

The NHS Innovation Service provides access to guidance and coordinated support from AHSNs and other organisations who have experience, knowledge, and expertise in developing and supporting the spread and adoption of healthcare innovations.

Innovators working with the service will be provided tailored guidance to help them complete processes which will help “unlock” adoption and spread within the NHS, including:

  • Regulations and service standards relevant to innovations
  • Demonstrating evidence of efficacy
  • NHS procurement and reimbursement processes

The service enables innovators to access support from expert organisations through a single coordinated platform. Organisations currently part of the NHS Innovation Service include:

  • The AHSN Network
  • Department for International Trade (DIT)
  • Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

Innovators create an account and complete an innovation record, which contains detailed information about their innovation. This enables an expert team to determine the requirements for the innovation to be adopted and put the innovator in touch with the right organisation at the right time. At each stage, organisations offering support have access to the innovation record, which will accelerate the process and avoid duplication – saving innovators having to reintroduce their concept and progress to each organisation.

The NHS Innovation Service is currently in public beta – a public testing phase. Users will be able to provide feedback on the service based on their experiences, creating opportunities for it to improve with further testing. The service replaces the HealthTech Connect platform.

Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, HIN Chief Executive said: “The NHS Innovation Service will further bolster the expert support already available to south London innovators through our own Innovation team and the DigitalHealth.London programme.

“I am particularly pleased that this new service will allow streamlined engagement with national bodies such as MHRA and NICE, who can often be crucial players in facilitating the spread and adoption of the most promising innovations. Reducing the complexity of interfacing with these bodies will undoubtedly mean patients benefit from innovations sooner.

“This work is another powerful demonstration of our sector’s commitment to collaboration as a driver of world-class health innovation in the UK.”

Interim Director of Digital Transformation appointed to HIN executive team

From July the Health Innovation Network will welcome Amanda Begley as the new Director of Digital Transformation on secondment from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) for 12 months.

Amanda is currently Director of the Centre for Innovation, Transformation and Improvement (CITI) at GSTT and brings a wealth of experience in areas that are particularly relevant including leveraging the value of health data by co-developing the Health Data Research UK Hub for Cancer (DATA-CAN) and her work at NHS London and UCLPartners on innovation, as well as her operational roles including working at Kingston Hospital.

Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, Chief Executive at the HIN said: “We recognise that there is an increasing need to support digital transformation over south London and are well placed to support on this given our strong links with digital innovators through the DigitalHealth.London programme. Amanda will help us clarify this so we can fulfil our aim to make our region the leader for adopting digital innovations.” 

Dr Amanda Begley, Director of Digital Transformation said: “I am really excited  to join the team and work with colleagues across south London to plan how digital transformation can benefit , patients, staff and partners as we all recover from the after-effects of the pandemic.”

Adapting Diabetes Care to the Challenges of Covid-19

You & Type 2

As part of Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week we hear from the HIN's Kate Rawlings on the You & Type 2 programme, and how it was adapted to the challenges of Covid-19.

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Since early 2020 organisations across the world have been asking “How do we adapt and respond to Covid-19?”, and nowhere was this more true than in our own halls at the HIN (or virtual halls, as they soon became).

Since 2018 the HIN has worked with NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group to develop a personalised care and support planning pathway known as “You & Type 2” for people living with type 2 diabetes. Like with other healthcare services, its delivery was significantly challenged by the emergence of Covid-19. However, with this challenge also came opportunity, and the HIN launched two new branches of You & Type 2 to support people living with diabetes in light of Covid-19: @ Home and Risk Stratification.

@ Home

As the pandemic gained momentum, more and more pressure was being placed on primary care practices, who were forced to prioritise emergency care and reduce face-to-face contact. This often meant a halting routine checks, including annual diabetes care reviews.

You & Type 2 was temporarily paused, however, with the help of remote technology providers Thriva and Healthy.io, a remote monitoring pathway was developed. The @ Home pathway allowed people with diabetes to receive a free home blood testing kit, urine kit and blood pressure machine in the post. Following the tests, a care planning phone call allowed for seven of the eight key care processes to be completed remotely.

Risk Stratification

Identifying and prioritising high-risk populations was an important part of the Covid-19 pandemic response. It quickly became apparent that people with diabetes were at higher risk of severe illness should they contract COVID-19, but also at risk of their diabetes worsening with the halting of routine care.

Building on existing frameworks produced by the London Clinical Networks and UCL Partners, and with the support of clinical experts, the HIN developed a risk stratification framework. This framework consolidated general and disease specific criteria to focus on people at high risk, but not currently under secondary care. It could be loaded straight into EMIS and created a list for GP practices of people with diabetes at high risk for follow up. This allowed practices to focus their limited resources appropriately.

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Evaluation

Initial feedback on the pathways is positive. Over 100 people have used the @ Home pathway, and users have praised it for its convenience. Four practices across South West London have been trained to use the risk stratification tool. Full evaluations are being completed and will be released in the coming months.

Although borne out of the restrictions placed on routine care by COVID-19, these pathways show how the NHS can innovate and adapt in long term disease management to make services more convenient to their population, and how to prioritise interventions for those most in need.

22 million steps taken to prevent type 2 diabetes

To celebrate type 2 diabetes prevention week Chris Gumble, Project Manager for long term conditions at the South West London Health and Care Partnership, has written about the outstanding results seen by the Decathlon programme, which won a HIN Innovation Grant in 2019.

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“The programme offers everyone the opportunity to learn and to grow and to thrive”

The health and wellbeing of our local populations has been tested beyond limits over the last few years. Healthcare services have had to adapt and programmes like the Prevention Decathlon have evolved to meet this new “normal”. But, one thing has not changed: the drive and determination of the team working to improve the Prevention Decathlon.

I wanted to reflect on the last 18 months and share the  incredible journey we have been on that may just change the life of those who attend the programme for good.

0% completion rate

Collaborating with Sweatcoin and Harlequins foundation, new cohorts of Decathletes (what we call our attendees) have undertaken the Prevention Decathlon over the last year, all recruited from community places of worship, and who were recruited in partnership with the Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network (WCEN).

Using the Sweatcoin bespoke app, we are able to track the steps taken by our Decathletes throughout the programme. In total our 59 Decathletes have walked an amazing 22 million steps over the ten-week programme period, which is an average of 45% increase in physical activity levels. Completion rates are at an all-time high of 92% (comparable programme average around 56% in SWL) with individual achievements by Decathletes showing an increase of activity levels by 336%, weight loss of up to 10kg as well as one "MVP" losing 16.4% of their total body weight.

0% increase in physical activity levels

These incredible numbers are real people’s achievements and ones that have undoubtably changed their lives for the better. In March, Decathletes were celebrated and awarded for their achievements.

This was all achieved by adapting the programme to meet the needs of the current climate. Throughout Covid-19, the Prevention Decathlon became a digitised offer (virtual delivery) as face to face groups were restricted. At the same time the curriculum was expanded to be more culturally inclusive with the support of the members from the WCEN.

Award nominations aplenty were achieved by the Prevention Decathlon programme over the last year with us being nominated for the London Sport Award 2021 for “Health and Wellbeing Programme of the Year” as well as a nomination for the best not-for-profit partnership at the HSJ Partnerships award 2022 in collaboration with Harlequins Foundation.

“It’s not just healthy eating. We talk about wellbeing, physical activity, stress and sleep, and it’s tailored to different types of diet.”Nicola Clarke - Diabetes Specialist Dietician and Decathlon Facilitator

Looking to the future, a new partnership with the public health teams across Richmond and Wandsworth will see the Prevention Decathlon be accessible to another 800 Decathletes over the coming year!

The Pentathlon, a 5-week version of the programme has also been created in collaboration with the WCEN that does not focus on a specific long-term condition, but on general health and wellbeing. The programme has been created in collaboration with the WCEN and is delivered by local people to their respective communities across SWL.

On the horizon is a really exciting version of the Prevention Decathlon that will be aimed at those at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, thus opening the door to thousands more people to take control of their health and wellbeing and living longer, happier lives!

Watch this space for other updates soon as the Prevention Decathlon wants to break boundaries via a Heptathlon programme, a health and wellbeing programme for those with learning disabilities. Working with the learning Disability team in Kingston, the programme will start its development in June 2022.

Primary Care Automation Grants funding opportunity

The NHS England London Digital First Programme is a funding opportunity to pilot automation solutions within primary care. Automation grants are available up to £65k each for pilots and projects across London.

Please note that new applications for this funding opportunity closed on Monday 18 July 2022.

The Problem

Several tools which aim to improve primary care efficiency through automation have emerged in recent years. However, the benefits and limitations of these systems are not well understood. Following wide engagement across London, the need for reducing administrative and clinical burden in order to free up resources to focus on patient outcomes has been identified.

That’s why the London Digital First Team has secured funding to run a grants programme to drive and better understand the use of automation in primary care.

What is automation?

Automation refers to the design and implementation of technologies to provide services with minimal human involvement. Automating high-volume, repetitive, rule-based tasks can improve productivity, efficiency, reliability, compliance, speed and accuracy, colleague morale, and integration between people and process. This can help free up clinical and administrative staff so they can focus on securing the best possible outcomes for patients.

Automation can range from simple add-ons for existing administrative and clinical systems to implementing more complex software ‘bots’ that emulate human operations.

Examples of automation might include auto-filing/processing of pathology results, patient self-booking of appointments, automated coding of correspondence and recall/review systems.

What does this programme aim to do?

  • Deliver cost and time savings in primary care.
  • Understand the practicalities and impact of a variety of automation solutions in primary care.
  • Improve overall patient care and experience across London.

Scope

  • This programme will fund  automation grants across London to a value of up to £65k.
  • Pilots/projects across all London Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) can apply.
  • Successful applicants will deliver pilots/projects for 12 months post-award (inclusive of pre-project and development time).
  • Pilots will be monitored against agreed metrics, and progress and learning will be reported quarterly back to the central grants team.
  • A final evaluation report will look at outcomes of the project and discuss results, sustainability, spread and adoption of the project.

Eligibility

Applications are open to:

  • All primary care providers within London on standard GMS, PMS and APMS contracts.
  • Individual practices or practices working together (e.g. PCNs, federations).

Programme Timeline

The application period closed at 9am on Monday 18 July. Please do not submit any further applications.

For more information please contact hin.automationgrants@nhs.net.

You can watch our webinar on the grants below, and access the slides here. 

Important: If you are planning to submit an application, we strongly recommend contacting your ICS Digital First Programme Team in advance. Those in NW London are asked to bid jointly with their ICS Digital First Team to ensure alignment with the existing NW London automation programme. If you require contact details for your ICS Digital First Team please contact hin.automationgrants@nhs.net.

Improving Outcomes for Patients in Community Care: Innovation at Bromley Healthcare

When it comes to innovation, have you properly considered the role of community services? With changes to integrated care happening from July, community care is finally starting to get the recognition it deserves. We spoke to one of our partners, Dr Cath Jenson, Medical Director at Bromley Healthcare, about the difference they are making.

Too often overlooked, community care is now being recognised as the glue between primary and secondary care, helping provider collaboratives within the new integrated care systems to succeed.

As medical director at community provider Bromley Healthcare, I’m proud of the role we play in testing innovative solutions for integrated care and using data to drive improvement. For example, did you know we are the accelerator site for two hour response in south east London? Or that we are driving new standards for outcomes in meeting the needs of frail and complex patients outside hospital, integrating with the ‘One Bromley’ proactive care pathway and our own therapy and rehabilitation services (including bedded unit)?

Many don’t know we have specialist nurses across numerous fields – our children’s ‘hospital at home’ being another example of our innovations (shortlisted for a 2021 RCN Nursing Award in the Child Health category) aimed at keeping patients at home safely with a growing range of complex medical needs previously requiring admission. Or that we are the prime contractor for out-of-hospital diabetes care in Bromley and have recently recruited the first population health apprentice in London to develop population health initiatives for One Bromley (including Primary Care Networks).

And then there’s the services we provide outside Bromley, including special care dentistry across south east  London and health visiting in Bexley and Greenwich. In total we have over 35 services and 1,200 staff making the difference to patients in their own homes and communities.

There is a wealth of experiences and ways to make a real difference to patients in community care and to further enhance this we are now recruiting to newly established Clinical Director positions, to cement and develop our clinical leadership. Further information:

Find out more

To find out more please email Dr Cath Jenson.

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Celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility – find out why 100% of patients at a sexual health and wellbeing service for trans and non-binary communities would recommend the service to a friend

In 2018/19 King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was given a HIN Innovation Grant of £8,250 to set up a sexual health and wellbeing service, in partnership with cliniQ, a trans-led community interest company for trans, non-binary and gender diverse people, in south east London.

To mark Transgender Day of Visibility on 31 March, we got in touch with Dr Michael Brady, Sexual Health and HIV consultant at King’s and National Advisor for LGBT Health, NHS England, to find out how the service was going from strength to strength, and how the Innovation Grant funding helped.

He said: “The Innovation Grant funding really helped us with the trans clinic. It enabled us to get the clinic set up, established and evaluated and was a really helpful endorsement of the service which complemented the funding our local commissioners’ provided.

“We’ve been given another two years’ funding from the commissioners, which takes us up to April 2023, and we now have three research projects attached to the clinic, so we’re evaluating and researching as well as providing the clinical service.

“The clinic provides sexual and reproductive health service (STI testing and treatment, contraception, vaccinations, cervical smears and PrEP), hormone advice and support as well as peer support, mental health and well-being support and counselling. The clinic is very well evaluated by our service users with 98% of respondents to our patient survey reporting a positive experience and 100% would recommend the service to a friend. A key reason for the success of the service is the fact that it is co-designed and delivered in partnership between King’s College Hospital and cliniQ.

We were even visited by the Minister for Equalities in the Government Equalities Office, Mike Freer MP, a few weeks ago as well – so we’re getting some national attention as well!”

You can find out more about the trans clinic here.

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Over 100 clinicians to champion CVD Prevention in south London

Over 100 clinicians working in primary care in south London have today (Monday 21 March 2022) been welcomed on to the Health Innovation Network’s (HIN) first ever Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Fellowship.

This free HIN programme is designed to help improve outcomes for patients across south London who are at risk of CVD by supporting clinicians working in primary care to develop their skills and knowledge and champion CVD prevention in their practice or wider Primary Care Network.

In total there are 104 Fellows who are either pharmacists, GPs, practice nurses or physician associates. From Richmond to Bexley all 12 south London boroughs are represented and Fellows come from a range of backgrounds and are representative of the communities they serve.

The programme will provide free expert clinical advice and quality improvement support to help Fellows become CVD prevention champions. It will also help them identify and implement specific local CVD prevention initiatives in their practice and local area.

With six million people living with CVD in England with a combined cost of £16 billion every year improving outcomes for at risk patients is an NHS priority. This programme will help to speed up the adoption of innovative initiatives to help prevent CVD across south London.

Applications to the programme have now closed.

Dr Roy Jogiya, Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Clinical Director, Health Innovation Network, said:

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome over 100 clinicians to our first ever Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Fellowship. This is an exciting learning opportunity that will include teaching from a number of national experts in cardiovascular disease. This will empower Fellows to be up to date in their knowledge base and feel more confident in managing cardiovascular disease prevention within their community of pratice.”

Oliver Brady, Programme Director for CVD Prevention, Health Innovation Network, said:

“It is fantastic that so many clinicians from a wide variety of backgrounds applied to be Fellows. And it is great that every borough of south London is represented on the programme. We will support these Fellows to champion cardiovascular disease prevention in their local area and together we have the opportunity to make a real difference to people who are at risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Running from April to October and culminating with a graduation ceremony in November the programme will consist of six monthly lunch time webinars led by experts in a range of areas including lipid management, hypertension and atrial fibrillation. There will also be ongoing Improvement Collaborative sessions and peer to peer networking opportunities.

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For more information about our Cardiovascular team and the CVD Prevention Fellowship Programme, please get in touch.

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Innovation Exchange webinar: Modernising Primary Care Telephony

Event: Empowering Patients to Self-Manage

Our interactive webinar “Modernising Primary Care Telephony” took place on Wednesday 2 March, 12:30-14:00.

The webinar showcased telephony innovations, highlighting the potential for modern telephony to improve communication in primary care across London.

Presented by the Health Innovation Network in collaboration with the NHS England Digital First Programme London, we looked at how updating traditional telephone systems can improve interactions with patients and support PCN development, flexible and remote working and help streamline service delivery.

This event updated primary care staff about emerging national plans around primary care telephony and built on previous work undertaken in this area through the Digital First Programme and learning from ongoing projects. The event also showcased several products on the market, helping primary care staff understand the breath and depth of functionality that can transform primary care processes.

In addition, the HIN has produced a commissioning guide on Modernising Primary Care Telephony which is now available for download from the Health Innovation Network’s website. This report was commissioned by Our Healthier South East London ICS (OHSEL)through the Digital First Programme and delivered by the Health Innovation Network, the Academic Health Science Network for South London.

You can access the event pack and running order here, and the slide deck here.

Video Running Order

Start time Topic Presenter
00:00:00 Introduction from Chair/

Health Innovation Network

 

Denis Duignan

Head of Digital Transformation & Technology

Health Innovation Network

00:04:50 Presentation:

A London region perspective around the opportunities of modern telephony in primary care.

Matt Nye

Regional Director for Digital First Programmes

NHS England (London)

00:09:57 Five 2-minute pitches*

 

Babble Ltd

Product: Babblevoice

Antoine Lever

Director

EVAD Think Healthcare

Product: Think Healthcare Solution

Mike Smyth

Think Healthcare Team Leader    

Exponential-e  

Product: UC-One

Tim Gilliatt

Public Sector Account Manager

Gamma

Product: Horizon, the modern Primary Care telephony choice

Amy Black

Business Development Executive                  

Premier Choice Group

Product: Premier Patient Line

James Gargaro

Sales Manager   

00:24:31 Presentation:

Taking an ICS wide approach to primary care telephony

Brian Stennett

NWL GP Telephony Lead, Digital First

North West London CCG

00:34:07 Four 2-minute pitches* Voice Connect Ltd

Product:  Cloud Based Patient Partner with Automated Telephony Repeat Prescriptions Review and Ordering Service

Paul Trayler

Sales Director     

VTSL Limited

Product: GP Cloud Voice

Rob Walton                          

CEO

X-on      

Product: Surgery Connect Desktop App

Paul Bensley

Director

Yo Telecom       

Product: Bespoke Phone System

Daniel Mills

Senior Consultant              

00:41:02 Presentation:

Advanced Telephony National Update

Nikki Hinchley

Head of GPIT Transformation, Digital Primary Care

NHS Transformation Directorate / NHS England & NHS Improvement

00:47:27 Panel discussion and Q&A session Speakers and Chair to take questions from the audience
01:16:13 Closing remarks Chair
* The Health Innovation Network and NHS England do not endorse or recommend any of the commercial innovations showcased at this Innovation Exchange event. The innovations referred to at the event are not preferred suppliers and there are other solutions that can support the challenges identified. This event is intended to inspire people as to how innovations can support health system problems, rather than endorse any specific solutions, with the sole intended purpose to be for guidance only.

Applications open for first ever Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Fellowship Programme

The Health Innovation Network has launched a new Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Fellowship Programme to develop clinical skills and knowledge to help improve outcomes for patients across south London who are at risk of CVD.

Did you know?

  • Six million people live with CVD in England
  • CVD results in £16 billion in combined costs every year
  • It causes one death every four minutes
*NICE Impact – Cardiovascular  disease prevention (September 2021)

This free programme is the first of its kind and is aimed at nurses, GPs and pharmacists working in primary care in south London who are keen to develop their skills and knowledge and champion CVD prevention in their practice or wider Primary Care Network.

It is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited and will provide free expert clinical advice and quality improvement support to help fellows become CVD prevention champions. It will also help them identify and implement specific local CVD prevention initiatives in their practice and local area.

Running from April to October 2022 and culminating with a graduation ceremony in November the programme will consist of six monthly lunch time webinars led by experts in a range of areas including lipid management, hypertension and atrial fibrillation. There will also be ongoing Community of Practice sessions and peer to peer networking opportunities.

With six million people living with CVD in England with a combined cost of £16 billion every year improving outcomes for at risk patients is an NHS priority. This programme will help to speed up the adoption of innovative initiatives to help prevent CVD across south London.

Applications for the programme have now closed.

“We are delighted to launch our first ever CVD Prevention Fellowship Programme. Our free programme will be delivered by experts in their field and will arm clinicians with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to drive forward innovative schemes and make a real difference to patients at risk of CVD in their area.”Oliver Brady, CVD Prevention Programme Director, Health Innovation Network

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Applications open for HIN and My Home Life’s Care Home Pioneer Programme 2022

The Health Innovation Network and My Home Life are delighted to announce the fourth Care Home Pioneer Programme – a  leadership support and professional development programme delivered FREE of charge to Care Home Managers, Deputies, and Senior Nurses to advance their skills, facilitate personal growth and enable them to effectively manage the complex everyday issues that impact on the quality of their service.

Did you know?

  • Since the programme started in 2017, 23 managers have attended from South East London and 21 from South West London
  • The Pioneer programme has had representatives from all of the South London boroughs

The ‘Pioneers’ programme is a collaboration between My Home Life England and Health Innovation Network, which has delivered leadership development to 44 care home managers across South London, over 3 cohorts since 2017.

The Care Home Pioneer Programme will use Action Learning techniques which involve experiential learning through a continuous process of action, learning and reflection, supported by colleagues, with an intention of improving practice. The Pioneers will also work alongside mentors from the HIN to deliver a service improvement project within their care homes, such as reducing falls or improving oral health.

The FREE programme is jointly funded by care home commissioners and the NHS, and will consist of a combination of four workshops and nine monthly action learning sets. At the end of the programme, there will be a graduation day to celebrate all that has been achieved and to welcome you into the Pioneer Alumni. 

This infographic highlights key feedback from Pioneers who took part in the programme from 2020-2021.

Pioneer, Cohort 3, Care Home Pioneers, said: It’s not a training programme. We are learning from one another. The impact of it has given me a huge amount of confidence to deal with things differently.”

Pioneer, Cohort 3, Care Home Pioneers, said: “I have introduced daily team meeting with the nurses which has helped to boost self-esteem as they are able to discuss any difficulties they may have in their work”

George Croft, Healthy Ageing Project Support Officer, Health Innovation Network, said: “The feedback from the Pioneers shows that the programme has played an important role in supporting care home managers during the toughest times that the sector has faced in its history, arming leaders with an array of skills and confidence to engage with wider clinical services to help keep residents safe.”

Further information

Find out more about the programme and how to apply.

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KCL graduate with 30 years’ experience in private and public sectors supporting innovation appointed chair for the Health Innovation Network.

Hitesh Thakrar has a wide knowledge of the life sciences, information technology and innovation sectors and considerable experience serving on several Boards. This includes the Alan Turing Institute, the national institute for data science and AI and KQ Labs which is an Accelerator set up by the Francis Crick Institute to support next generation businesses in data science and life sciences.

He is also a partner at Syncona, a Wellcome Trust backed early stage venture fund and the Chair of the Investment Committee for Newable Ventures (a pre-Series A deep tech fund) and an Advisory Committee Member for UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund which supports nine publicly funded research bodies, including the Science and Technology Facilities Council, a part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Most recently he has become a member of the Board of Trustees for Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Charity, his local hospital.

Hitesh started his career in the public sector working with local authorities, before moving into the City as an investment manager specialising in technology, life science and innovation companies in the public markets, and more recently in venture capital private markets with a focus on building UK based innovation led start-ups.

Throughout these experiences, he has developed a passion for supporting innovation and an ability to understand the factors behind why some new technologies would succeed quickly, some would take time, and some would not succeed at all.

“It’s clear to me that there is a convergence happening between life sciences and technology. This is going to accelerate in the next 20 years and the HIN is a pivotal place to bring these together.”Hitesh Thakrar

He said: “I’ve seen how AI and x-rays can be used to predict arthritis, how data and AI can improve biopsies for prostate cancer and am really interested in the ethics and governance around it.

“It’s clear to me that there is a convergence happening between life sciences and technology. This is going to accelerate in the next 20 years and the HIN is a pivotal place to bring these together.

“I’m keen to bring my experience in the public and private sectors to the HIN to find innovations that make a difference for patients, public and health professionals in south London.”

He was appointed following an open process that included HIN Board members from south west London and south east London.

Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, HIN Chief Executive said: “Hitesh’s drive and passion for innovation make him a great fit for the HIN. I’m looking forward to working with him to accelerate innovation in south London.”

Hitesh has been appointed for a term of four years and will replace Professor Richard Barker, whose term as chair ends on December 31, 2021.

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Community Diagnostic Centres – Cardiology Innovation Exchange

Event: Empowering Patients to Self-Manage

Our “Community Diagnostic Centres – Cardiology Innovation Exchange” took place on Wednesday 1 December 2021 from 9:00- 12:00.

The NHS London Community Diagnostic Hub (CDC) Programme are working closely with clinical pathway groups in the design and development of the CDCs to ensure they are meeting the needs of patients and the health system. Health Innovation Network and UCLPartners (Academic Health Science Networks – AHSNs) are supporting the programme to advise on innovative solutions to support the CDCs, in order to improve efficiency and care for patients.

To showcase this work, all three London AHSNs (HIN, UCLP, and ICHP) hosted an Innovation Exchange Event that gave clinicians, pathway experts, system leaders and innovators an opportunity to engage and discuss the innovative solutions that can support the set-up of the CDCs.

The innovations that were presented at the event had been selected based on challenge areas identified through our structured engagement with a variety of stakeholders in the field. The current focus is on cardiology and the pathways linked to heart failure, atrial fibrillation, chest pain and valve disease.

Please note, the innovations referred to at the event are not preferred suppliers and there are other solutions that can support the challenges identified. This event was intended to inspire people as to how innovations can support health system problems, rather than endorse any specific solutions.

You can watch the recording below, access the event pack here, and access the slides here.

If you’d like to watch a specific presentation, timings can be found below;

Reflections on Cohort 3’s Care Home Pioneers Graduation event

Cohort 3 of the Care Home Pioneer programme took place amidst the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, meaning that all the programme’s sessions were held via Zoom. As a result, the graduation event presented an opportunity for the Pioneer care home leaders to meet in person for the first time. George Croft, the Healthy Ageing Team’s Project Support Officer, reflects on the day.

Key information

  • The Pioneer programme has graduates represented across all the south London boroughs.

  • 14 Care Home Managers started Cohort 3 of the Pioneer programme, 9 of whom went on to take part in the Quality Improvement workshops.

  • 100% of Pioneers who completed the final session feedback survey reported the skills that they learned as part of the whole programme were useful and effective in their everyday role.

On Tuesday 2 November, the Health Innovation Network (HIN) and My Home Life came together at Southwark Cathedral to celebrate the achievements of the third cohort of south London Care Home Pioneers.  The Pioneer Programme is a leadership development programme for care home managers and senior care home nurses based in south London. The HIN has run the Pioneer programme since 2018 in partnership with My Home Life, an organisation working to support quality of life for all people who live, die, work and visit in care homes.

When I joined the HIN in March 2021, I was excited to witness first-hand how the HIN’s work impacted the lives of people working “on the ground” in health and social care. My time so far supporting the Pioneer programme has proven to me the value that projects like ours can bring to the care sector and those who work within it.

At the graduation event, seven Care Home Pioneers joined us to not only celebrate their achievement of taking part in the programme but also to acknowledge the strength and compassion that they demonstrated whilst caring for their residents during the coronavirus pandemic. The Pioneers reflected that the Action Learning sessions fostered a “wellness space” as well as a way of “checking out of work and checking in with colleagues” for a few hours every couple of weeks. One care home manager explained passionately that the sessions were “where I would go to recharge my batteries, they gave me courage during difficult conversations” – a remark that has stuck with me in the weeks after the event.

Care home staff have long felt undervalued in comparison to their NHS colleagues [recently highlighted in BBC One’s Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls] and the Pioneer programme is one way that we can help arm leaders with a “portfolio of tools” as one Pioneer put it. Another care home manager mentioned that the programme helped her “learn how to delegate better, helped my home develop shared decision making, and hand more responsibility to staff, which reduced my stress and helped me gain a better work/life balance.”

The Action Learning component of the programme was led by My Home Life facilitator Danuta Lipinska, who commented – “I certainly felt quite emotional, not only to meet these hardy Pioneers, but to be reminded of what they had all endured and survived, and were now thriving, even though the Covid-19 virus is still with us… We celebrated the achievements of these dedicated and selfless women and men and applauded loudly as we awarded well deserved certificates to the Pioneers. We wish them continued success and stamina in the months that follow, safe in the knowledge that they are not alone and have forged strong relationships with one another and are Associates of the My Home Life and HIN community – a compassionate, skilled and formidable presence in south London.”

When the Pioneers signed up for the programme, none of them expected to be taking part in virtual workshops, with all the demands that being a care home manager brings erupting in the background. Whilst helping deliver the HIN’s quality improvement element of the programme over Zoom, it was clear to me that there were a lot of exhausted faces in the room, even after the peak of the pandemic. Cohort 3’s graduates told us that whilst the programme would have been better delivered face-to-face (which the HIN would traditionally do), a hybrid of some virtual sessions would also be helpful on occasion for future cohorts.

“The feedback from the Pioneers shows that the programme has played an important role in supporting care home managers during the toughest times that the sector has faced in its history, arming leaders with an array of skills and confidence to engage with wider clinical services to help keep residents safe.”George Croft, Healthy Ageing Project Support Officer, Health Innovation Network

Whilst covid restrictions have been lifted, significant challenges remain for care homes. The existing workforce issues have been elevated further by staff burnout, as well as the government’s announcement that vaccination against Covid-19 is to become a condition of deployment in care homes. However, the feedback from the Pioneers shows that the programme has played an important role in supporting care home managers during the toughest times that the sector has faced in its history, arming leaders with an array of skills and confidence to engage with wider clinical services to help keep residents safe. Working on Cohort 3 of the Pioneer programme has been a pleasure, and I look forward to future work that we can do to support alumni and future cohorts.

The HIN are in the process of securing funding for Cohort 4 of the Pioneer programme, which will be co-designed alongside alumni of previous Pioneer cohorts, to deliver a programme that best meets the needs of care home leaders in south London.

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New report demonstrates how dermatology teams can re-design their services to streamline the patient pathway and reduce wait times

The Dermatology Improvement Collaborative was a bespoke quality improvement programme designed and delivered by the Health Innovation Network, Kent, Surrey and Sussex AHSN and supported by the Industry Dermatology Initiative (IDI). The programme was fully funded by the IDI and they also supported with the development of activities and outputs. The collaborative worked to support local south London and Surrey dermatology services to streamline the patient pathway and clear their backlog.

Key stats

  • In south west London it was found that 17% of dermatology appointments were being cancelled by the provider, compared to 10% Nationally in 2020
  • Across the three trusts in South East London, dermatology services received an average of 6750 referrals per month in 2019/20
  • It was found in Leeds and York that by using high quality dermatoscopic images, 9.5-33% of cases avoided a face-to-face consultation

Pre-pandemic, the referral to appointment time (RTT) was 16 percent over the 18-week marker in south west London and 31 per cent over in south east London. Covid-19 dramatically worsened the situation as a result of Consultant Dermatologists and other operational staff being redeployed to deal with the pandemic response, therefore further increasing patient waiting times.

However, with funding from NHSX to accelerate the introduction of teledermatology in south east and south west London ICSs, the Dermatology Improvement Collaborative was able to support each ICS to implement new technology which aim to reduce wait times for patients.

The focus for south east London ICS was utilising their clinical resources more effectively, particularly in clinical triage and referral. A technology platform was implemented to manage clinical virtual review. A joint consultant rota was generated where consultants across the three NHS Trusts in south east London could review referrals before they are actioned, in order to streamline clinical triage.

In south west London ICS it was about reducing waiting times for dermatology appointments in secondary care. Educational videos were created to support patient and GP education of the treatment and management of skin conditions. As a result, GPs could make more informed decisions and therefore more appropriate referrals, which reduces wait times.

Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Foundation Trust sought solutions to address increasing service size and demand. For their two-week wait skin cancer referral pathway, they established teledermatology ‘photohubs’ across three north west Surrey locations. Employing healthcare assistants to take high quality images, which were uploaded securely to the Trust image database for review by the dermatology consultants. Next steps are to pilot the AI tool Skin Analytics in their services as part of the NHSX’s Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award.

“Like many across the country, Dermatology teams in south east and south west London were put under huge pressure during the pandemic, but by embracing new technology they saw the potential to improve their services. We hope the report into their success can help more dermatology services to transform their services through introduction of technology to help to reduce wait times for patients.”Lesley Soden, Programme Director of Innovation Theme, Health Innovation Network

A number of case studies were produced using the insights gathered and have now been translated into a report to share lessons learnt for all dermatology services wanting to implement teledermatology. These case studies will be being presented at the Conference: Govconnect – NHS Long Term Plan 2021 Meeting on 30th November 2021.

The IDI is a cross-industry collaboration to improve dermatology care and includes and is funded by the following member companies: Amgen, Eli Lilly and Company, LEO Pharma UK, Sanofi and UCB.

Date of preparation: September 2021                                 Document number: GB-NPS-0921-00004

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New transatlantic partnership announced for companies working to improve digital health

News

Post Title

The DigitalHealth.London and Cedars-Sinai Accelerators, two of the world’s top Accelerator programmes, today announced their new partnership supporting the international adoption of some of the US and UK’s best health tech companies.

It means patients in both the UK and US should benefit quicker from health tech innovations. The partnership will also utilise the deep healthcare knowledge and networks held by both organisations, to support companies who have taken part in either of the Accelerator programmes, to navigate and gain traction in a new global market. The companies will be given the opportunity to learn from and support their global peers, hear from experts in the new market, showcase their products/services to key international stakeholders and attend webinars on the respective healthcare systems.

Jenny Thomas, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London, said: “At DigitalHealth.London we are dedicated to supporting the growth and development of high potential digital health companies who are meeting the challenges facing health care systems today. The Cedars-Sinai Accelerator shares this goal, and it is our joint vision to work together to accelerate the adoption of the best healthcare solutions internationally.”

Anne Wellington, Managing Director, Cedars-Sinai Accelerator, said: The Cedars-Sinai Accelerator supports innovation that will improve healthcare, not only for our own patients and clinicians but by advancing technologies that benefit our global community. We are thrilled that this collaboration with DigitalHealth.London will foster support and adoption of the most transformative solutions from the US and UK!.”

Dr Tim Ferris, Director of Transformation at NHSE, said: “Some of the world’s most exciting digital health work is happening here in the UK. The NHS has a lot of knowledge to share, and there is also much we can learn from other countries. It is vital we use these connections to promote effective ways of improving patient care and work environments for busy NHS staff.”

DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator aims to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health. It works with up to 20 SMEs over a 12-month period, giving bespoke support and advice, a programme of expert-led workshops and events and brokering meaningful connections between innovators and NHS organisations with specific challenges. The NHS delivered programme, funded in part by the European Regional Development Fund, has supported some of the biggest and most effective digital innovations now being used by the NHS in London. Companies including LIVI, Oxehealth, Patchwork Health, Echo, Sweatcoin, and Health Navigator have all been through the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme. To date, the Accelerator has supported 122 innovative digital health companies, with 591 additional contracts secured and 1498 jobs created by those companies during Accelerator support. £2.06 billion of investment has been raised by these companies to date and for every £1 spent on the programme through the AHSNs, it is estimated £12.70 is saved for the NHS*.

The Cedars-Sinai Accelerator is transforming healthcare quality, efficiency, and care delivery by helping entrepreneurs create, grow and scale their innovative technology products. This three-month program, based in Los Angeles, California, provides companies with $100,000 in funding, mentorship from more than 300 leading clinicians and executives, access to Cedars-Sinai, and exposure to a broad network of entrepreneurs and investors. Since 2015, the Accelerator has helped more than 60 companies transform healthcare delivery and patient care. Examples of companies supported by the Accelerator include WELL Health, Aiva Health, Health Note, Diligent Robotics and AppliedVR. UK-founded alumni of the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator include Lumeon, Lantum and Virti. Accelerator alumni have gone on to collectively raise more than $500M in investment and are in use at thousands of hospitals and clinics across the United States and around the world.

Further information

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DigitalHealth.London publishes “Driving digital: Insights and foresights from the health and care ecosystem”

News

Post Title

When DigitalHealth.London was created five years ago, the digital health landscape was a very different place, as were the challenges facing the NHS. To celebrate their fifth birthday, DigitalHealth.London started a five-week conversation with NHS and social care staff, industry, patients and academics. Today, DigitalHealth.London publishes “Driving digital: Insights and foresights from the health and care ecosystem”, a fascinating look at the sector’s learnings from the last five years and the opportunities for the next five years in digital health.

The free-to-access publication features exclusive quotes and/or videos from Sir David Sloman, NHS Regional Director for London, Matthew Gould, CEO of NHSX, Patrick Mitchell, Director of Innovation, Transformation and Digital at Health Education England, and Professor Trish Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford – plus many more NHS and social care staff, digital health companies, patients and academics.

Topics in the publication include NHS digital health adoption, tackling digital exclusion, the importance of co-design, challenges of health tech evaluation, AI for workforce support, growth of remote monitoring and international opportunities.

Jenny Thomas, Programme Director at DigitalHealth.London, said, “We are proud of what DigitalHealth.London has achieved over the last five years in supporting the growth of digital health innovation in London and of how much we have learnt. But we know that there is still more to be done. That is why we wanted to celebrate our 5th birthday by starting an open discussion with groups from across the healthcare sector. Thank you to everyone who took part in what was an enlightening conversation, and we hope that those reading these insights gain as much from it as we did.”

Dr Timothy Ferris, Director of Transformation at NHS England and Improvement, said, “DigitalHealth.London has brought together voices from across health and social care – staff, patients and service users, industry and academics – to reflect on learnings from the last five years and the future of healthcare. This publication provides invaluable insights for how we can work together towards the goal of improving people’s care. I would encourage leaders, clinicians and decision makers in health and care to read, share and take action.”

Sonia Patel, Chief Information Officer at NHSX, said, “The digital health landscape has changed dramatically over the last five years, and it is clear from the insights shared in DigitalHealth.London’s 5th birthday publication, that as a sector we’ve learnt an incredible amount. As a Londoner, I’m particularly pleased to see progress in tech and data to support a multicultural, diverse community. It is also apparent that, while we’ve still got a way to go, the future is bright for digital health in London and beyond. If you’re working in digital health, this is a must-read.”

Further information

Explore more by reading “Driving digital: Insights and foresights from the health and care ecosystem.”

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New report shows remote mental health consultations make care more accessible but are not the right solution for all patients

Clinician pictured in remote consultation with patient

Remote technology has transformed mental health consultations during Covid-19 but it’s not the solution for every situation nor for all patients.

Key stats

  • 6,030 patients responded to the Trust surveys
  • 554 clinicians that responded to the Trust surveys
  • The report included a synthesis of 77 papers from 19 countries

A new report has found the shift to remote mental health consultations held by telephone or video, rather than face-to-face because of the pandemic, led to improved access, reduced missed appointments, and reduced travel stress. However, it also highlighted challenges, including access to technology, issues around broadband connectivity and data packages.

The report, produced by the NHS’s Health Innovation Network, NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South London, King’s Improvement Science and involving experts by experience, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust and Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, makes several recommendations to inform clinical practice and to determine ongoing gaps in knowledge.

Key findings from the 6,030 patients who responded to the Trust surveys on remote consultations in mental health settings were that they allowed the flexibility of varying levels of support during the pandemic, and care was more accessible to populations who may have previously found travel to appointments challenging and some patients felt more relaxed in their own home during the consultation.

From the 554 clinicians that responded to the Trust surveys, including psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists and nurses, training to use technology was raised as a need for both clinicians and patients.

Patients, carers, and clinicians said remote consultations were more convenient, reduced travel time, saved travel costs and meant family members were readily able to attend family sessions. In particular, remote mental health consultations were acceptable to people during Covid-19 to continue their treatment.

However, there is no ‘one size fits all’ and an individualised approach will always remain the gold standard, especially for new patients and children, those with a psychosis diagnosis, learning difficulties or the digitally excluded. Other barriers to remote consultations included where patients or clinicians could not access a private space where they were confident they would not be interrupted.

The report includes three evaluations:

  • Two evidence reviews of research both before and during Covid-19 were conducted jointly with the NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit.
  • Thematic analysis of patient and staff surveys from across the three Trusts, which received 6,608 responses.
  • The results of an e-survey on 32 projects with a focus on patient and/or staff perspectives on experience.

“Technology has allowed clinicians to provide consultations remotely, and this has been well received by many patients who say it is more convenient and saves the time and stress of having to travel to appointments. ”Dr Natasha Curran, Medical Director Health Innovation Network

Health Innovation Network Medical Director Natasha Curran said:

“Access to mental health services during Covid-19 has been disrupted as patients were isolated and clinicians were unable to hold face-to-face consultations. Technology has allowed clinicians to provide consultations remotely, and this has been well received by many patients who say it is more convenient and saves the time and stress of having to travel to appointments.

“This study also shows that remote consultations don’t work for everyone for a variety of reasons: the nature of some patients’ condition, technological barriers, or privacy, for both clinicians and patients. This comprehensive report points to the benefits of a hybrid system, the importance of patient choice, where some consultations can be carried out remotely and others face to face, that could support vital ongoing mental health treatment both during Covid-19 and beyond.”

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Deep dive into digital advance care planning

What are the benefits of advance care planning using digital tools and how challenging is it to implement an effective system?  In this Q&A discussion, NHS South West London CCGs Digital Urgent Care Planning Project Officer Lucy Colleer and NHS England Assistant Director for Enhanced Health and Care Homes and Care Sector Support Fay Sibley answer key questions in the aftermath of Covid-19 and its impact in care homes. The conversation centres on the advance digital care record, Coordinate My Care (CMC).

Photo of Fay Sibley

Photo above: Fay Sibley

Why is advance care planning and having a digital urgent care record important for care home residents?

Fay:

I think it's incredibly important that care home residents have a digital urgent care record. We know that care home residents are often in the end phases of life. Even those that aren’t, are living with often extremely complex health and social care needs. So to have a single place where information is recorded about their wishes and preferences as well as their medical needs, including their medication, diagnosis and CPR status means that we are able to look after care home residents in a more holistic way.

"I think that's particularly important when we start to think about people who, for various reasons, aren’t able to necessarily advocate for themselves."Fay Sibley

It means that all of the health care professionals who are involved in that person’s care, and look after that person have access to information about that person. I think that's particularly important when we start to think about people who, for various reasons, aren’t able to necessarily advocate for themselves. Or may not be well enough at the point in which they're accessing care to be able to advocate for themselves, or to put forward their needs and preferences.

Putting in place a system 

To have that in a systematic way that's consistent and that everybody is familiar with, really does help them with transfer of care. This means we can make sure that we do meet those wishes and preferences and just means we can deliver the right care. Whether that's keeping somebody comfortable at home, or whether that's escalating and transferring them to hospital. If you can access that information, it allows you to consider that on a very individual basis.

Photo of Lucy Colleer

Bitesize info

A series of short case study videos have been produced to demonstrate the value of individual patients having advance/urgent care plans brings to the wider health and care system.

Photo above: Lucy Colleer

Lucy:

We conducted a case study recently with a care home in Kingston, to look at how they were using CMC. How they got on with setting up CMC in the care home as well as getting their staff trained and using it. I think the biggest benefit, is that [CMC] puts the resident’s wishes first.

From a technical point of view, having a digital urgent care plan allows everyone to have access to the same information. It’s updated automatically, which means that you don't have to worry about bits of paper going out of date or going missing.

Saving time in an urgent situation

One of the things that the care manager we interviewed spoke about, was that it saved them so much time in an urgent care situation. In one instance, they had a resident who had a fall, and they called the ambulance service. Normally they would get phone calls from A&E saying, ‘What are the patient’s medical details?’, ‘What medication are they taking?’ But having it in that digital care record just meant that they didn't have to spend time printing documents, or taking those phone calls. And also for the staff in A&E as well, it was really helpful to have that information. Having an End of Life care plan really saves time and can strengthen decision-making.

It's just about putting the resident and the patient first. It also helps make life easier for clinicians who don't have an awful lot of time on their hands, and the care home staff as well.

"(A CMC care plan) really means that we are able to look after care home residents in a more holistic way."Lucy Colleer

Bitesize info

In July 2020, the HIN was commissioned to deliver a programme to increase use and quality of shared electronic advance and urgent care plans using Co-ordinate my Care (CMC). The programme concentrated on clinical engagement. Read about the Advance and Urgent Care Plans – London Accelerator

Fay:

I used to work for the ambulance service and one of the most difficult things was going to a care home in the early hours of the morning after being called to a resident. In one instance where this happened to me, the resident was acutely unwell, had a complex medical history and wasn't able to communicate. I was faced with trying to make an informed clinical decision with no access to information. Often at night in a care home they're operating with skeleton staff and, quite often, agency staff or bank staff because there are challenges in the care sector workforce. So they might not even be able to access patients records because they would be locked in the manager's office.

The problem with limited information

What we would know about that resident would be so limited that often as a paramedic, you end up taking people to A&E despite having concerns about whether the distress that course of action entails would justify the benefits. At that point it comes down to questions around what is “right” or “fair”, which are very difficult to answer as a clinician.

You are so limited to be able to make any other choice, because you didn't know their medical history. You didn't know what their wishes were. Nor which family member to call or who might have some more information about that person.

Seeing the info on an iPad

When paramedics first started to be able to access urgent care records we used to have to do that by phoning up the control centre. Amazingly, now paramedics can actually see it in real time on an iPad. But even when I left the service, you could call up the control centre and ask for that information. It just meant that you could make a different decision and you could justify that decision.

It was an informed clinical decision that was backed up and supported by the input of that person's GP. The input of that person's family, the input, hopefully, of that person themselves, as it allows you to make different decisions. And as Lucy said, a decision that really puts the person at the centre.

"There was real recognition that care needed to change quite quickly [because of Covid], and that those effects would probably be lasting."Fay Sibley

Bitesize info

The HIN, in partnership with the End of Life Care Strategic Clinical Network, secured funding from the NHS England (NHSE) personalisation team to work with Marie Curie nurses to create CMC records for care home residents in three nursing homes in south east London over a five week period. Read Increasing the number of care home residents in Lambeth supported by a Co-ordinate My Care plan

How is the HIN doing in terms of speeding up the spread and adoption of digital urgent care records in south London?

Fay:

The HIN has been working in this space for a long time, probably since the HIN started (in 2016) and more formally with CMC for the last two and a half years. Through a small pot of funding, through The Health Foundation, we were able to do a pilot project with about 10 care homes looking at different methods of getting care homes access to CMC. We also looked at the things that care homes would need to do in order to be able to access CMC. Either to view it or to put information into the record.

The challenges for care homes

From that project we learnt an awful lot about some of the process aspects of this that are challenging for care homes. Things like Information Governance (IG) requirements, the hardware requirements, having a laptop or a device to use and the Wi-Fi requirements.  I think that learning has then helped us to try to move this conversation on.

Obviously in terms of the [Covid-19] pandemic, it changed lots of things. Particularly the work that care homes are doing and the focus being put on care homes by the Government.  So at the beginning of the pandemic the HIN was really instrumental in trying to pull together various stakeholders who were looking at the key questions ‘How do we create records for care home residents?’ There was real recognition that care needed to change quite quickly, and that those effects would probably be lasting.

Collaborative working

The other thing we did was we worked with the End of Life Care Strategic Clinical Network to secure some funding and ran a small-scale pilot with Marie Curie. That was really interesting because Marie Curie had a number of frontline clinical staff who were shielding themselves because of the pandemic. Those staff were at risk of being furloughed and not able to work because they weren't able to do their frontline job. So what Marie Curie did was give them some additional training and upskilling. This meant they could support care homes to create CMC records for residents.

Working with care homes

We worked with three care homes in Lambeth, one GP practice and Marie Curie to deliver a small kind of, ‘proof of concept’ project around the use of CMC in a care home.  We learnt lots. We realised that to create quality records remotely with another organisation that doesn't perhaps know that person or have access to all of their clinical information has its challenges. They were able to do a fantastic job in starting the record off, but they still required a fair amount of input from the GP. It was not a perfect model, but we learnt a lot from the project. It was really interesting to use voluntary sector organisations to support this work.  In particular, organisations like Marie Curie that really have a lot of knowledge around end of life and advance care planning. And to use a staff group that otherwise, perhaps, wouldn't have been working during the pandemic and certainly couldn't do their main role.

Bitesize info

The HIN Healthy Ageing and Informatics Teams were commissioned to create a user friendly and useful digital maturity dashboard for care homes across London. This project was led by the Health Innovation Network and funded by the Digital First London region team.

Since then we've been doing a lot of work with Lucy and trying to support the coordinated pan-London effort around care homes and CMC. So it's absolutely brilliant to see this is on the commissioners’ radar and the work that Lucy’s doing. Lucy's pulled together a steering group that now meets monthly, and the HIN is also trying to help with some of the analysis of the data.

A dashboard for care home digital maturity

We've developed a Care Homes Digital Maturity Dashboard. This is a tool to be able to  monitor each care homes maturity status, in terms of their digital abilities. A key part of that for London care homes is CMC. 'Do they have access to CMC?' 'Do they have the right IG requirements that allow access to CMC?  'How many residents in their home have CMC?' We’re pulling all of those data sources together and presenting that information in a way that's useful to Lucy and other colleagues across London working in this space.

I think the HIN’s moved more into a supportive role, trying to share the lessons that we've learned from some of the early work. And then really letting the commissioner drive it forward in a way that we don’t have the reach to do.

"(A CMC care plan) really means that we are able to look after care home residents in a more holistic way."Lucy Colleer

Bitesize info

View the collection of resources. Coordinate My Care has provided a wealth of info to support the patient-led portal to create an end of life care plan. MyCMC: your plan, in your own time, in your own home

How many digital urgent care records have been created through CMC?

Lucy:

It’s in the region of thousands (see chart below). There are lots and lots of residents who do have care records, so the focus of our pan London work at the moment is actually getting care home staff themselves to look at those records. At the moment the majority of those records are created by the GPs and sometimes in the acute trust. So we're trying to encourage care home staff to start looking at those resident plans and keep them up to date.

The power of data

We have been working really closely with Fay and the HIN and I would say that the HIN has been more than just support. We're trying to lead the way from where you paved the way and the Care Homes Digital Maturity Dashboard is really, really helpful especially from a commissioning perspective because we can look at how it's affecting the ambulance call-outs and the conveyance rates and use the information to make commissioning and transformation decisions. From a commissioning point of view, obviously patient-centred care is the most important thing, but financial return on investment is important too. It’s been really great to be working with it with the HIN and supporting work that Fay and the team have been doing.

Fay:

I think the other thing that's really helpful is about data, and CMC actually produce a fair bit of data.  Again we could debate the data set of course we could, but they do produce a commissioners’ workbook, again on a monthly basis. One of the useful things about data is it allows you to look at different areas and make those comparisons.

Incentivising GPs and the role of the ICS's

For example in south London, south west London do particularly well in terms of the number of CMC records they’ve created. So you can look at some of the models that they've put in place over the last, let's say five years, that have really led to that. For example they incentivised GPs to do some of this work, so you saw a really big increase in that they've got a really established enhanced health and care homes programme and End of Life care programme within their Integrated Care System (ICS).

Again, they're really driving that work forward from a ICS strategic point of view, so having data allows you to look at factors such as where’s doing well? And ask questions like 'What are they doing?' 'Who’s lagging behind and 'what might be the reasons for that?'

The quality of the record

And then one of the other things that the HIN has really been focusing on is thinking about the quality of the record. Creating a record is one thing that's really important, but the record is only really as good as the information that's in it. 'How do I make sure that the information that I include in that record is of quality and is useful?' 'Does it make sense as a kind of complete picture?'

The HIN developed a checklist of the non-mandatory information that would be most useful to clinicians. And then from that we've done some work with south west London to try to refine that. Again, we pulled together a steering group with various clinicians from south west London to look at how can we use something like a checklist to drive up and standardise the quality of CMC records. This is so they are a useful, high quality, advanced care planning record.

"Creating a record is one thing that's really important, but the record is only really as good as the information that's in it."Fay Sibley

What would you say has been the biggest challenge in setting up more CMC records?

Fay:

I think capacity of the workforce to really do this, is the biggest challenge. As Lucy said, at the moment the vast majority of CMC records for care home residents are created by GPs. But GPs are an incredibly over-stretched workforce and it's not a quick five-minute job. It can take up to an hour to really have a meaningful conversation and then translate that into a record and publish that record. When you start talking about thousands of records across London, that's thousands of hours of GP time.

Who else can support the programme?

But I think the thing that may help us around that is understanding who else within the primary care and community services workforce can support this work.  Care homes themselves absolutely play a vital role and can feed into the record and do some of the data entry and have the conversations, but also, say, palliative care teams often do this kind of work; hospices, they've got brilliant teams that can support with this. Voluntary sector organisations; Macmillan, Marie Curie and GP practices are now starting to grow their workforce. Through the Primary Care Networks, we've now got paramedics working in GP practices. We've got highly skilled nurses that are really, really knowledgeable. There is a growing pool of professionals who could support the creation of urgent care records.

Getting patients and their families involved

We’ve also got an opportunity through MyCMC potentially as well which is something that was set up to be a patient-led record. Somebody would initiate that record for themselves, and there are roles within a GP practice where that could be a supported process, so social prescribers for example have the potential to be able to support somebody, even living in a care home, to initiate that record. People have a bit more agency. This includes setting up a record in mental health care homes and learning difficulty care homes. It may be appropriate sometimes to use MyCMC.

Lucy:

I take your point on capacity in terms of creating and maintaining those care plans. Once the plan is there,  it’s fairly easy to update and maintain it and we've seen that with some of the care homes that have been using it. They include it as part of the weekly rounds when the GP comes along, they include it at the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meetings that take place. And actually it's not too much work once the initial plan is filled out. In some of the more successful care homes using CMC the biggest thing, is just being engaging with them, and that's quite difficult to do from a commissioning perspective.

Resource challenges

I work in a very small commissioning team of just two. We’re covering the whole of London, including all health and care organisations across London.  So between us, it's very difficult to do that engagement. CMC does have a very strong engagement team, and they are successful, but they're still quite a small team for the whole of London. Some of the more successful care homes have been the ones that the CCG has provided resource, such as project support officers that have literally been hand holding those care homes to support them with all sorts of digital maturity aspects, like the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) compliance and also, they've been really helpful with getting the care homes access to CMC.

I think engagement is one of the biggest success factors, but also a huge challenge. I think there's such a variety of resources across London. I know some STP's simply just don't have the resource to hand hold care homes with it.

Care homes 'left behind'

I think care homes have been left behind a little bit in terms of digital maturity. That's one of the key things - being able to have access to a computer, good internet, the IG (Information Governance) - all in place.  I think that they've been a bit left behind. I don't know what the historical reasons behind that are, but I think the digital maturity side of things is a big challenge for some care homes, especially the smaller ones.

Fay:

I would agree wholeheartedly with that around the kind of digital maturity aspects.

And I think there's lots of reasons. Obviously, many of them are private providers. Historically, social care hasn't received the same level of funding as the NHS. It perhaps hasn't been seen as a priority or our job.

Equality of access to care

But I think when we talk about and think about equality of access to care and the world that we now live in, and the fact that many health services have been forced to, at least in some ways, move to a more virtual remote delivery then actually it's no longer the responsibility of social care alone because we're denying people access to the care that they have a right to.

I think that's probably why there is such an increased focus throughout the pandemic on getting care homes up to that basic level of digital maturity; that same digital standard that we would expect of our NHS.  It's not easy, and I think one of the reasons we started the dashboard was because at the beginning of the pandemic, what we didn't know is what we didn't know (i.e we didn't know whether this home in Southwark had Wi-Fi even, or if they even had a laptop and that information wasn't anywhere). There were no agreed datasets around the care homes. There was no kind of central repository to go to and just put in the care home name and it will bring that up, so we didn't even know how to support them, because we didn't know what they had to start with. So that's part of the reason we initiated that dashboard work because we were like how we can support the central government functions - health and social care, public health and other involved organisations?

This was a joint interview that took place remotely in April 2021.

NB: Fay Sibley was speaking in her previous role as the HIN's Head of Healthy Ageing.

Table showing number of care home residents in London with a CMC plan

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DigitalHealth.London Accelerator opens for applications

Call out to the next generation of digital innovation to transform health and care.

Digital products and services have provided vital innovation, support and capacity to the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to do so as the healthcare system moves forward into the subsequent recovery phase of the Covid-19 response. DigitalHealth.London has opened applications to their flagship Accelerator programme for the next generation of digital health companies to transform health and care.

Now in its sixth consecutive year, the NHS delivered programme, funded in part by the European Regional Development Fund, has supported some of the biggest and most effective digital innovations now being used by the NHS in London. Companies including LIVI, Oxehealth, Patchwork Health, Echo, Sweatcoin, and Health Navigator  have all been through the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme. Many of the digital products and services who have provided vital innovation, support and capacity to the NHS during the response to Covid-19 have come through the Accelerator. From enabling remote GP appointments, to transforming NHS temporary staffing and patient facing self-management apps, the Accelerator has supported some of the best digital innovations now being widely used. The need for innovations to solve the problems which face the NHS as it continues to be under pressure and as it recovers from the pandemic, remains vital.

To date the Accelerator has supported 122 innovative digital health companies, with 411 additional contracts signed by those companies during Accelerator support. For every £1 spent on the programme it is estimated over £14 is saved for the NHS*. DigitalHealth.London is passionate about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the long-term success of innovation and transformation within the NHS. To date 15 per cent of the companies supported have been founded by women, 22 per cent have been owned by innovators who identify as Black, Asian or minority ethnic and 2 per cent by a person with a disability*. DigitalHeath.London continues to work to ensure the Accelerator programme is diverse and encourages innovators who identify as being from a minority group to apply to the programme.

Jenny Thomas, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, said: “The last year and a half in the NHS has seen profound challenges but also incredible progress. NHS Staff and patients have been introduced to new ways of doing things through digital health, and technology has enabled many key services to continue during the Covid-19 pandemic. I am extremely proud of the companies and NHS organisations we have worked with and the role they have played during the pandemic and the vital roles I know they will continue to play as we start to look at supporting the NHS to recover. I am very excited to announce the opening of applications to be part of the next cohort of innovators on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme – innovators who we will support in being part of this next, pivotal stage for our healthcare system.”

Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, Chief Executive, Health Innovation Network, said: “I am delighted that applications are open for the sixth cohort of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator. Over the years we have seen so many success stories come out of the programme – innovations that are now making a significant positive impact on health outcomes and ongoing challenges like workforce pressures. The depth of support offered to innovators over a 12-month period is really impressive, providing bespoke assistance and advice through events such as expert-led workshops and facilitating meaningful connections between innovators and NHS organisations with specific challenges.

I look forward to contributing to the development of what I’m sure will be another outstanding cohort of innovators this year. I would urge anyone thinking of applying to join the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator 101 Webinar on Wednesday 4 August at 12:30pm and find out more about the programme and how it might benefit you.”

Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer for London, said: “DigitalHealth.London’s influential Accelerator programme is helping London establish its place as one of the most exciting digital health and care hubs in the world. I am delighted to continue to support the Accelerator as it opens for applications again and I’d urge any digital health innovator who has a product or service that could support the NHS in this challenging time to consider joining this programme.”

Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer of NHSX, said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme is a key player in helping the NHS and social care to make the most of the opportunities digital technologies bring.

“This has never been more important as the NHS looks to recover from the pandemic and I look forward to seeing the next group of innovators bringing their solutions to London’s NHS.”

Phoebe Allen, Quality Improvement Manager, Planned Care, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Working on the ground in the NHS I have witnessed first-hand the rapid progress of digital technology within our healthcare system over the last year. Without some of these innovations the delivery of many services would have been nearly impossible and it is clear that digital technology has a huge role to play in the future of improving patient care and helping the NHS to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme helps connect innovators to NHS teams with an unmet need and provide them with the knowledge they need to truly understand the challenges face by the NHS, its staff and its patients.”

Dr Mridula Pore, CEO and Co-founder, Peppy, Accelerator programme 2020-21, said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator has been instrumental in fostering the perfect environment for Peppy to grow in the NHS. The guidance we have been given, connections brokered with decision makers in NHS organisations and policy makers, and the support we have received from our NHS Navigator has all led to wonderful new opportunities and meaningful growth of our company. We are truly grateful for our Accelerator experience and would like to wish all companies applying good luck in what is a hugely competitive and valuable programme.”

Anas Nader, Co-Founder, Patchwork Health, Accelerator programme 2019-20, said: “We’re so proud of how widely our technology has already been embraced across the NHS and the impact we’re having on the lives of thousands of clinicians. We were delighted to join the 2019-20 cohort of DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator, a brilliant programme speeding up adoption of digital health innovations in the NHS. The programme has provided us with opportunities to connect with industry experts as well as other healthtech innovators. I’d encourage companies like ours with good ideas and big ambitions to apply.”

DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator aims to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health. The programme is for digital health companies with a product or service that has high potential to meet the challenges facing the NHS and social care today, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and as detailed in the NHS Long Term Plan. It works with up to 20 SMEs over a 12-month period, giving bespoke support and advice, a programme of expert-led workshops and events and brokering meaningful connections between innovators and NHS organisations with specific challenges. The companies that are successful in getting onto the Accelerator programme are chosen through a rigorous and highly competitive selection process, involving expert NHS and industry panel assessments, interviews and due diligence checks. Companies successful in gaining a place on the programme usually have a product or service that has already been piloted in the NHS and is ready to scale. Through-out the 12 months the programme focuses on engagement with different elements of the health and care system. Company suitability is assessed based both on product maturity (meaning products that are ready to be trialled or bought that have high potential to meet NHS challenges) and on the company’s capacity to benefit from the programme (meaning companies have enough time and staff to engage).

Join a discussion with the Programme Director, an NHS Navigator and some of the SMEs who have been supported by the programme on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator 101 Webinar on Wednesday 4 August at 12:30pm.

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Hospital staff use ‘nudge theory’ to boost health and wellbeing during Covid-19

#OnlyHuman promo film

Featured on BBC London TV news and in the Revealing Reality-produced film above, King’s College Hospital (KCH) has adopted the HIN’s behavioural science workforce support campaign #OnlyHuman to help prevent staff burnout caused by the pressures of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Key statistics

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust employs over 11,000 staff.

Hundreds of staff at King’s College Hospital have embraced ‘nudge theory’ to help protect their wellbeing during the pandemic.

The hospital has become the first to adopt a workforce-wide campaign called #OnlyHuman that uses behavioural insights to prompt frontline staff to take action that helps protect their physical and mental wellbeing. The move comes after King’s trialled the campaign last year and emergency and critical care teams reported a positive impact during a highly challenging period during the pandemic.

The campaign takes a peer-to-peer approach to prompt staff, who sometimes struggle to identify
signs of stress in themselves, to spot early signs of strain within colleagues and use these tools to then take simple actions. These include check in with colleagues regularly to make sure they’re taking breaks, drinking enough water, implementing brief huddles before and after shifts and simply showing kindness to each other.

Behavioural experts maintain that if staff can are prompted to use these behaviours, this creates a ripple effect because social cues reinforce the behaviours and embed them into the workforce.

Devised at pace over eight weeks in response to Covid-19, behavioural insight specialists worked in conjunction with healthcare professionals across multiple trusts to identify key themes to address. The themes included: Checking in, Recharging, Managing Uncertainty, Warming up and down and Kindness.

This was a joint project between behavioural research specialists Revealing Reality and the NHS’s Health Innovation Network, funded by The Health Foundation.

Dr Claire McDonald, Principal Clinical Psychologist and Lead Psychologist for Staff Support at King’s College Hospital, said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented time for our frontline health and care staff. Staff have worked tirelessly to care for patients including those who have been critically ill. There is also the broader context of fear and uncertainty about the risks and evolving situation, coupled with an erosion of our natural ways of coping due to restrictions.

“This understandably takes a toll, as we are ‘Only Human’. That’s why we rolled out the campaign, as one strand of our KCH staff support offer, to encourage staff to look after themselves and each other through various tips and simple measures. We brought the campaign into our Wellbeing Hubs and many teams and departments including Emergency and Critical Care. To provide the very best care to patients our staff first need to be well resourced. Extra levels of stress require extra levels of self-care and looking out for each other.”

KCH’s Christine Brown Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Team Leader Mairead Trant said:

“I think this is a fantastic initiative to help frontline staff cope with the emotional strain that sometimes comes with the work we do. It’s important that we take time to look after ourselves and each other and reflect on what happens each day.

“By taking time to talk to someone you trust, it can help greatly to ease the stress and improve mental wellbeing. This initiative really focuses on this theme and will have huge health benefits for staff.”

“I think this is a fantastic initiative to help frontline staff cope with the emotional strain that sometimes comes with the work we do.”KCH’s Christine Brown Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Team Leader Mairead Trant.

Health Innovation Network Programme Director in the Patient Safety and Experience team Catherine Dale said:

“It’s great that King’s College Hospital staff found our #OnlyHuman campaign useful during Covid-19 and have since adopted it.

“When the pandemic hit we recognised the emotional toll it was taking on healthcare staff. Behavioural insights – also known as ‘nudge theory’ – encourage people to act in helpful ways. We applied this approach to develop a suite of materials to help healthcare professional support each other during these enormously challenging times.”

Further information

Download the #OnlyHuman resource pack today.

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Kingston Council Mental Health and Wellbeing Training Programme for Care Workers

In order to safeguard the wellbeing of the care workforce, Kingston Council launched a wellbeing training programme, alongside a package of support, in September 2020.

In brief

  • Increased the number of mental health first aiders in the care workforce by 110 per cent.
  • 78 per cent of attendees found the mental health first aid course useful.
  • All the participants would recommend the programme to others.

Covid-19 has taken its toll on us all and we’re yet to know the full impact it’s had on our workforce, particularly those working on the frontline in the health and care sector. From the physical exhaustion of maintaining capacity when sickness levels were high to the emotional effects of managing own fears and anxieties whilst coping with mass bereavement and loss. The trauma our care workers have faced over the past year cannot be underestimated and their mental and physical health has never been more of a priority.

In order to safeguard the wellbeing of the care workforce, Kingston Council launched a wellbeing training programme, alongside a package of support, in September 2020. The aims of the programme were to raise mental health awareness and understanding amongst the workforce, build resilience and increase their ability to cope with day to day stressors. Through the programme, a network of wellbeing champions was created to provide peer support and deliver wellbeing workshops throughout their organisations and communities.

“The course was absolutely wonderful and I enjoyed my experience in the mental health for first hand. I would recommend everyone to have the course”Course participant

Our Healthy Ageing team were asked to evaluate the wellbeing programme that Kingston council provided for their care workers. You can read the results of the evaluation here.

The pilot programme has been a huge success and increased the number of mental health first aiders in the care workforce by 110 per cent. It’s worth noting, although stress levels were reported as higher post the course, this coincided with the second wave of Covid, lockdown and a very difficult winter. The programme may have made people more aware of the actual stress they were working under – which is a positive outcome as, once recognised, steps can be taken to address the issues.

After the programme participants felt that they understood how to look after their own wellbeing and spot signs of anxiety, stress and other related mental health conditions. The team, plan to continue rolling out this programme throughout 2021.

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Pulmonary Rehab – the COVID effect

The latest Innovation Exchange podcast is out – ‘Pulmonary Rehab – the COVID effect’, following on from the national Innovation Exchange webinar focusing on the same subject.


In this episode, Dr Hasan Chowhan explores the challenges facing pulmonary rehab services, which have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Greater strain will continue on these services as we support COVID patients with longer term respiratory problems. So what can innovators do to help? Listen and find out…

Dr Chowhan interviews Kelly Redden-Rowley, a Respiratory Physiotherapist and Head of Community Respiratory Service at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust. We also hear about exciting innovations from: Jan Van Aken from Spirit Digital; Kevin Auton from Aseptika, Simon Taylor from Rehab Guru and Farhan Amin from Concept Health.

 

Find out more

Enjoyed this podcast? You can catch up on the previous ones on the Innovation Exchange website.

Listen here

Sitekit and Health Innovation Network launch the Liberate to Innovate report today

The speed and ingenuity of the NHS’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic presents a unique opportunity to understand how successful digital transformation can be delivered quickly and at scale. In partnership with Sitekit, we published a report to capture the behaviours, values and decisions which made rapid digital innovation during the covid-19 pandemic possible.

As infections increased and the country went into lockdown, every part of the health service began the rapid adoption of digital tools, but there was no certainty of success. The NHS’s ability to repurpose services and buildings, establish new virtual teams, find new ways of delivering care and even improve services depended on liberating countless individual acts of leadership, collaboration, problem solving and empathy.

“The past 12 months have seen extraordinary changes in health and social care. As south London’s AHSN, we have been involved in a wide variety of transformative projects helping local and national NHS partners use innovative digital technologies and approaches to respond to the intense pressures of the pandemic.”Anna King, Commercial Director, Health Innovation Network

In collaboration with Sitekit, we listened to the stories of NHS staff who have been making this extraordinary acceleration in digital transformation a reality, to help us all learn from 2020 about how to deliver innovation in the years to come.

“It is vital that the sometimes hard-learned lessons of this period are recorded, and that we use these insights to inform the future of digital transformation in healthcare.”Anna King, Commercial Director, Health Innovation Network

We have also reflected on how digital transformation during the pandemic has enhanced NHS culture. We believe there are vital lessons to be learned from the pandemic about what drives success in digital transformation. We hope that chief information officers and other technology leaders and senior managers will use this unique opportunity for learning to maximise the chances of success as the healthcare digital revolution accelerates.

Find out more

To view the full report visit the Sitekit website.

See report

Innovative programme for chronic joint pain given a sustainable future thanks to new partnership

A new partnership between the Health Innovation Network (HIN) and Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK) has secured the future of an award-winning programme that helps people with knee, hip and back pain.

The ESCAPE-pain programme, which stands for Enabling Self-Management and Coping with Arthritic Pain using Exercise (ESCAPE), was developed by Professor Mike Hurley at St George’s University of London and Kingston University to help people with knee, hip and back pain. In 2013 it was identified as a local innovation that was ready for adoption by the Health Innovation Network (HIN), the Academic Health Science Network for south London. It has since been supported by Versus Arthritis, Sport England, the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA), the AHSN Network.  In 2020 it was named Musculoskeletal (MSK) Initiative of the Year by Health Service Journal.

During the last eight years the HIN has worked with partners to support the scale-up of ESCAPE-pain to over 300 locations across the UK.  It has been used by around 20,000 participants, saving £30million in the costs of health and social care. Participants frequently report that their pain improves, they take fewer medications and find they are more able to get back to doing the things they enjoy.

The longer-term future of the programme has now been secured through a partnership between HIN and national medical charity Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK). From April 20th, the charity, which works to improve bone, joint and muscle wellbeing through education, training and research, will be operating and developing ESCAPE-pain under licence from the HIN. Key members of the ESCAPE-pain team will continue to run ESCAPE-pain at Orthopaedic Research UK, ensuring a seamless transfer.

“It has been rewarding for all those involved to see the success of ESCAPE-pain in the last eight years. The HIN has supported the development and spread of the programme and we’re delighted to have identified a sustainable future for the programme which will ensure its continued national delivery, so that many more people with chronic joint pain can benefit from this evidence-based approach.”Rishi Das-Gupta, Chief Executive, HIN

Rishi Das-Gupta, Chief Executive, HIN said: “It has been rewarding for all those involved to see the success of ESCAPE-pain in the last eight years. The HIN has supported the development and spread of the programme and we’re delighted to have identified a sustainable future for the programme which will ensure its continued national delivery, so that many more people with chronic joint pain can benefit from this evidence-based approach.”

Adrian Downing, chair of ORUK said: “The difference ESCAPE-pain makes to people with arthritic pain is clear. As one of the few charities devoted to bone, joint and muscle wellbeing, we have a critical role to play in enabling pain-free movement for all. The stark reality is that poor musculoskeletal health is a major and debilitating drain on society.  It is the third largest area of expenditure for the NHS. Tragically, it is also linked to rising levels of obesity, anxiety, isolation and depression.  With such a huge societal impact, we must never accept the inevitability of pain, or indeed its cost.  This is why we are so excited about this partnership with HIN, which gives us a proven and practical way to help the many thousands of people suffering from poor musculoskeletal health. Weare looking forward to working with all the providers who currently deliver ESCAPE-pain services.”

Professor Gary Ford, Chair, The AHSN Network said: “The AHSN Network works to support the adoption and spread of innovations with a strong evidence base addressing significant population health needs. Collectively the AHSNs have supported the adoption of ESCAPE – pain across the country. We are pleased that this partnership will mean that people will continue to benefit from access to ESCAPE-pain in health and leisure facilities local to them.”

Further information

Queries regarding the ESCAPE-pain programme can now be sent to the Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK) team.

Get in touch

Join us at the Intelligent Health AI Conference for free

An interactive session on AI in social care and care homes will be the focus for a joint HIN/NIHR session at the Intelligent Health 2021, Artificial Intelligence (AI) conference. Along with DigitalHealth.London and AHSN Innovation Exchange, the HIN will be delivering a Challenge session at this virtual conference.

Our challenge session is jointly led between ourselves and the NIHR, and features Head of Healthy Ageing Fay Sibley:

How do we integrate AI based technologies into social care and care homes?

  • Understand the challenges to help care homes become AI ready.
  • Learn from case studies on how they addressed barriers and came up with solutions.
  • Identify the key challenges around gathering data between multiple partners.
  • Understand where learnings from care homes can be translated into other opportunities to support independent living for other patient groups.

Speakers:

  • Fay Sibley, Head of Healthy Ageing, Health Innovation Network
  • Elina Naydenova, CEO & Co-Founder, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator company Feebris
  • Guy Gross, COO of Teladoc in the UK
  • Daniel Casson, digital adviser at Care England, and part of the Digital Social Care Team
  • Darren Crombie, CEO of Upstream Health
  • Jose-Luis Fernandez , Deputy Director of the NIHR School for Social Care

It takes place on 11 May between 10:20 – 11:20.

Another session is being led by DH.L and the Innovation Exchange:

Can AI help the NHS recover from the pandemic – a focus on cancer services

  • How has the use of digital and AI technology helped to speed up current pathways during the pandemic?
  • Exploring the patient journey: Diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation
  • How can we use digital and AI technology to create new pathways?

Speakers:

  • Professor Fiona Gilbert, Professor of Radiology, Head of Department, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
  • Danny Ruta, Clinical Artificial Intelligence Lead, Guy’s Cancer Centre, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
  • Rayna Patel, Medical Doctor, Co-Founder and CEO, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator alumnus, Vinehealth
  • Peter Mountney, CEO, Odin Vision, currently on the 2020/21 DigitalHealth.London Accelerator
  • Liz O’Riordan, Speaker, Broadcaster and Author of ‘The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer’

As a partner we have been offered a limited number of free tickets to the virtual conference, available on a first come, first served basis. To join us at the conference simply apply the following Discount Code: AHSN200 (select Add Discount Code at the bottom right-hand side of the screen) once you have selected your ticket on the booking form.

Find out more

To view the full programme visit the Intelligent Health AI Conference website.

See programme

St George’s Hospital unveils dual electronic queue management and self check-in

Clinicians in ED

St George’s University Hospital Emergency Department unveils one of UK’s first dual queuing and self check-in system where patients see real time updates of their queue position on TV screens and smartphones.

HIN Innovation Grants supported project

St George’s installed the system after winning a HIN Innovation Grants award in 2019

St George’s University Hospital is one of the first Emergency Departments in the UK to introduce a dual queuing and self check-in.

Patients in the ED can map their queue position through real time updates on TV screens and smartphones.

In a move that reassures patients that they have not been missed or bypassed, the new system called “Patientcheck.in” helps free up emergency reception staff who handle a high volume of questions from patients about their wait and queue position. This has a knock-on delay in booking in new patients. Patientcheck.in – previously called “EDck.in” – also allows patients to complete a brief assessment questionnaire while they wait, using their own smartphone, which saves time during the assessment.

The technology aims to reduce patient anxiety around waiting times and improve efficiency.

Funded by the NHS’s Health Innovation Network, a joint Emergency Department and Transformation project team at St George’s was awarded £9,928 to design and build the software system and install TV monitors in the waiting areas.

Previously, a whiteboard behind the reception desk was used to display general waiting times and updated every hour. Lack of visibility of individual positions in the queue can cause concern for patients, who can worry that they have been forgotten, passed over or missed their call to see the emergency team. This can lead to repeated queries to reception staff about the waiting time and occasionally result in aggressive and abusive behaviours which puts additional pressure on staff.

The second function – the assessment questionnaire – has three major benefits. It empowers patients to tell clinicians why they are in the ED, in their own words using a non-verbal communication channel; reduces clinical administration workload and creates better quality, standardised medical documentation.

Through its integration with Cerner, the hospitals’ electronic health record system, Patientcheck.in sends the questionnaire responses directly into the electronic clinical notes. This reduces note-typing time by around eight minutes per patient. Therefore, if just half of St George’s 400 ED daily attenders complete Patientcheck.in, this equates to a potential saving of more than 26 hours of clinical time every day.

The Health Innovation Network grant was used to develop and implement the system. Now live, the team hope that Patientcheck.in will be adopted by other NHS Emergency Departments. There is also an opportunity to use it in outpatient departments and development projects are underway.

Dr Gabriel Jones, Emergency Medicine Consultant at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are passionate about trying new ways to improve patient experience and safety and we believe better queue visibility will give patients reassurance and free up reception team time.
“Emergency departments are pressured and all you want is to do the best for patients. It’s difficult at the moment when we can’t easily answer their top question: when will I be seen? With relatively simple technology we believe we can make a huge difference to their experience and support staff at the same time by reducing interruptions. Greater transparency over the complex queues we operate will help everyone gain a greater understanding of how teams are working to help people.”

“We are passionate about trying new ways to improve patient experience and safety and we believe better queue visibility will give patients reassurance and free up reception team time.”Dr Gabriel Jones, Emergency Medicine Consultant at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Health Innovation Network Programme Director for Innovation Lesley Soden said:
“Hospital emergency departments can often be highly volatile as by their nature they have anxious patients waiting to be seen. Those patients often worry that they have been missed or passed over by other patients and this can lead to repeated questions to hard pressed reception staff, who are then preventing from getting on with their work to triage.
“This is a simple system using existing technology that can improve the patient experience, free up reception staff to focus on registering arriving patients and ultimately lead to faster care in hospital emergency departments.”

HIN Innovation Grants

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St George's Patientcheck.in

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Innovation Grants 2021

The winners of five Innovation Grants awards have been announced today (31 March) by the Health Innovation Network, working in partnership with Health Education England (HEE). In all there were 32 applications for the awards.

At a glance

  • Five Health Innovation Network Innovation Grants packages of £10,000 to £30,000 have been awarded to help kickstart innovative health and care projects.
  • Winning projects include artificial intelligence rehab for musculoskeletal disorders, a self-care app for patients with inflammatory bowel illness and digital urine screening for chronic kidney disease.
  • Scheme links NHS teams and local boroughs with commercial innovators and guidance from technology experts.
  • Funding means winners can gather real world evidence of impact ahead of wider roll-out.

All of the chosen innovations align to key NHS priorities by addressing major health challenges such as managing musculoskeletal pain, mental health and supporting people with long term conditions. Each project has been given between £10,000 – £30,000 to help them deliver the initial results needed to justify wider-roll out. Many projects are working with local boroughs and a wide range of commercial partners.

This year’s grant winners are:

Dr Joel Parker, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, OXLEAS NHS Foundation Trust: Fun and Fitness is a community sports development programme to support adults with learning disabilities to increase physical exercise and improve physical and mental health outcomes. The project is a bespoke community sports development programme within the Royal Borough of Greenwich that will be formalised into a manual to be shared with services across south London.

Evaluation

The projects have now been completed. Project evaluations are available here:

The remaining project evaluations will be added when completed.

Rishi Goel, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Lead for IBD Services, Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: For the first time in South West London, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients will be able to self-manage their care and communications with clinical teams via a digital patient portal. This project will trial the use of self-monitoring tools through ‘Zesty’ that is integrated with their electronic patient record allowing patients to become empowered with direct involvement in their care.

Kate Bramham, Consultant Nephrologist and Clinical Senior Lecturer, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: Improving the health of individuals living with diabetes and other long-term conditions using digital urine screening tool Healthy IO for early identification of chronic kidney disease (CKD). This condition is increasingly common and there is growing recognition that early identification and management is critical in delaying progression of the condition as well as related complications. In addition, CKD is can easily go undetected until it’s at the advanced stages.

Professor Heather Jarman, Consultant Nurse in Emergency Care, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Ben Wanless, Consultant MSK Physiotherapist, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Transforming management of musculoskeletal acute back and leg pain in the Emergency Department through the digital self-management app ‘getUBetter’. This project will pilot prescribing the app to patients discharged from St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Emergency Department with lower back and leg pain.

Nimalini Ajith, Joint and Bone Health Physiotherapist, Public Health, Royal Borough of Kingston and Nicky Wilson, Consultant Physiotherapist, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: Delivering personalised exercise rehabilitation in Kingston and Southwark using artificial intelligence (AI) provided via a co-designed accessible app. This project aims to improve musculoskeletal health outcomes, promote healthy ageing and reduce demand on the NHS. It will pilot an AI-rehabilitation programme called ‘Good Boost’ in people’s home’s, local community venues and in public swimming pools, leveraging community assets to support people.

The winners were chosen after a rigorous selection process by expert panels. The five teams will be funded and supported by the Health Innovation Network over a 12-month period to pilot their projects in south London and generate vital evidence of impact.

Lesley Soden, Programme Director for Innovation, at the Health Innovation Network, said:

“The impact of Covid-19 on our NHS services means that we need to look at different ways of working to improve health and care for people in south London. This funding is crucial to kick-start innovation projects to test out different innovations and new ways of partnership working.

“NHS teams often struggle to find substantial funding to pilot new ideas in real-world settings to demonstrate the kind of results they need for support for wider roll out across regions and potentially nationally.

“The quality of all this year’s applications was very high and the 2021 Innovation Grants projects we have selected are going to test novel ways of using evidence-based innovations and digital solutions. We are so pleased that our previous grant winners in 2020 have gone on to deliver innovative health and care projects, with a handful being nominated for national awards this year.

“For the 2021 winners we’re looking forward to working with these teams to prove their concepts and demonstrate real world application to enable greater adoption across the health and social care system.”

See more information on the HIN Innovation Grants here.

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QUiPP app improving outcomes for women in threatened preterm labour

For International Women’s Day, we spotlight QUiPP app an innovation that helps to improve outcomes for woman at risk of preterm labour. QUiPP app (Quantitative Innovation in Predicting Preterm birth) determines the risk of pre-term labour more accurately, helping to improve care for women at risk.

Key achievements

  • QUiPP Toolkit is now been recommended both locally and nationally by NHS England and the British Association of Perinatal Medicine.
  • Version one of this toolkit was rapidly rolled out during Covid-19 in April 2020 as it helps decrease unnecessary admissions and transfers.

The app is an innovative and evidence-based diagnostic tool that uses analytics to help clinicians understand the risk of pre-term labour more accurately. This improves the lives of women and babies by identifying those who truly need medical intervention and reassuring those who don’t.

The app was tested across 20 UK sites and the QUiPP Toolkit has now been recommended both locally and nationally by NHS England and the British Association of Perinatal Medicine.

Pre-term labour is a clinical conundrum: it’s very common for women to be at-risk of pre-term labour, but the actual number of women who go on to deliver early is very low. To be safe, this means that many women are currently over-managed: they are treated as though they will deliver early even if the risk is low in reality. Because it is very dangerous to move an early baby once it is delivered, women at risk of pre-term labour are often moved to specialist hospitals further from home with specialist cots for early babies and are given more invasive care.

“Your good idea is a good idea!”Naomi Carlisle, NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow

This tool has the potential to make a big difference and to improve care for these women. Whereas currently women are simply either ‘high’ or ‘low’ risk, the app calculates a percentage score so that clinicians can understand risk to a much higher degree of accuracy. This reduces the need for women at lower risk to move far from home and frees up the cots for the women who genuinely need them, so that people receive the care that is most appropriate to their risk and are not moved from their family and familiar midwife team if it is not necessary.

How does it work? It’s a clinical decision support tool based on a validated algorithm that incorporates existing point-of-care tests and risk factors. A clinician enters information about a number of biomarkers, such as the scan that measures the cervical length and the swab on quantitative fetal fibronectin. QUiPP uses all the data across risk range for each variable and provides a user-friendly clinical interface. This is more useful for making management decisions and women find it very useful to see and discuss their risk as a percentage, with a highly visual aid to support discussions and decisions around treatment.

The QUiPP app is free and has significant cost-savings associated with reducing unnecessary admissions and interventions. By freeing up NHS capacity for patients in the most need of care (eg maternal beds, neonatal cots), this intervention can save money and transform maternity pathways beyond the preterm birth setting. Qualitative findings suggest that the majority of clinicians involved in triaging threatened preterm labour found using the QUiPP app time-saving, simple and that it increased confidence in decision-making.

Innovator Spotlight

The QUiPP App was developed by King’s College London Department of Women and Children’s Health. Naomi Carlile co-developed the QUiPP App Toolkit with Dr Ellie Watson and Professor Shennan funded by the HIN Innovation Grants. We spoke to Naomi Carlile about the project one year on…

Tell us what has happened since the Innovation Grants:
I recently co-develop a toolkit to enable hospital sites across England to implement a best care pathway (the QUiPP Toolkit) for women who arrive in threatened preterm labour. I am now working on my NIHR Clinical Doctoral Fellowship, which is looking at how the Preterm Birth Surveillance Pathway is implemented across England (the IMPART study).

What has been your proudest moment so far:
I am proud that our QUiPP Toolkit has now been recommended both locally and nationally (by NHS England and the British Association of Perinatal Medicine), ensuring that more mothers and babies are receiving optimum care.

What your advice for future innovators:
Your good idea is a good idea! Get in touch with organisations like HIN south London to help advise on how to get it off the ground!

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Sara Nelson named as new Deputy Chief Nursing Information Officer for NHSX

Photo of Sara Nelson

DigitalHealth.London’s Sara Nelson, who leads the flagship Accelerator and Digital Pioneer Fellowship programmes, joins NHSX.

Sara Nelson has been announced as the new Deputy Chief Nursing Information Officer for NHSX.

Sara is a Registered General Nurse who has worked in the NHS for over 29 years. She has a wealth of experience in operational and digital nursing leadership having undertaken a number of roles including senior nurse for digital at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

More recently Sara has undertaken leadership roles at DigitalHealth.London as an NHS Navigator, Programme Director of the Accelerator and most recently as the Deputy Programme Director of DigitalHealth.London leading the Digital Pioneer Fellowship.

The Digital Pioneer Fellowship supports 37 frontline NHS staff delivering transformation projects through digital innovation. Under Sara’s leadership, both the Digital Pioneer Fellowship and the Accelerator programme, achieved an increase in applications. The Accelerator also experienced an increase in applications from digital innovators identifying as BAME and was recognised as one of the top eight Accelerator programmes for women founders in Europe.

She has been widely recognised as a digital health leader speaking at conferences, writing thought leadership articles and above all building and supporting teams of NHS staff.

Sara has achieved her Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Healthcare Leadership through the NHS Digital Academy and is currently undertaking her MSc dissertation to identify the key factors for a successful CNIO.

Dr Natasha Phillips, Chief Nursing Information Officer at NHSX, said:

“Sara’s appointment by NHSX is another important milestone in the establishment of a strong nursing and midwifery digital leadership community – one which is vital to ensure a nursing and midwifery voice at all levels of digital transformation across the system. The breadth of experience and track record across digital innovation that Sara brings with her is outstanding and I am delighted to welcome her to the team”

“I feel privileged to take up this role working as part of NHSX with the CNIO Natasha Phillips and the CNO team to shape the future of nursing at this pivotal time.”Sara Nelson

Zoe Lelliott, Chief Executive at the Health Innovation Network, said:

“We’re delighted for Sara and know she’ll be brilliant in this well-deserved role.”

Sara Nelson, Deputy Chief Nursing Information Officer at NHSX, said:

“This new national Deputy CNIO role signifies the growing recognition of nursing and midwifery involvement in digital health. I feel privileged to take up this role working as part of NHSX with the CNIO Natasha Phillips and the CNO team to shape the future of nursing at this pivotal time.

“I am one of the many nurses and midwives who did not have computers or technology, as we now know it, when we started and I have seen real benefits to staff and patients, when technology is brought in correctly and is well designed with consideration of patients and staff. This has led me to move away from the traditional nursing leadership roles and towards increasing my understanding of technology and the commercial sectors – growing my knowledge of the barriers and opportunities we can elicit.

“I am looking forward to understanding how we can work together nationally, regionally and in our organisations to bring together that collective voice that listens and learns and is not afraid to speak up.”

Sara will take up her new role part time from 11 January and full time from March.

Find out more about the Accelerator programme

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Find out more about the Digital Pioneer Fellowship progamme

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New Chief Executive announced for the Health Innovation Network (HIN)

Following the appointment of the HIN’s previous CEO Tara Donnelly to Chief Digital Officer at NHSX, Dr Rishi Das-Gupta has been appointed as the new Chief Executive for the Health Innovation Network (HIN).

Dr Das-Gupta will be joining the HIN, the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for south London, in March 2021 from his current role as Chief Innovation and Technology Officer at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. He is medically qualified, has worked in management consultancy and is the co-founder of a health tech start-up.

Chair of the HIN Richard Barker said: “Congratulations to Rishi on his new role. The HIN board and I are looking forward to working with him to continue to build the HIN’s reputation for leading innovation-enabled transformation in the NHS.”

“ The HIN enjoys a fantastic reputation, with a great track record and I am excited to be joining the team at a time of rapid change in healthcare.”Dr Rishi Das-Gupta

Rishi said: “The HIN enjoys a fantastic reputation, with a great track record and I am excited to be joining the team at a time of rapid change in healthcare. I am passionate about how innovation and technology can support change to improve the health of residents, outcomes for patients, and the working lives of staff working across healthcare and social care.

“The health system is undergoing wide-ranging changes as we recover from the pandemic and the role of the HIN is critical. Working with the team, I hope that my clinical and innovation experience will help us support high-impact programmes across our member organisations in south London.”

Zoe Lelliott will continue as Deputy Chief Executive after acting as interim CEO while Tara Donnelly was on secondment to NHSX. Richard said: “We want to thank Zoe for her tremendous contribution to building momentum at the HIN and for her valuable contributions at national level.”

 

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Thousands of Londoners to benefit from digital urgent care plans

The back of an open ambulance

Shared digital care records mean care home staff, paramedics and hospital emergency department staff know patients’ health and care wishes.

The stats

Over 115,000 Londoners already have a digital urgent care record

Thousands of Londoners will have a greater say over their care and treatment under a £200,000 drive to increase the use of a shared urgent digital care record for ambulances, emergency departments and other urgent care services.

The NHS’s Health Innovation Network (HIN) has won funding to roll out Coordinate My Care (CMC), which ensures health and social care professionals have access to patients’ urgent care plans. Covid-19 has brought into sharp focus the need for patients to set out how they want to be cared for with many preferring to stay at home rather than go into hospital.

Gloria Goldring created her own CMC care plan after a stressful end of life experience when her husband David was critically ill at a care home. He suffered from dementia and despite both agreeing that he did not wish to be resuscitated in a critical emergency, Gloria was told by paramedics that without paperwork to prove his end of life wishes, they would resuscitate David in the ambulance if needed.

“It was a big shock to me because this was something David and I had discussed many years ago and I just felt completely at a loss’, said Gloria Goldring.

Fortunately the trip to the hospital was just five minutes, David did not deteriorate and after Gloria explained to hospital staff that David had said he did not want to be resuscitated, this wish was accepted.

“So when CMC was introduced as a way to be able to flag this up I thought this was absolutely essential for people to understand. I think there is no doubt if we had a plan it would have been flagged up. This would have lessened the stress that I was under because I was in a very terrible state.”

Having already supported over 115,000 Londoners to date, a Coordinate My Care plan puts the patient at the heart of planning their future medical care. The care plan is designed to share the most important, up to date clinical information about the patient, including who to contact in an emergency. This information is then shared with all the health and social care professionals involved in treating them, such as 111, out-of-hours GPs, the London Ambulance Service and hospital emergency departments.

“Helping patients across London to better express their wishes about their care is very important at this time. We are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to work with Coordinate My Care and our NHS and care system colleagues to not only improve the quality of digital urgent care records but speed up the adoption and spread of this technology. ”Zoe Lelliott, Chief Executive of the HIN

The HIN will work closely with NHS and care system colleagues across London to identify a project in each of the five Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STP) areas to accelerate the adoption of CMC to match local priorities and address local opportunities. The scheme will fund local clinicians to focus on championing CMC with their peers and clinical colleagues and help to embed CMC in local care pathways and processes.

Zoe Lelliott, Chief Executive of the HIN, said:
”Helping patients across London to better express their wishes about their care is very important at this time. We are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to work with Coordinate My Care and our NHS and care system colleagues to not only improve the quality of digital urgent care records but speed up the adoption and spread of this technology.

“HIN seeks to speed up spread and adoption, so where innovations like digital urgent care records have been shown to be effective, we believe that it’s important to work with our NHS and care colleagues to adopt this technology to better meet patients’ needs.”

Professor Julia Riley, Founder and Clinical Lead for Coordinate My Care, said:
“As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we are hearing that many patients and families are talking about difficult futures, challenging decisions and appropriate treatments. This partnership with the Health Innovation Network means that health care services across the community will be supported to encourage increasing numbers of patients to have a digital CMC record, to ensure their wishes are recorded, to better their outcomes and to support the urgent care services.”

Find out more about our work with CMC

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Celebrating the pioneers and following our future leaders: a reflection on diversity and inclusion in healthcare

Written by Ayobola Chike-Michael, Patient Safety Project Manager & Zoë Lelliott, CEO of Health Innovation Network

Our Diversity Pledges

Read about the AHSN Networks commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion here.

As we round out 2020 and head into a new year—one that many of us have higher hopes for—it’s important to reflect on the progress we’ve made, areas that still require work and where we go from here.

This year, we have seen historic conversations being held on a global scale around the racial injustices and inequalities that plague our social and health systems. This dialogue has largely come as a result of the disturbingly and disproportionately high Covid-19 mortality rates among Black and minority ethnic populations, as well as brutal instances of systemic racism that have occurred internationally.

We have seen examples of this conversation transitioning into positive action across the health and care system, such as the development of NHS England’s London Workforce Race Strategy published in October. Within our own organisation, we are striving to listen to and learn from the experiences of our people, build up a culture of antiracism and meet our AHSN equality and diversity pledges. We know that we still have a lot of collective work to do, both as an organisation serving south London’s population and as a wider system, and we take this responsibility seriously.

As an organisation that works to speed up the best in health and care through innovation, we collaborate with professionals from many walks of life, diverse backgrounds and rich culture every day, all with a commitment to making our healthcare services across south London the very best they can be.

At the Health Innovation Network (HIN), we know that an imperative part of creating and sustaining necessary change is championing the work that has been and is currently being done to create a more equal, diverse and inclusive healthcare system, both for our south London community and beyond. This would not be possible without the work of past, present and future Black leaders – pioneers and voices of equality in our system, both prominently and behind-the-scenes.  

Past leaders 

At the HIN, we pay homage to those who helped pave the way for diversity and inclusion in the NHS, such as the very first black medical surgeon in the British Army, James Africanus Beale Horton (1835 – 1883) who studied medicine here at King’s College, London. Even though his parents were enslaved, his intellectual talents were spotted early by local church leaders who educated him in Sierra Leone, where he later received a British War Office scholarship.

We celebrate pioneers like Kofoworola Abeni Pratt (1915 – 1992), the first black nurse in the NHS, who gained her state registration in 1950 after studying at St Thomas’ Hospital’s Nightingale School. Following Nigerian independence in 1960, she became the first black matron of University College Hospital, Ibadan, and became Chief Nursing Officer for Nigeria in 1965.

Present leaders

Moving to the present, in October, the HIN was privileged to meet nurse, entrepreneur and inventor of the award-winning Neo-slip Neomi Bennett BEM. Neomi spoke openly to staff at the HIN about her experience of racism in UK society and our healthcare system. She explained how she was compelled to clear her name following a conviction for police obstruction – a fight that inspired her to begin the Equality 4 Black Nurses group, which seeks to tackle workplace discrimination. Without her determination, the NHS may have lost out on the revolutionary Neo-slip she invented during her nursing years. The simple design has improved the lives of countless patients who have struggled with hospital tights.

We continue to look to the example of other prominent Black leaders in the NHS like Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu. Professor Anionwu works for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust as a health visitor and tutor working with Black and minority ethnic communities in London. She helped create the very first nurse-led UK Sickle and Thalassaemia Screening and Counselling Centre in Brent, and is a senior lecturer in Community Genetic Counselling, continuing to enrich the lives of the communities she works with.

We are inspired by leaders like Professor Laura Serrant, the first Black head of nursing at a UK university, as a voice for addressing system inequalities. Professor Serrant was awarded an OBE for services to nursing and health policy. Her academic work focuses on racial and ethnic inequalities and cultural safety and her achievements include developing a framework for conducting research with marginalised communities – ‘The Silences Framework’.

Future leaders

Behind the scenes, great work is being carried out every day by Black colleagues in our south London community.

Watch out for Lelly Lelosa Oboh, a Guy’s Hospital consultant pharmacist. She is the first community-based consultant pharmacist in the UK and has been made a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain for the importance of her work. She uses her professional leadership role to drive positive change by reducing the risks and maximising the benefits of medicines for older people in community settings. Her influence in pharmacy best-practice has helped shape national policy and encourage the testing of innovative service models.

Our DigitalHealth.London programme recently announced their third cohort of Digital Pioneer Fellows, NHS staff from clinical backgrounds who are paving the way for the future of digital transformation and innovation in the NHS. This year’s Fellows represent a wide variety of backgrounds, roles within the NHS, geographies—both embedded across south London and beyond—and ethnicities. We look forward to seeing the positive change they bring to our shared community.

We could go on and on to speak about the integral work being done by our colleagues. As an organisation full of staff who never cease to be inspired by our community, we promise that we will continue to celebrate the rich and diverse heritage of our NHS and do all that we can to support our Black colleagues each and every day.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Future leaders

Meet the 2020 Digital Pioneer Fellows and read more about their projects and the estimated impact.

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London AHSNs work together to embed virtual consultations across the capital

London AHSNs Attend anywhere

Three London Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) worked together to support Trusts in the region to quickly embed virtual consultations to safeguard patients and staff during the pandemic.

The challenge

Covid-19 meant NHS Trusts had to find an alternative to face to face consultations for many patients, to both protect vulnerable patients and safeguard staff. NHS Trusts responded by rapidly accelerating the availability of virtual consultations.

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/I) procured a national licence for Attend Anywhere – a secure web-based video consultation solution – for 12 months, to accelerate uptake of video consultations in all secondary care settings, allowing NHS staff to deliver clinics and services virtually.

Prior to Covid-19 there were some trailblazer sites where implementation was being observed and evaluated, but there had not been plans or the infrastructure normally required for system wide implementation at pace. This meant some Trusts found themselves experiencing similar obstacles and challenges, but there was no ‘system learning’ and ‘solution sharing’ mechanism in place.

The solution

Using a collaborative pan-London approach UCLPartners, the Health Innovation Network, and Imperial College Health Partners (the three London AHSNs) have been working with NHSE/I, alongside hospital Trusts to support the roll out, optimisation and long-term use of Attend Anywhere.

By working together across the region, the London AHSNs have been able to help Trusts quickly embed the new technology by responding to their needs and experiences, producing resources and supporting shared learning. The approach included:

  • Successfully hosting two webinars – “Building video consultations into the workflow” and “Equity of Access”, with over ~70 and ~100 attendees, respectively.
  • Sharing existing documentation and best practice directly with Trusts. This was done by:
    • Creating video and audio footage of clinicians sharing their experience of delivering virtual consultations during the pandemic.
    • Bringing together clinical guides and useful resources, in one place as an impartial, easy-reference resource library.
    • Sharing various resources with Trusts directly through NHS Futures, including Standard Operating Procedures, training packages, equality impact assessments, patient-facing material and Trust individual rollout materials.
    • Producing both a patient and clinician survey template and working with a small number of London Trusts to implement/tailor surveys to meet local needs and gather a first-look evidence base of video consultation usage across London.

Impact and outcomes

The AHSNs engaged with 29 Trusts across London and provided opportunities for colleagues in Trusts to hear from others and share tips of what worked in practice.

This helped to build a community of colleagues working on similar challenges and solutions around the implementation of virtual consultations. For common issues that were not resolved the AHSNs provided a strong platform for these issues to be highlighted and escalated. AHSNs also facilitated conversations about collaboration for sharing best practice and tools.

“ The AHSNs bring a wealth of experience and expertise in working with clinical teams to support them understand, adopt and spread this relatively new innovation ” Vin Dawakar, London Regional Medical Director & CCIO, NHSE & I

Feedback

Vin Dawakar, London Regional Medical Director & CCIO, NHSE & I said: “In response to the initial wave of Covid-19 infections, the AHSNs in London mobilised in days to collaborate with NHSE & I (London), to support acute Trust healthcare providers in London to rapidly deploy, take up and embed video consultations as a way to continue to deliver clinical services to patients in a risk-free way.

 “The AHSNs bring a wealth of experience and expertise in working with clinical teams to support them understand, adopt and spread this relatively new innovation which allowed the London region to lead the successful use of video across the country – a big ‘thank you’ to our AHSN colleagues!”

Claire Kennedy, Project Manager, Service Transformation, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust said: “The AHSN team was key to facilitating collaboration that allowed us to become a part of influential brainstorming sessions and informative conversations with a range of people across the London.

“As a result, I had the opportunity to think bigger, to influence across a system and create better things to help our patients access the best care.”

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Innovation Grants 2021

We are looking to support innovative projects that either test or pilot an innovation that improves healthcare, with a grant of up to £10,000 to £30,000

Last year we funded 10 incredible projects that either supported innovative practice that could be spread and adopted across the health and social care landscape or encouraged cross-boundary working in areas of research, education and improvement in healthcare services.

This year, the HIN Innovation Grants programme is open for applications from 1 December 2020 and close at 9am on Monday 1 February 2021. Applications are invited from organisations who are involved in the delivery/commissioning of health/social care in south London. We are encouraging collaborative bids. In all applications, the lead applicant must be a member of the Health Innovation Network.

All applications will be evaluated against the following criteria. If the proposed project does not align with most of these goals, it may reduce the likelihood of being awarded a grant. Prior to starting the application consider whether the project fits the requirements.

We would strongly encourage projects that collaborate with a commercial partner or developer of an innovation or product you wish to trial. In particular, testing of an innovation that is market ready and supported by the HIN, the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme, or the National Innovation Accelerator (NIA) would be welcomed. We would not exclude partnering with other commercial innovations.

If you would like to discuss your application or request support with the form, please contact hin.innovationgrants@nhs.net to arrange a call (up to 30min) with our team.

Applications are now closed.

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Apply for the innovation grants by downloading and completing the form and reading the guidance notes.

Download application form

Key Dates

5 March 2021: All applicants notified of the outcome

18 March 2021: Video conference on evaluation for grant recipients

1 April 2021: Innovation Grant Programme start date

If you have any questions, please email hin.innovationgrants@nhs.net, before 4pm on 29 January 2021.

South London drive to detect and treat irregular heart rhythm helps prevent an estimated 100 deaths and 400 strokes

Health checks in Hindu temple

Use of hand held devices to test for irregular heart rhythm in GP surgeries, care homes and religious settings is helping prevent strokes and saving lives.

The stats

Since the start of the programme, the number of additional people with AF receiving treatment each year has increased by almost 300,000 nationally.

New NHS figures reveal that a four year south London programme to improve the detection and management of an irregular heart rhythm known as Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is estimated to have helped prevent 400 strokes and saved 100 lives. These figures are based on modelling and a calculated reduction in risk.

In addition, the NHS’s Health Innovation Network in south London initiative over the last four years has reduced costs associated with strokes and deaths linked to AF by an estimated £5m and lowered social care costs by £4m.

AF is the most common type of irregular heart rhythm and is a major risk factor for stroke because it makes it more likely that blood clots will form in heart chambers and reach the brain, which contributes to 1 in 5 strokes and is associated with an increased rate of mortality. It is estimated that 1.4 million people in England have AF but nearly a third of these cases go undetected, and people with a diagnosis don’t always receive treatment, resulting in potentially avoidable strokes.

The programme consists of on-the-spot AF checks by clinicians in GP surgeries, care homes and ‘virtual clinics’ in community settings such as churches, mosques and Hindu temples using handheld devices.

Shan, aged 57 from Wimbledon and a worshipper at the Shree Ghanapathy Temple in south London, had his heart rhythm checked as part of a ‘mass screening’ earlier this year. He said:
“Today I had my blood pressure and heart rate checked. Everything is normal so I’m glad to hear that. This is a good thing so you can reduce the risk. We don’t have regular health check-ups but today we were able to see if we have anything wrong.
“My family back home and relatives have had heart attacks and diabetes. So this is also good for our peace of mind.”

AF is the most common type of irregular heart rhythm and can increase risk of stroke, leaving survivors with disabling consequences. Around 200,000 people in the UK develop AF each year. Detecting AF early and making sure people are given optimal treatment – usually blood-thinning medication to prevent clots (anticoagulants) reduces the risk of stroke by two thirds. It’s estimated that the impact of newly treating 70 high risk AF patients is up to three strokes prevented, saving the health system £37,000 in the first year.

This is part of an NHS programme, delivered by the AHSN Network in England. Nationally, this is estimated to have saved the NHS £158m and £105m in social care costs.

Since the start of the programme, the number of additional people with AF receiving treatment each year has increased by almost 300,000 nationally.

“A stroke can be devastating both physically and psychologically for patients and their families.”Oliver Brady, Programme Director for Diabetes and Mental Health at the Health Innovation Network

Oliver Brady, Programme Director for Diabetes and Mental Health at the Health Innovation Network in south London, said: “A stroke can be devastating both physically and psychologically for patients and their families. Yet with the new digital tools available we are able to detect and manage AF and ensure that fewer lives are lost and people with the condition can continue to live normal lives.
“The HIN will continue working with its local partners to proactively go into high impact settings to carry out these vital health checks.”

Professor Gary Ford, Chief Executive of Oxford Academic Health Science Network and Consultant Stroke Physician said: “Identifying people who have AF and ensuring they are provided with the most appropriate anticoagulant therapy can significantly reduce their risk of having a stroke.

“The work we have undertaken with our partners in primary care, alongside others in both the NHS and charity sector, has prevented thousands of people having a stroke. The latest data also shows that these measures have resulted in significant cost saving to the NHS and social care, with £158 million and £105 million saved respectively”

Between April and December 2018, Guy’s and St Thomas’ carried out a total of 590 pulse rhythm checks in its community podiatry clinics using Kardia devices.
GSTT community podiatrist Monica Fisk said:
“We detected 27 people with possible AF, these patients were referred on to their GP for a 12-lead ECG to confirm the diagnoses and to initiate anticoagulation treatment where indicated. The prevalence rate in our community podiatry clinics was 4.6 per cent or 1 in 22 people tested. This is higher than what is found in the general population as we tend to treat patients at higher risk of the disease. I therefore feel podiatry clinics are good settings for identifying undiagnosed AF and this opportunistic testing was well received by our patients.”

One GSTT patient said: “I never expected to attend the podiatry clinic for a foot problem and be identified as having possible AF. If it wasn’t for that appointment I don’t know what could have happened. My GP has now placed me on anticoagulation therapy and I am ever grateful to the podiatry service for going above and beyond.”

Explore our AF work

Improving AF detection in high-impact settings.

Click to view our new reports

Remote Monitoring: Keeping patients safe in the community

remote monitoring for diabetes

COVID-19 has accelerated the speed of adoption by NHS providers of technology to deliver care including the use of remote monitoring solutions.

This Innovation Exchange webinar from 9-10.30am, 10 December presented by the Health Innovation Network and DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, will focus upon maximising the use of technology to monitor patients’ health conditions remotely outside of the traditional care settings and empower patients with long term conditions to manage their health better through remote monitoring.

Speakers include:

  • Tara Donnelley, Chief Digital Officer, NHSX on the National Perspective on Remote Monitoring.
  • Oliver Brady and Dr Neel Basudev (Health Innovation Network’s diabetes team)
  • Chris Gumble (Project Manager, SWL CCG) on You & Type 2 Remote diabetes annual reviews – the art of the possible.

Hear short pitches from 5 health tech companies on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator whose solutions can remotely measure and monitor vital signs including blood pressure, spirometry, oxygen saturation levels, and heart rhythms to name a few.

To attend, please contact laura.walton9@nhs.net to request an invitation.

TfL and London Ambulance Service trial workplace diabetes education to improve staff health

Image of map of London with diabetes cases

Two major London employers embedded clinically-proven Structured Education for Type 1 diabetes to tackle one of London’s biggest health challenges.

The stats

671K Londoners live with diabetes and employers in the capital lose an average £250K due to ill health each year.

An initiative with two major London employers has shown that face to face and virtual diabetes education can be successfully embedded into the workplace to improve the health of staff with Type 2 diabetes.

This comes as the NHS faces increased pressure due to the condition with over 671,000 Londoners living with diabetes and employers in the capital losing an average £250,000 due to ill health each year.

An evaluation of a project by the NHS’s Health Innovation Network with the London Ambulance Service and Transport for London (TfL) has found significant behaviour change in staff toward healthier lifestyle and eating.

Over 60 staff members from the employers attended either online or face to face structured education courses, which is recommended as a vital part of care for people with Type 2 diabetes by the NHS’s clinical standards guardian National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Structured Education (SE) is clinically proven to help people living with diabetes to make changes to their diet and lifestyle that help them to self-manage their condition. It also offers peer support after being diagnosed with the life-changing condition.

Staff were offered a choice to attend a course delivered remotely either by Second Nature or Oviva, which both offer programmes for people with Type 2 diabetes ranging between eight and 12 weeks. Course sessions were delivered through a trained coach with access to online advice, support and information which participants could access through their phones, tablet or computer.

An in-house session to improve self-management was delivered by trained diabetes education experts from Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. They delivered face-to-face group education using the DESMOND Type 2 Management Module, used widely across the NHS, for up to 14 people in a one-day session and a variety of resource materials were provided to participants at the session.

Twenty five staff members completed the Oviva programme and clocked up an average weight loss after eight weeks of 2.3kg, with evidence showing that participant weight loss continues up to 12 months after the programme.
For the 37 staff who completed the Second Nature programme, the average weight loss after three months was 5.7kg.

Staff taking part in this evaluation overwhelmingly welcomed the offer, and to attend, SE courses at their workplace. There was also very high approval of the three programmes from participants. Those completing either the in-house DESMOND programme or one of the remote programmes said their diabetes education needs had been met.

TfL staff who made use of the programmes said: “I think it’s a good thing that TfL are actively promoting this sort of thing. It’s a positive thing in terms of awareness around health and the impact of different health conditions. It’s good that workplaces are doing more to make people aware [of people with different health needs].”
“It’s a powerful message to send to the employee: we’re not just interested in your productivity, but also your health and how to look after yourself.”

TfL was due to start another round of the programme in September 2020 but brought it forward to May. TfL’s Health and Wellbeing Improvement Programme Manager Fernanda Siusta said:
“It was great to be involved in this work which has had such a positive effect on so many participants’ lives. While the pandemic led us to bringing the work forward, we know that for some this has been key to ensuring they stay on track if they had to shield or if they were unable to see their usual medical teams while the NHS handled the response to coronavirus.”

Head of Healthy Workforce at London Ambulance Service Gill Heuchan said:

“As someone with type 2 diabetes I know how difficult it can be when you are first diagnosed and have to attend diabetes education courses. We started the initiative at London Ambulance Service because we are very aware that we have staff whose lives do not fit the norm. Call handlers, medics and support staff are often working busy 12-hour shifts and during unsociable hours, so they can find it even harder to attend courses on learning how to manage their diabetes.

“It has been a fantastic opportunity for staff to have flexible support, not just about diabetes, but about lifestyle choices and general health on a tablet device, which they can utilise easily to fit their lifestyle. Staff who have signed up have fed back positively and many have been able to achieve personal goals because of the support they have received. This initiative has also helped form part of our ‘Wellbeing at Work’ support package for staff which aims to help them manage their own health and wellbeing in and outside of work.”

“We started the initiative at London Ambulance Service because we are very aware that we have staff whose lives do not fit the norm. Call handlers, medics and support staff are often working busy 12-hour shifts and during unsociable hours, so they can find it even harder to attend courses on learning how to manage their diabetes ”Head of Healthy Workforce at London Ambulance Service Gill Heuchan

Health Innovation Network Diabetes Programme Manager Rod Watson said:

”Diabetes is one of our biggest health challenges. Not only is it a leading cause of premature mortality with over 22,000 additional deaths each year, but it doubles an individual’s risk of cardiovascular disease and costs over £10 billion every year to manage.

“The HIN has successfully sped up the spread and adoption of a range of evidence-based programmes both face to face and digital to help prevent and treat the condition.
“We spend a third of our time at work so it makes sense for us to work with employers to help embed programmes directly into the workplace. This project shows that this is possible and I would urge all employers to read through our findings.”

More information

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Self care is vital to help tackle the country’s biggest health challenge

Think-Diabetes

Blog

Diabetes is one of the country’s biggest health challenges with more than 3.1 million people diagnosed with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in England. It’s a condition that can ruin lives and cause deadly complications but as Faye Edwards argues, it’s never been easier to access support to self-care.

Not only is diabetes a leading cause of premature mortality with over 22,000 additional deaths each year, but it also doubles an individual’s risk of cardiovascular disease. The cost of diabetes to the NHS budget exceeds £10 billion every year and this is expected to grow dramatically over the next 20 years. Recent research has shown that people with diabetes are at a higher risk of complications should they contract Covid-19.

But as we celebrate National Self Care Week, the good news for people with diabetes is that it has never been easier to stay in control of their diabetes and prevent life changing complications. The key to this is supportive, holistic diabetes education.

Learning how to lead a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise, manage medications, maintain good mental wellbeing and how to prevent long term complications is fundamental to ensuring that people feel confident in managing day to day life with diabetes, and to ensure improvements in terms of weight loss, glycaemic control, and general wellbeing.

An innovative new service from the NHS in south London, Diabetes Book & Learn, allows people with diabetes access to education support courses at the click of a mouse. If you have diabetes you can refer yourself to the service via the website, or you can ask your GP or practice nurse to refer you. The Diabetes Book and Learn Website has a wide range of courses available to suit all needs, including a variety of language preferences and delivery modes including face to face or via a mobile app. Once referred, you can choose the most suitable option for you, or if you are unsure, our call centre team are on hand to help you decide.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic it has been crucial to ensure that the service continues to provide high quality support and education for people with diabetes. We have all had to adjust to receiving healthcare via digital means, whether that is online or over the phone. The Diabetes Book and Learn service has been agile in its response to the situation, moving face to face courses online and delivering them via video conference, and increasing the access to 1:1 diabetes education support delivered via telephone and mobile application.

The Diabetes Book and Learn service is the first of its kind, uniting diabetes education providers from across our region to offer a wide range of educational support options for people with diabetes, that would be impossible for one single organisation to achieve alone.

Now more than ever it is vital that all of us strive to live as healthily as possible, especially if we have a long-term condition such as diabetes. Receiving such a diagnosis in the current pandemic can be frightening and isolating – likewise, living with diabetes can feel physically and mentally exhausting. Education and support are key to providing a fresh perspective and confidence to people for whom living with diabetes is tough. It can help with weight loss and mental wellbeing, provide much needed peer support, reassurance, and guidance.

The key to better health and diabetes control starts with education and good self-care – and all of this is available at the click of a mouse.

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Explore our Diabetes projects to learn more about how we support self-management to minimise the impact of diabetes on the lives of people with the condition.

Learn about our diabetes work

Meet 20 digital health innovators set to transform London’s health and care system

Digital Health London Accelerator cohort 5 announced

The 20 small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) selected on cohort 5 of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme has been announced.

This year saw an increase in the number and average score of the applications, making it the most competitive selection process since the programme began four years ago. The 20 companies selected for the Accelerator 2020-2021 programme have digital solutions or services that have the highest potential to meet London’s NHS and social care challenges. From patient self-management tools and femtech, to digitizing NHS processes as well as artificial intelligence and cutting-edge machine learning, this group of 20 digital health innovators is set to transform key aspects of health and social care in London and beyond.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, the NHS delivered programme, match-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, has supported some of the most effective digital innovations now being used by the NHS. Many of the digital products and services currently providing vital innovation, support and capacity to the NHS during the response to COVID-19, have come through the Accelerator programme.

Jenny Thomas, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London said: “We are delighted to announce today the 20 digital health SMEs on our fifth DigitalHealth.London Accelerator cohort. After what was the most competitive selection process yet, it is clear that digital health in London is rapidly growing and supporting patients and our NHS and social care services.

“This year has been a defining moment for digital health as it has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response and will continue to be part of our country’s recovery in the months and years ahead. These 20 SMEs are all ones to watch and we look forward to working with them and playing our part in supporting the NHS and social care through digital transformation.”

Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer for London, said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator ensures that London is at the forefront of digital innovation in health and social care. Many of the digital health technologies and products that are currently supporting our NHS staff and patients have come through the Accelerator. It has become vital to a future where Londoners benefit from the latest technologies to support their health. The pandemic has brought many challenges and pressures to London, the Accelerator is fast tracking digital health innovations and supporting this dynamic and crucial sector to grow.”

Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer, NHSX, said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is part of a digital revolution in the NHS that continues rapidly to develop, and we will continue to support innovative organisations delivering ground-breaking work.

“This programme has established itself as an important player in supporting the NHS and social care to make the most of the opportunities digital healthtech offers.”

DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator aims to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health. For every £1 spent on the Accelerator programme it is estimated £14.50 is saved for the NHS*. It works with up to 20 high potential SMEs over a 12-month period, giving bespoke support and advice, a programme of expert-led workshops and events, and brokering meaningful connections between innovators and NHS organisations with specific challenges. The companies successful in getting onto the Accelerator programme have been chosen through a rigorous and highly competitive selection process, involving expert NHS and industry panel assessments, interviews, and due diligence checks.

The SMEs selected for the 2020-2021 DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme are:

  • ART Healthcare Software – psHEALTH’s software enables efficient processing of patient referrals, improves capacity planning and patient access.
  • Concentric Health – A digital consent application, with remote consent functionality.
  • Feebris – An Artificial Intelligence powered platform that enables carers to conduct high quality check-ups in communities, triage health issues proactively, and escalate concerns to clinician.
  • Bleepa® – Feedback Medical’s CE marked digital medical imaging communications tool that enables clinicians to view and discuss patient cases at the touch of a button.
  • FibriCheck – A certified solution for symptomatic/known Atrial Fibrillation (AF) patients, and a cost-effective, scalable detection tool for asymptomatic/intermittent patients.
  • getUBetter – An evidence-based, CE marked, digital self-management platform for all common musculoskeletal injuries and conditions.
  • EXi – An app that analyses user’s health and prescribes a personalised physical activity plan.
  • Mendelian – A software solution that supports earlier diagnosis of rare diseases.
  • Odin Vision – An Artificial Intelligence enabled applications for endoscopy and aids endoscopists to detect and characterise polyps during colonoscopy procedures.
  • Oxehealth – A contact-free vision-based patient monitoring platform for use across inpatient and residential care facilities.
  • patientMpower – remote monitoring application across a range of pulmonary conditions, including pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, lung transplant and COVID-19.
  • Patients Know Best – A platform that allows patients and professionals to access healthcare records – anytime, anywhere.
  • Peppy Health – app that provides health support through life’s big transitions, such as becoming a parent, going through the menopause or going through a fertility journey.
  • Phlo Digital Pharmacy – a rapid on-demand same-day pharmacy delivery service empowering patients to better manage their healthcare.
  • Regimen – a digital therapy for the 30% of men struggling with erectile dysfunction.
  • S12 Solutions – an app and website which helps Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) and s.12 doctors to efficiently complete Mental Health Act (MHA) processes.
  • Solutions 4 Health – a CQC registered provider of both lifestyle and clinical services using artificial intelligence, digital health and clinical healthcare.
  • Vantage Health – An Artificial Intelligence platform that transforms the referral process by helping clinicians to direct patients to the best care, based on pathway guidance.
  • PocDoc – A digital platform and associated tests from Vital Signs Solutions that allow individuals to test themselves for major diseases using their smartphone, with results available immediately, see a full health assessment and have access to follow on care where required.
  • VUI Diagnostics – A plug and play retinal screening device and companion software for simple, affordable and accurate retinal screening.

Further reading

For more information about each SME visit the DigitalHealth.London website.

See selected companies

Hundreds of young people with eating disorders to benefit from ‘gold standard’ NHS treatment

Clinician with woman

Rapid eating disorder intervention for young people developed in south London to be rolled out nationally.

The problem

Between 600,000 and 725,000 people in the United Kingdom have one or more eating disorders.

SOURCE: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2015

Young people with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are to get rapid access to specialist NHS treatment across England.

The NHS has announced that it will scale up an early intervention service developed by Health Innovation Network (HIN) members King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLaM).

The model supports young people in the early stages of eating disorders.

The new service to be rolled out in 18 sites across the country builds on a successful scheme shown to help 16-25 year olds in London, with one patient describing it as ‘the gold standard’ of care.

With eating disorders causing serious physical and mental health problems which can last decades, the expanded service will target care to those who have been living with a condition for fewer than three years, to tackle problems before they escalate.

Teens or young adults coming forward who would benefit from treatment can be contacted within 48 hours and with treatment beginning as soon as two weeks later.

The approach is based on a successful model developed and trialled at King’s College London and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, with support from the Health Foundation. It reduces wait times and improves patients’ outcomes.

The investment in the early intervention – First Episode Rapid Early Intervention for Eating Disorders (FREED) – service is part of the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to provide an additional £1 billion a year by 2023/24 to expand and improve community mental health care so adults, including those with an eating disorder, can get earlier access to care, as close to home as possible.

Professor Tim Kendall, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Mental Health, said:

“Young people who are struggling with an eating disorder stand to benefit significantly with the roll out of this new NHS service which will provide access to early intervention, treatment and support.

“These services have already proven to be effective and the expansion in care we have announced today will support our ambition to meet the rising demand for support to tackle young people’s ill health.

“And although we are in the throes of a pandemic, the NHS continues to offer face-to-face appointments and inpatient care for patients with eating disorders when needed, while providing the option of phone and video consultations and online support where appropriate.”

Amanda Risino, Chief Operating Officer for Health Innovation Manchester and Academic Health Science Network Early Intervention in Eating Disorder National Programme Chair, said:

“We are delighted to see 18 new services across England receive funding to implement this NHS service for young people aged 16-25 years. Early intervention in eating disorders is shown to lead to substantial improvements in clinical outcomes at a critical time of transition and development, and is highly acceptable to both patients and families.

“The AHSN Network, through our National Early Intervention in Eating Disorders Programme will be supporting implementation at these 18 new sites, in addition to our work with all Eating Disorder services across England interested in adopting an early intervention model of care for this age group.”

Ulrike Schmidt, Professor of Eating Disorders at King’s College London and Consultant Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“Eating disorders are disabling and potentially deadly, and early treatment is essential.

“We are absolutely thrilled with this much needed investment and we hope that rolling out this NHS new service to 18 specialist eating disorder teams in England, will create the momentum needed to make early intervention a reality for all young people with eating disorders.”

“The new NHS service is highly recommended by patients and families and has helped many people including George and Sue.”

George moved to London when she was 21 and her eating disorder worsened as she moved to the capital on her own.

After persuasion from her family, George visited the GP who referred her to an eating disorders service delivering the NHS service. Within two weeks, she was meeting with a psychologist for a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) session.

George was with the service for 18 months and recognises the service not only supported her to manage her eating disorder but also with other challenges she had to face including having surgery, changing jobs, moving homes and acclimatising to the new city.

George said: “My treatment was completely tailored to me and my lifestyle. After my treatment was finished, I left the programme so optimistic and grateful for everything they had given me.”

The service has also helped Sue support her 18-year-old daughter who was the first person outside of London to use it in her local eating disorder programme.

Sue says her daughter was a bit apprehensive at first, but she built a genuine bond with her psychotherapist. Sue witnessed how the service caused a positive change to her daughter’s approach to food and exercise. From the dedication from her support worker to the involvement of a dietitian, Sue watched her daughter’s life and eating disorder improve.

She said: “I totally trusted the professionals involved in my daughter’s care and that’s what helped me help her. Without any question this NHS service should be seen as the gold standard of eating disorders care.”

“Eating disorders are disabling and potentially deadly, and early treatment is essential.”
Ulrike Schmidt, Professor of Eating Disorders at King's College London and Consultant Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

The new and expanding community-based mental health care will provide treatment and support for 370,000 adults, including those with eating disorders as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, and for anyone experiencing poor mental health, the NHS message remains the same: please help us help you, and come forward for the care you need.

The Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) is supporting the national adoption of evidenced based models including the NHS FREED expansion for the early identification of eating disorders in people aged 16 – 25.

A 2015 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence report estimated that between 600,000 and 725,000 people in the United Kingdom have one or more eating disorders.

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Joint pain programme ESCAPE-pain and young people’s Type 1 diabetes initiative win awards

Trainer helps woman exercise

A national programme to tackle chronic joint pain and a local initiative supporting young people with Type 1 Diabetes have won at the prestigious Health Service Journal Value Awards.

Chronic joint pain programme ESCAPE-pain and the Youth Empowerment Service (YES) that supports 14-19 year olds with Type 1 diabetes, have won prizes at the Health Service Journal Value Awards.

ESCAPE-pain won the MSK Care Initiative of the Year. Since being on the programme , Ann, 68, is no longer in constant pain. She said: “Osteoarthritis was really impacting on my daily life as I had to ask for help to do everyday tasks around the home. My life has significantly changed since I completed the course and I’ve continued to do the exercises and now I no longer have any pain and I live a very active life.”

ESCAPE-pain (Enabling Self-management and Coping with Arthritic Pain using Exercise) is a national programme offering face-to-face and online exercises to help people suffering from chronic joint pain. Driven by the NHS’s Health Innovation Network, in south London, and backed by Sport England and in association with Versus Arthritis, roll-out of the programme has been supported by the national Academic Health Science Network. Prior to Covid-19, the programme was running in 295 sites and has helped 19,300 participants since it started.

ESCAPE-pain programme originator Professor Mike Hurley said:

“The judges were clearly impressed with the general ethos of the programme about self-management, its effectiveness and benefits that it brings to individuals and the healthcare system as a whole. We hope the award gives a boost to ESCAPE-pain that we believe can make a major contribution to the post-Covid-19 NHS ‘reset’.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Youth Empowerment Skills (YES) programme, which is supported by the HIN, runs vital programmes for 14-19 years-olds with Type 1 Diabetes. It won the HSJ Diabetes Care Initiative of the Year.

YES programme Lead Dr Dulmini Kariyawasam, consultant at Guy’s and St.Thomas’ Foundation Trust , said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been named as the winners in the Diabetes Care Initiative of the Year 2020! The positive impact of this award will help to create a long-lasting legacy and bolster our efforts to expand the YES programme across London giving every young person living with Type 1 diabetes in London access to the programme.”

“The HIN seeks to speed up the spread and adoption of evidence-based innovation in health and care so both these award-winning projects highlight the value of our work to improve lives. A huge well done to both teams. ”Health Innovation Network Chief Executive Zoe Lelliott

The Health Innovation Network’s Diabetes team Project Manager, Ellen Pirie, said:

“Young people suffering with Type 1 Diabetes face many challenges and the YES programme offers them practical support on issues such as food, sexual health and handling a diabetic seizure. There are also opportunities to go on social outings and try out new skills such as driving and rock-climbing and it’s this peer support network building that I know participants really benefit from.”

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37 NHS staff leading digital transformation projects to be supported by DigitalHealth.London’s Digital Pioneer Fellowship

37 change makers who are employed by NHS organisations and are leading digital transformation projects in London and the South East will join the 2020/21 Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme.

Today, DigitalHealth.London announces the 37 NHS staff who have been successful in gaining a place on the third Digital Pioneer Fellowship. The programme supports change makers employed by NHS organisations in London and the South East to design and lead transformation projects underpinned by digital innovation. As the NHS continues to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, digital innovation remains vital to the health and social sector.

The 2020/21 cohort of Fellows come from organisations spanning London and the South East, and represent a diverse range of roles, departments and levels within the NHS. Eighteen are administrative staff, eight are Allied Health Professionals, six are medical professionals and five are nurses. Thirty percent of the cohort identify as BAME which is a relatively high proportion when comparing to the latest overall NHS workforce statistics which show that for NHS staff whose ethnicity was known, 79.2 percent were White (including White ethnic minorities), and 20.7 percent were from all other ethnic groups.

The 37 Fellows will be part of an action focused learning community focussed on accelerating the pace of digital transformation within their respective NHS organisations. Over the 12-month programme, the Fellows will have access to workshops, resources and events throughout the year to share challenges and experience, learn from experts and collaborate to co-design solutions.

Further information

Find the full list of this year’s Digital Pioneer Fellows here.

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Safer care during Covid-19

A rapid-learning report on the role of Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs) during the pandemic has been published by the AHSN Network. PSCs are just one part of the health and care system which responded quickly to the immediate Covid-19 crisis in March. They reprioritised their day-to-day work and took on new programmes with speed, such as promoting safer tracheostomy care.

PSCs are funded and nationally coordinated by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and hosted locally by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) including the Health Innovation Network in south London. They make a significant contribution to the NHS Patient Safety Strategy, by supporting the delivery of the National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes and the AHSNs’ focus on accelerating innovation.

The report has been published as part of the NHS Reset campaign and gives examples of how PSCs refocused their work ‘almost overnight’ to respond to the pandemic. It illustrates some of the creative ways AHSNs supported their local systems and how this experience will be built into future patient safety programmes including our own #OnlyHuman campaign. This work encourages front-line health and care staff to prioritise their physical health and emotional wellbeing needs, which are likely to have been neglected due to the impact of Covid-19.

You can read the report at www.ahsnnetwork.com/patient-safety-covid19-report

 

 

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NHS Innovation Accelerator – Call for Applicants for the 20/21 cohort

Applications for the NHS Innovation Accelerator are now open.

The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) – an NHS England initiative supported by England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and hosted at UCLPartners – has launched its call for applications representing high impact, evidence-based innovations.

The call is open to local, national and international healthcare innovations supported by passionate individuals from any background, including SMEs, clinicians, charity/third sector and academics.

In alignment with the current NHS priorities of Covid-19 Reset and Recovery, innovations put forward this year must address at least one of the following themes:

  • NHS response to COVID-19;
  • mental health; and
  • supporting the workforce.

The application period is open until 16 October 2020 at midnight.

For further information, contact the NHS Innovation Accelerator.

 

Interested in applying?

Visit the NIA website to learn more about the application criteria and process, find dates for informational webinars, and access the online application portal.

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Worldwide experts to explore how digital health evidence generation is transforming healthcare

Experts in their field from around the world are to review the topic Generating Evidence for Digital Health in a series of upcoming webinars. This was made possible through an innovative collaboration between University College London, the Health Innovation Network, the DigitalHealth.London Generator and MedCity.

The series will span a wide range of issues around the topic with special reference to the digital health transformation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Renowned across the world for their work in the field, the chairs and guest speakers include; internationally recognised academic Professor Trish Greenhalgh, University Oxford; the Co-founder and Executive Director of the Digital Medicine Society and former Olympian and World Championship silver medallist Jen Goldsack; and senior clinical scientist Professor Dame Til Wykes who has carried out research in digital health with service users and has developed her own digital health software for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

The webinars are all free to join and are targeted at an international audience of digital health developers, researchers, students, clinicians and NHS managers and commissioners. Audience members can join discussions with experts on key questions such as, ‘Can we move beyond regulation stifling innovation?’, ‘What can different academic disciplines bring to evaluating digital health?’ and ‘Can I trust digital mental health to work for me?’.

Dr Henry Potts, University College London and Public Health England, said: “Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a momentum building around the importance of generating evidence for digital health. Now as hundreds of digital services and products have been introduced into health and care sectors, the need to understand their impact and use digital technology for lasting change requires real collaboration. We’re delighted so many digital health leaders have been enthused by this webinar series and I am very much looking forward to discussions and information exchanges.”

Dr Jean Ledger, Research Fellow, Department of Applied Health Research, University College London, said: “This webinar series is aimed at sharing perspectives and expertise with the hope of starting a collaborative movement around improving evidence generation in digital health. We hope these discussions raise interesting questions and ideas about how to improve evidence in this rapidly evolving field. There is great potential for digital health to improve health and social care for patients and NHS staff, but we need to get it right and understand what works well for end users, and under what conditions. Generating and applying evidence appropriately is key to that.”

“I would encourage anyone with an interest in digital innovation in health care – whether innovators, clinicians looking to adopt a digital solution or academics hoping to evaluate a digital health tool – to join these fantastic webinars.”Anna King, Commercial Director, Health Innovation Network

Professor Paul Wallace, Clinical Director for Digital at the Health Innovation Network and National Institute for Health Research London Clinical Research Networks, said: “The DigitalHealth.London Generator is committed to promoting the generation of evidence to support the digital transformation of our health and care services and we are delighted to be a founding partner of this exciting webinar series. If you are interested in any aspect of digital health, please join us this unique programme to hear from and interact with some of the most influential pioneers in the digital health space.”

Neelam Patel, CEO, MedCity said: “We are currently at a pivotal moment in digital health where its future will be decided by the success of collaborations between industry, the NHS and academia. MedCity is proud to be a partner in this top-level webinar series and I for one am very much looking forward to engaging debates and discussions on this important topic.”

Anna King, Commercial Director, the Health Innovation Network, said: “We have been inspired by high-profile thought leaders in digital health evidence generation who are sharing their experience and expertise in this webinar series. I would encourage anyone with an interest in digital innovation in health care – whether innovators, clinicians looking to adopt a digital solution or academics hoping to evaluate a digital health tool – to join these fantastic webinars.”

Each webinar will last for approximately one hour and will include presentations and a moderated question and answer session. The webinars will be streamed live, and recordings will subsequently be made available online.

The programme has been made possible by a grant from the UCL Knowledge and Information Exchange and all sessions will be free of charge.

Further information

Join the online discussion on Twitter using the hashtag: #EvaluateDigiHealth.

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DigitalHealth.London Digital Pioneer Fellowship opens for applications

Call out to NHS staff who are pioneering digital innovations within their organisations

Did you know

  • Over 80 per cent of the Fellows surveyed said they had gained specific technical skills.
  • So far 60 innovators employed by NHS organisations have benefited from the Digital Pioneer Fellowship.
  • All Fellows surveyed were confident that being part of the Fellowship was of benefit to their career.

Digital innovations have provided vital support and capacity to the NHS over the last few months and will continue to do so as the impact of Covid-19 continues, and the focus turns to resuming services. Today, DigitalHealth.London opens applications to its Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme, supporting change makers employed by NHS organisations in London to design and lead transformation projects underpinned by digital innovation. This year the Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme is funded through sponsorship from Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd (BI)* – the programme content and delivery is controlled by DigitalHealth.London.

Now in its third consecutive year, the 12-month programme provides up to 30 Fellows with the opportunity to be part of an action focused learning community focussed on accelerating the pace of digital transformation within their respective NHS organisations. The individuals taking part have access to workshops, resources and events throughout the year to share challenges and experience, learn from experts and collaborate to co-design solutions.

They will hear from and be given the opportunity to ask questions of leading sector experts during taught modules on subjects ranging from change management and business case development to agile delivery and service improvement. Fellows will also be able to choose a mentor and be grouped into action learning sets with other Fellows working in similar environments on digital transformation projects.

“I am extremely proud of the individuals we have supported previously through our Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme for the contributions they have made to bringing digital innovation into London’s NHS, and am very pleased today to announce the opening of applications for the next cohort of pioneers.”Sara Nelson, Programme Lead, Digital Pioneer Fellowship

In the first year of the programme over 80 per cent of the Fellows surveyed cited positive gain, saying that they gained specific technical skills and/or had met an individual challenge thanks to the Fellowship. All Fellows surveyed were confident that being part of the Fellowship was of benefit to their career.**

Sara Nelson, Programme Lead, Digital Pioneer Fellowship, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the biggest challenges the NHS has faced and I have no doubt that the staff’s quick adaptation and uptake of digital innovations has been vital in enabling key services and care to continue over this period. As a nurse with over 25 years of service to the NHS, I appreciate how challenging digital transformation in the NHS can be if staff aren’t given the support, advice and time to develop professional skills that they need. I am extremely proud of the individuals we have supported previously through our Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme for the contributions they have made to bringing digital innovation into London’s NHS, and am very pleased today to announce the opening of applications for the next cohort of pioneers.”

Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer at NHSX, said: “We need to support the clinicians, service leads, managers and operational staff in our NHS who are at the heart of digital healthcare delivery with the tools they need to drive change in their organisations.

“The DigitalHealth.London Digital Pioneer Fellowship provides them with these tools and I am thrilled it is opening for applications once again and look forward to witnessing the impact this next cohort of change makers have on London’s NHS.”

Nicola Reynolds, Principal Clinical Psychologist at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, recently appointed Deputy Clinical Director for CYPMH at Health Innovation Network and 2019 Digital Pioneer Fellowship alumnus, said: “I wanted to develop my skills and knowledge in order to help drive the development and adoption of digital working within my organisation, so I applied to the Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme. Having been successful in gaining a place, I was encouraged to think more strategically, and by doing so, I expanded the remit of my digital role. I recently contributed to a bid for funding from NHSX, we were successful in securing £200,000 to contribute to the development of a digital care pathway for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. I found the Fellowship experience invaluable, both the formal teaching and the Action Learning Set groups. I was able to use the insights I gained from the Change Management session to arrange and deliver on an alignment conversation with the senior team. It had a significant impact on the project and led to my solution becoming incorporated into the Trust wide solution.”

Uday Bose, Country Managing Director UK & Ireland at Boehringer Ingelheim, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Digital Pioneer Fellowship and NHS staff with a learning community and access to leading experts and mentors.  Digital technology is a critical driver in accelerating our healthcare system, whether it’s progress in scientific innovation, sustainable healthcare or better ways to connect Health Care Professionals with their colleagues and patients. As part of our ongoing commitment to improving health, digital innovation is at the heart of delivering better value and care to patients. We are excited to champion NHS change makers who see the potential and benefit of digital transformation as they go about their day to day roles.”

Further information

For more information about the Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme, join a discussion with the Programme Lead and some of the Fellows who have been supported by the programme on the Digital Pioneer Fellowship 101 Webinar at 11:30am Wednesday 12 August on Zoom.

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You can read more information about the Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme and access the online application on the DigitalHealth.London website.

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AHSN Network stakeholder research – national findings

Did you know?

This independent report finds that the quality of HIN’s partnerships is a key strength. Find out more about what we do and how we partner with others across industry, health and care.

NHS England/Improvement and the Office for Life Sciences commissioned research to explore and evaluate the views of AHSN stakeholders. Savanta ComRes conducted this independent evaluation. With input from AHSNs and commissioners, they developed and ran an online survey and telephone interviews. Those taking part were stakeholders in health and social care, private and voluntary sectors, national and local governance bodies, research and academia, patient groups and the general public. Topics covered included familiarity with and perceptions of AHSNs, evaluations of AHSNs’ communications, services, support, work programmes and cross-regional working, and perceived opportunities and challenges for AHSNs in the future.

Key takeaways from the report:
1. Key strengths of Health Innovation Network cited across stakeholders are the quality of partnerships they develop and of the training courses they run.

2. However, there is a sense among some that HIN could be more visible by focusing resources on a smaller number of projects where they can make a significant impact.

3. Some stakeholders make suggestions for HIN around strengthening its ongoing communication with them, for instance by maintaining contact post-project or by targeting the most important individuals.

Download the Health Innovation Network AHSN regional report.

Download the national AHSN report.

“ They’re very motivated, very outcome-oriented and very good at providing connections and support to their local organisations and very focussed on the challenges of innovation and improvements in the NHS.”Industry stakeholder

Further information

Each AHSN is also publishing their individual regional reports. Find a list of England’s 15 AHSNs here. Explore the national AHSN Stakeholder Research findings.

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HIN backs Londoners’ decisions over use of their data to save lives and improve care

OneLondon Citizen's Summit members discuss how their health and care data is used

Londoners have set out how they expect their health and care data to be used to improve care. A diverse mix of 100 Londoners strongly endorsed joined up data sharing by NHS and care services under clear conditions.

Commenting on the findings from the HIN-supported OneLondon Citizen’s Summit Public deliberation in the use of health and care data report, Denis Duignan, Head of Digital at Health Innovation Network, said:

“We welcome this report as for the first time it sets out how Londoner’s want their health and care data to be used. This is vital because patient confidentiality is such a delicate issue and sharing data between healthcare providers has huge benefits in directly caring for patients, and also for wider research, proactive and personalised care.

“This is compounded by the fact that the data captured and shared by the public through a plethora of digital tools and devices will soon provide additional information and capabilities to improve how we care for patients and ourselves as citizens.”

Read the story here and download the report here.

Watch the NHS’s video setting out the potential for data in health and care here.

“Sharing data between healthcare providers has such huge benefits in directly caring for patients, and also for wider research, proactive and personalised care. ”Denis Duignan, Head of Digital at Health Innovation Network

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Londoners set out their expectations for appropriate use of their health and care data

OneLondon Citizen's Summit

Londoners have set out how they expect their health and care data to be used, as part of a London-wide Citizens’ Summit. There was strong endorsement for joining-up information held by the NHS and care services to improve care for individuals and for the population, as long as certain conditions are in place.

In receiving these detailed recommendations, local health and care leaders confirmed that these public expectations will be used to shape policy for London, ensuring that Londoners can have confidence in how their health and care data is used.

The OneLondon Citizens’ Summit was a large scale and in-depth public deliberation on uses of health and care data. It involved 100 Londoners in a four-day process of detailed discussion and debate. Participants reflected London’s diverse population, came from all 32 boroughs, and had a mix of attitudes towards data sharing. They were provided with technical information by experts and practitioners. The work was overseen by an independent advisory group.

This Citizens’ Summit is a new and innovative way to involve the public in policymaking. As a result, Londoners have had more opportunity than ever before to be informed about the issues and trade-offs, and to set out their expectations about the uses of their health and care information by the health and care system.

The Citizens’ Summit was commissioned by London’s five health and care partnerships via the OneLondon Local Health and Care Record Exemplar (LHCRE) programme, and delivered by Ipsos MORI and The King’s Fund. Through public deliberation, London is leading the way in understanding how citizens weigh-up the benefits and potential concerns of data use, to reach an informed set of public expectations that will now shape the development of policy across the capital.

How do Londoners expect their health and care data to be used?

Access and control in health and care data
At the end of the process, after four days of deliberation, there was almost unanimous agreement (97 per cent of those who attended on the day)* that all health and care organisations in London should join up identifiable data to support the provision of care to individuals. An expectation was set that health and care professionals would only have access to information relevant to their roles through a means of role-based access control. Strict conditions were set out by Summit participants, taking into account the level of urgency of a patient’s condition, safeguarding of information and accountability.

Use of de-personalised data for health and care planning and improvement
Participants recommended that de-personalised data must be used by relevant organisations to plan and improve services and demonstrably benefit the health of the population, with conditions set out to ensure security of data, transparency of access, and an individual’s choice to opt out of this use if they wish.

Use of de-personalised data for research and development
Conditions for using de-personalised data to support research and development included who should have access (including commercial organisations) and how they should be charged for this access, with a tiered pricing model being suggested. Participants also set conditions around how information should be safeguarded and accessed in a safe and secure setting, and how benefits – financial and otherwise – should be realised and distributed across the NHS.

Governance and oversight
There was a strong expectation set that citizens are involved in ongoing policy and decision-making around the uses of health and care data as part of a continuing diverse citizens’ advisory group, with a request for those in elected positions, for example, the London Assembly, to play an oversight and scrutiny role.

Consistency across London
After four days of deliberation, nearly all of the participants (98 per cent of those who attended on the day)* stated an expectation that all health and care organisations in London must join up de-personalised information, as part of a population dataset, to support proactive care, planning, improvement, research and development in line with the recommendations and conditions they set out.

What does this mean for London’s health and care system?

Data collected about a person’s health and care offers a range of benefits – from helping NHS and care staff to provide safe, quality care, to planning and improving services, to supporting research and discovery of new treatments. The public health emergency of the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted more than ever the need for a joined-up approach in using data, both now and into the future. This is an expectation shared by Londoners, and the recommendations formed by participants through the Citizens’ Summit provide a clear directive to the health and care system.

One participant involved in the Citizens’ Summit, said:

“I consider my healthcare information to be very personal and it’s important that it is discussed openly as to whether we want that to be shared, or the extent to which it’s shared. It’s very democratic to be part of this process. We can often feel, politically, quite impotent as individuals, so being able to feel like the opinions I’m expressing are going to be helping to shape policy… it’s really good to be a part of it.”

A second participant commented:

“Certain expectations that I had of the NHS and our data were completely blown out of the park. Connections I thought might be there – or hoped were there – weren’t. So it’s been very informative. I came in initially with the view that, ‘the data is mine, no one should have access to it’, so I’ve done a big flip. It’s been a journey because I’ve kept flipping to and fro.”

Dr Vin Diwakar, Regional Medical Director for the NHS in London, commented:

“Having listened to Londoners about how they expect their personal health information to be used, it is clear they want those treating patients to have access to all the health and care information for those individuals, to optimise care. They also strongly support using data for research and the clear benefit of improving the city’s health and social care. Privacy and other safeguards must be in place. We are grateful for the involvement of all those who took part and will continue to work closely with Londoners as we look to develop an agreed set of principles for how we safely and securely use Londoners’ data, based on their recommendations.”

London’s Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell, said:

“There is huge potential to harness health and care data in a safe and secure way, in order to improve Londoners’ wellbeing while protecting their privacy. The Mayor and I are clear that Londoners must be at the heart of shaping how their data is used and by whom. The OneLondon Citizens’ Summit has empowered Londoners to make recommendations on this important issue, to ensure the system can develop policy in a trustworthy way.”

Recommendations and findings from the OneLondon Citizens’ Summit are detailed in a new report. Download Public deliberation in the use of health and care data here.

For more information visit One London website.

“Having listened to Londoners about how they expect their personal health information to be used, it is clear they want those treating patients to have access to all the health and care information for those individuals, to optimise care. “Dr Vin Diwakar, Regional Medical Director for the NHS in London

NHS Diabetes Advice Helpline for patients with insulin-treated diabetes

medCrowd partners with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust to provide a new Diabetes Advice Helpline

New virtual service supports self-management for people living with insulin-treated diabetes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

DigitalHealth.London Accelerator alumni, medCrowd, have partnered with NHS England and Improvement, Diabetes UK, Novo Nordisk UK, and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust to provide a new Diabetes Advice Helpline.

The new Diabetes Advice Helpline, supported in its early development stages by King’s Health Partners Diabetes, Obesity and Endocrinology and Health Innovation Network, offers clinical advice for people, putting them in touch with trained clinical advisors with expertise in diabetes. All the advisors are diabetes trained health professionals who are volunteering their time during the pandemic – some are retired and have returned to the NHS to support patients.

The service is available via the Diabetes UK’s support line on 0345 123 2399, Monday to Friday from 9am – 6pm, for adults living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who use insulin to manage their condition.

For patients who, whether as a direct or indirect result of the coronavirus, have had their routine care disrupted, the helpline provides much needed clinical advice on topics such as: hyperglycaemia, hypoglycaemia, sick day rules and missed injections, which can all lead to serious complications if not managed appropriately.

“This helpline is a fantastic example of how rapid collaboration between NHS organisations and medCrowd has made it possible to provide much-needed support to patients during this challenging time.”Laura Semple, Health and Innovation Network Programme Director in Diabetes and Stroke Prevention

The new helpline is not intended to replace the routine care that patients receive – but if for any reason patients cannot get hold of their usual care team, then the helpline is there to provide advice. The helpline is not able to offer advice for pregnant or paediatric patients. These patients, and their parents or guardians, as appropriate, are advised to contact their own doctor or care team.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust continues to be a key partner in the project by providing clinical oversight and support.

Mark Brodigan, Programme Lead for NHS England, said:
“Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and our London regional team were instrumental in the inception and development of the programme. They continue to provide clinical, operational advice and support to the service. Without their help and support, we would not have been able to establish this service in such a short period of time. This is a good example of partnership working across the NHS, third and private sectors to establish a service that supports diabetic patients at this time of need.”

Kate Lillywhite, Programme Director of King’s Health Partners Diabetes, Obesity and Endocrinology, said:
“We’re delighted that NHS Diabetes Advice Helpline has launched and our Institute has played a key role in enabling it.”
“No doubt, this service will provide accessible and high-quality advice for people living with diabetes across the UK during the pandemic. None of it would not have been made possible without cross-organisation collaboration and the fantastic support from Health Innovation Network and medCrowd.”

“The experience of setting this service up opens up the possibility of new ways of working, beneficial to both patients and staff alike.”

Laura Semple, Health and Innovation Network Programme Director in Diabetes and Stroke Prevention, said:
“This helpline is a fantastic example of how rapid collaboration between NHS organisations and medCrowd has made it possible to provide much-needed support to patients during this challenging time. We will all be interested to learn from the experience of this advice line as we work with partners to shape the future of diabetes care.”

Sara Nelson, Programme Director DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, said:
“We are very proud that so many of our Accelerator programme companies are at the forefront of the Covid-19 response and are supporting the NHS and patients every day.”

“In this project, medCrowd is adapting its offer to meet people’s needs during the pandemic, giving hundreds of people access to the vital care and support they need.”

Dr Felix Jackson, Founder and Medical Director of medDigital and medCrowd, said:
“It is amazing to see this innovative service set up so quickly by the dedicated and talented team working together across the NHS, Health Innovation Network, medDigital and other key organisations. We were able to configure and roll out NHS Diabetes Advice in just a few weeks so people living with diabetes can get the help and advice they need during this uncertain time.”

Explore our work in diabetes here.

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Further Information

King’s Health Partners Diabetes, Obesity and Endocrinology is improving health and wellbeing for people living with diabetes and obesity across London and south east England.

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Patient safety and experience: our response to Covid-19

Patient safety and experience: our response to COVID-19

Our Patient Safety and Experience, Healthy Ageing and Digital Transformation Teams have been working in partnership to support our local health and care system response to Covid-19.  Working as part of the NHS National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes, our work over the next six months will focus on the following areas to contribute to the NHS response to Covid-19.

Deterioration

Failure to recognise or act on signs of deterioration can result in missed opportunities to provide necessary care and give patients the best possible chance of survival (Patient Safety Alerts 2016, 2018). This area therefore continues to be a major patient safety priority for the NHS during the Covid-19 outbreak. A good system of managing deterioration includes processes and solutions that enable:

  • Early detection of physical deterioration. This includes a physiology assessment and early warning tools such as soft signs and the NEWS2 score. A growing number of digital solutions to support these processes are also available.
  • An understanding of what is “normal” for a resident.
  • Staff knowing what to do next if a person’s health deteriorates. Agreed escalation processes are required, including end-of-life preferences, advanced care and treatment escalation plans.
  • Staff to effectively communicate their concerns. This includes human factors and structured communication.

We already have a south London managing deterioration improvement programme as part of the national patient safety improvement work. Consequently, our team is contributing to national developments and assisting regional and local efforts aimed at optimising patient outcomes during the pandemic. We are also building connections with a growing number of digital projects aimed at enabling remote assessment and monitoring of patients within the community setting.

Our Programme Director for Patient Safety and Experience, Catherine Dale, is a national co-lead for the Patient Safety Collaboratives on deterioration and was instrumental in the delivery of a very successful national webinar for GPs working hard at the front line to tackle Covid-19.

“High quality, safe care can be achieved through preparation, planning and education; the National Patient Safety Improvement Programme has created this important national program to rapidly develop the skills and knowledge for bedside staff to deliver safe tracheostomy care everywhere.”
Brendan McGrath – National Clinical Advisor for National Patient Safety Improvement Programme Covid-19 Response (Safe Tracheostomy Care); Intensive Care Consultant, Manchester University NHS FT

The team will be very happy to hear from you if you want to know more about any of our projects above or discuss support for your local work, contact hin.southlondon@nhs.net

You can also access nationally available resources and webinars on the AHSN Network Patient Safety COVID-19 webpage here.

DigitalHealth.London Accelerator opens for applications

DigitalHealth.London Accelerator opens for applications today

Call-out for the next generation of digital innovation to transform health and care

Digital products and services are currently providing vital innovation, support and capacity to the NHS during the response to Covid-19. Today, DigitalHealth.London opens applications to their flagship Accelerator programme for the next generation of digital health companies to transform health and care.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, the NHS-delivered programme, funded in part by the European Regional Development Fund, has supported some of the biggest and most effective digital innovations being used by the NHS in London. Companies including LIVIPatchwork HealthEchoSweatcoinHealth Navigator and Perfect Ward have all been through the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme. From enabling remote GP appointments, to transforming NHS temporary staffing and patient-facing self-management apps, the Accelerator has supported some of the best digital innovations now being widely used. Whilst the health and care system is under pressure like never before, the need for innovations to solve problems both today and in the future remains vital.

To date, the Accelerator has supported 105 innovative digital health companies, with 160 additional NHS contracts signed by those companies. For every £1 spent on the programme, it is estimated over £14 is saved for the NHS*.

Sara Nelson, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, said: “Never before has the need for the right digital innovations to be delivering for our NHS and patients been so profound.  Digital health products are introducing new ways of doing things and enabling key services to continue where they might otherwise have been cancelled or postponed. We are extremely proud of the companies and NHS organisations we have worked with over the past five years. Today, we are excited to accept applications for the next cohort of innovators. With the growing need for safe and effective digital innovations, we are looking forward to working with innovators and the many NHS staff and patients across London’s health and care sector who have recently been inspired by technology and its potential.”

Anna King, Commercial Director, Health Innovation Network, one of the founding partners of DigitalHealth.London said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme remains one of the most influential programmes of its kind, supporting fast-growing, high-potential digital health businesses. It is also helping London establish its place as one of the most exciting and innovative digital health and care hubs in the world, with scope to develop, validate and scale innovations. I’d urge any digital health innovator who has a product or service that could support the NHS to consider joining this programme.”

Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer for London, said: “I am delighted to continue to support the Accelerator as it opens for applications again, and I am looking forward to the next group of innovators bringing their products and services to Londoners. The programme’s work ensures that London is at the forefront of digital innovation and is vital to building a future where its citizens benefit from the latest technologies to support their health.”

Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer, NHSX, said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is part of a digital revolution in the NHS that continues rapidly to develop, and we will continue to support innovative organisations delivering ground-breaking work.

“This programme has established itself as an important player in supporting the NHS and social care to make the most of the opportunities digital health tech offers.”

Anas Nader, Co-Founder, Patchwork Health, Accelerator programme 2019-20, said: “We’re so proud of how widely our technology has already been embraced across the NHS and the impact we’re having on the lives of thousands of clinicians. We were delighted to join the 2019-20 cohort of DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator, a brilliant programme speeding up adoption of digital health innovations in the NHS. The programme has provided us with opportunities to connect with industry experts as well as other health tech innovators. I’d encourage companies like ours with good ideas and big ambitions to apply.”

Joachim Werr, CEO, Health Navigator, Accelerator programme 2018-19, said: “The most valuable thing we experienced on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme was the connections made with executives and decision makers within NHS organisations, and with central NHS policy makers, for example in NHS England and NHS improvement. Our NHS Navigator, combined with the expertise within the Accelerator’s network, have helped us reach the people that can make change happen in the NHS. We’d like to wish all companies applying good luck in what is a hugely competitive and valuable programme.”

DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator aims to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health. It works with up to 20 high-potential SMEs over a 12-month period, giving bespoke support and advice, a programme of expert-led workshops and events and brokering meaningful connections between innovators and NHS organisations with specific challenges. The companies that are successful in getting onto the Accelerator programme are chosen through a rigorous and highly competitive selection process, involving expert NHS and industry panel assessments, interviews and due diligence checks. Companies that have a product or solution that is well-defined and are ready to start building their evidence base are likely to benefit the most from the type of support offered through the programme. Throughout the 12 months, the programme focuses on engagement with different elements of the health and care system. Company suitability is assessed based both on product maturity (meaning products that are ready to be trailed or bought that have high potential to meet NHS challenges) and on the company’s capacity to benefit from the programme (meaning companies have enough time and staff to engage).

For more information and how to apply, click here.

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Helping break unwelcome news

Helping break unwelcome news COVID-19 outbreak

Health Education England has published a set of materials and films which aim to support staff through difficult conversations arising from the Covid-19 outbreak.

The AHSN Network was part of a small group of people that helped pull this resource together in less than two weeks.

The framework includes posters and films based on the evidence base from Real Talk and then filmed with willing volunteers.

You can also follow #UnwelcomeNews on Twitter.

Start here for an introduction to the framework: Discussion of Unwelcome News during the Covid-19 pandemic: a framework for health and social care professionals

You can watch the films here:

  1. The framework
  2. Community
  3. Breaking bad news
  4. Ceilings of treatment

Then access the resources here:

Follow this link for more information on patient safety during Covid-19.

New digital innovations tested for vulnerable people during Covid-19 outbreak

New digital innovations tested for vulnerable people during Covid-19 outbreak

Testing starts today as 18 winners of TechForce19 challenge announced

People who are particularly vulnerable or isolated as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak could soon benefit from a range of innovative digital solutions selected as part of the TechForce19 challenge.

NHSX and MHCLG have announced 18 digital solutions that have been awarded funding under the TechForce19 challenge. TechForce19 has awarded up to £25,000 each to innovation that offers a digital way to support vulnerable people who need to stay at home or need other help in the community for extended periods of time. The response to the challenge was extremely strong, with over 1,600 innovations submitted.

The successful solutions will now receive funding to rapidly test their product to meet specific Covid-19 related needs.

This testing phase will last for two to three weeks, and be followed by an assessment to better understand the potential and scope for accelerated deployment at scale, based on evidence.

NHSX has been working with partners PUBLIC and the AHSN Network to run the fast-track competition for innovators, creating a pool of technologies that have the potential to be rapidly scaled regionally and nationally.

Each prospective technology must have the capability to operate on a standalone basis without the need to be integrated with existing health or care systems.

Examples of the solutions going forward include:

  • Feebris for the most vulnerable who are isolating

Feebris helps carers to identify health risks and deterioration within elderly communities. The Feebris app guides a carer through a 10min check-up, including capture of vital signs from connected medical-grade sensors (digital stethoscope, pulse oximeter etc.). Powerful AI augments clinical guidelines and personalised monitoring to help decisions on triaging health issues. The intention is to provide Feebris to care homes to help carers triage the day-to-day health needs of their residents during the Covid-19 pandemic, and also enhance the capabilities of remote clinicians.

  • Neurolove to support young people with mental health

Chanua provides Neurolove.org, a platform providing a friendly ear and human support for young people to help them to keep virtually social and safe online. Supporting young people to manage anxiety and low mood, they can book sessions directly with mentors and therapists and find content that will support them to manage their emotional and mental health in this current period of uncertainty.

  • Peppy for new parents

Peppy helps parents-to-be and new parents remotely access trusted, convenient advice from perinatal and mental health experts. This includes remote support via phone/video with lactation consultants, baby sleep consultants, specialist mental health support and more. Peppy provides timely interventions that reduce stress, anxiety and burn out for parents-to-be and new parents.

  • Team Kinetic for volunteers

TeamKinetic’s digital platform helps organisations better manage community-led volunteer programmes. The solution helps manage recruitment and retention of volunteers, as well as monitoring the impact of these programmes in real time. TeamKinetic are also looking at developing and documenting some open standards and establishing a model for better service interconnectivity across the voluntary sector.

  • Vinehealth for cancer patients

Vinehealth is a mobile app to support cancer patients and their loved ones during treatment by allowing them to easily track and understand their care, including their symptoms, side effects, appointments and medications. By completing a 1-minute daily log, cancer patients can develop a clear overview of their progress through treatment and access advice on how to cope and when to access health services. The Vinehealth app empowers cancer patients who are self-isolating to self-manage and feel more in control.

“The TechForce19 challenge has harnessed some of the incredible talent we have in our tech sector to help the most vulnerable. Many of the problems created by isolation lend themselves to digital solutions, and we hope this process will help people take advantage of the potential that digital technology offers.

“The 18 companies we are announcing today have the potential to help a number of the key affected groups during Covid-19, including young parents, the elderly at home, and the homeless, as well as giving people tools to look after their own mental health during isolation.”

Guy Boersma, Digital & AI Lead, The AHSN Network, said:

“This list of solutions is testament to the talent being harnessed to address the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis. The health and care sector has already seen many solutions being deployed to support vulnerable citizens with mental health needs or other specific conditions, and the pandemic makes it even more necessary that we address the needs of citizens unable to access face-to-face care or even their usual social networks.

We are delighted that we have a series of solutions which can be piloted and then scaled to address these pressing needs.”

Daniel Korski, CEO of PUBLIC, said:

“As social distancing measures continue, today’s selections amount to a wealth of possible answers to helping the most vulnerable through these difficult times.

These companies demonstrate the valuable role for new technologies in helping public services adapt to new challenges, and we’re excited to follow their journeys from here through to deployment.”

For more information about the programme visit Techforce19.uk

Full list of digital innovations:

  1. Feebris for the most vulnerable who are isolating

Feebris helps carers to identify health risks and deterioration within elderly communities. The Feebris app guides a carer through a 10min check-up, including capture of vital signs from connected medical-grade sensors (digital stethoscope, pulse oximeter etc.). Powerful AI augments clinical guidelines and personalised monitoring to help decisions on triaging health issues. The intention is to provide Feebris to care homes to help carers triage the day-to-day health needs of their residents during the Covid-19 pandemic, and also enhance the capabilities of remote clinicians.

  1. Chanua / Neurolove to support young people with mental health

Chanua provides Neurolove.org, a platform providing a friendly ear and human support for young people to help them to keep virtually social and safe online. Supporting young people to manage anxiety and low mood, they can book sessions directly with mentors and therapists and find content that will support them to manage their emotional and mental health in this current period of uncertainty.

  1. Peppy for new parents

Peppy helps parents-to-be and new parents remotely access trusted, convenient advice from perinatal and mental health experts. This includes remote support via phone/video with lactation consultants, baby sleep consultants, specialist mental health support and more. Peppy provides timely interventions that reduce stress, anxiety and burn out for parents-to-be and new parents.

  1. Team Kinetic for volunteers

TeamKinetic’s digital platform helps organisations better manage community-led volunteer programmes. The solution helps manage recruitment and retention of volunteers, as well as monitoring the impact of these programmes in real time. TeamKinetic are also looking at developing and documenting some open standards and establishing a model for better service interconnectivity across the voluntary sector.

  1. Vine Health for cancer patients

Vinehealth is a mobile app to support cancer patients and their loved ones during treatment by allowing them to easily track and understand their care, including their symptoms, side effects, appointments and medications. By completing a 1-minute daily log, cancer patients can develop a clear overview of their progress through treatment and access advice on how to cope and when to access health services. The Vinehealth app empowers cancer patients who are self-isolating to self-manage and feel more in control.

  1. Beam for homeless population

Beam is a digital platform that supports the homeless and vulnerable people sleeping rough. Beam takes referrals from local authorities and homeless charities, then ensures goods are funded, delivered and documented.

  1. Alcuris Ltd

Alcuris’ Memohub® prolongs the independence of elderly or vulnerable people, enabling them to return to home quicker, from hospital discharge. A digital platform collates data from unobtrusive sensors placed in the home, then provides actionable alerts when behaviour changes, enabling families to intervene early to delay or reduce the frequency of professional ‘crisis intervention’ help. This gives family a reassurance of loved one’s safety and wellbeing even when left alone for extended periods. Also provides objective information to inform professional care planning.

  1. Ampersand

Ampersand Health‘s self-management apps help people with long term, immune mediated diseases (such as Crohn’s and Colitis) live happier and healthier lives. Using behavioural and data science, the apps deliver courses and programmes designed to improve sleep quality, stress management and medication adherence; with modules for activity, diet and relationships in the works. During the Covid-19 crisis, this will help these people better manage their conditions and reduce the need for clinical support. Ampersand are also offering their clinical management portal free of charge to NHS Trusts until January 2021, no strings attached. This will allow clinical teams to help manage their patients, remotely.

  1. Aparito

Aparito uses remote monitoring technology (videos, wearables, photos and text) to gather patient-generated data outside of hospital. This is focused on patients with rare diseases. Data is captured and transferred via the patient’s own smartphone / tablet and made available to clinicians or researchers in real-time to help avoid direct contact during the Covid-19 crisis.

  1. Birdie

Birdie provides a digital platform for home care agencies to better manage the care they provide. Through an easy to use app, care workers capture daily visit logs, and a central hub allows staff to track real-time information. Family members receive live and daily safety and well-being updates through the app, including from optional home monitoring sensors. Birdie helps domiciliary care agencies to increase efficiency, and improves the care people receive in their homes through systematic monitoring, prevention of risks, and support to carers.

  1. Buddi

Buddi Connect is a smartphone app, enabling people to stay in touch with those they care for. Safe groups of connections are united through the app to share private, secure messages and raise instant alerts when help is needed. Important messages from the NHS can be shared directly to users. During this difficult time, while many vulnerable people are missing the face-to-face contact of family, friends and carers, the reassurance that help is available at the touch of a button is more important than ever.

  1. Just Checking

Just Checking supplies activity monitoring systems, used by local authorities to help with assessment of older people in their homes, for social care. Sensors pick up activities of daily living and display the data in a 24-hour chart. The company also has a second, more sophisticated activity monitoring system, to help manage the care and support of adults with learning disabilities.

  1. Peopletoo Ltd/ Novoville

Peopletoo and Novoville have been selected to launch GetVolunteering, a volunteering app to fast track volunteers into clinical and non-clinical roles to support the fight against Covid-19. It will enable local authorities to quickly identify and assess capable volunteers in the local community to fill key roles to support social care in areas that have been impacted by loss of staffing capacity due to Covid-19, or for new roles that are required during the crisis.

  1. RIX Research & Media, University of East London

The RIX Multi Me toolkit provides highly accessible and secure social networking that serves as a support network for people with learning disabilities and mental health challenges. This easy to use multimedia network, with accompanying communication, personal-organiser and goal-setting tools, enables isolated and distanced vulnerable people to build stronger support circles. It helps them self-manage their care and actively limit the impact and spread of Covid-19 infection. Care professionals use the ‘Stay Connected’ RIX Multi Me Toolkit to remotely monitor and support people’s wellbeing in an efficient and friendly way.

  1. Simply Do

Simply Do will develop a virtual community of NHS medical professionals currently in self-isolation. These employees have significant expertise, experience and skills which can be unlocked virtually to help solve Covid-19 care challenges set within the platform. This will create a powerful ‘think-tank’ of medical professionals to contribute virtually to fight Covid-19 by solving wider health challenges (i.e. challenges faced in the care sector).

  1. SureCert

SureCert is a digital platform that connects people with job and volunteering opportunities. The system also manages background checks. SureCert can provide data on successful placements, and information to enable policy makers to better understand the labour market and volunteering supply and demand.

  1. VideoVisit Global Ltd

VideoVisit® HOME allows the elderly to communicate with their family members and home care providers through a virtual care tablet designed specifically for elderly. VideoVisit will measure how this virtual home care service can increase people’s feeling of safety and decrease loneliness during self-isolation.

  1. Virti

Virti aims to make experiential education affordable and accessible for everyone. Virtual and augmented reality, coupled with AI, transports users into difficult to access environments and safely assesses them under pressure to improve their performance. The system is used for training and patient education.

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Testing platform supports target of 100,000 Covid-19 tests per day

Testing platform supports target of 100,000 COVID-19 tests per day

A new platform has been set up to support the drive to achieve 100,000 coronavirus tests per day by the end of April – the platform can be accessed here.

In addition to scaling up existing technologies and channels, the government is looking for innovative solutions in specific areas. Solutions, ideas and comments can be uploaded to the platform, focusing on four key challenges:

  1. Dry swabs for use in virus detection– availability of swabs is essential to speed up testing;
  2. Transport media that inactivates the virus– increasing laboratory throughput and minimising processes including the need to handle test samples;
  3. Desktop PCR equipment for Point of Care Testing– using machines that enable fast, accurate and safe results for the operator;
  4. RNA extraction– new ‘ready to go’ methods of extracting viral RNA or enabling viral detection without an extraction step that can be integrated into PCR testing chains.

The platform is a partnership between the Department of Health and Social Care, the UK Bioindustry Association, British In Vitro Diagnostics Association and the Royal College of Pathologists.

We understand that every idea will be evaluated and that all submissions will receive a response.

Registration is quick via an email address or by signing in with Twitter, Facebook, Google or LinkedIn. Whilst the system is ‘open platform’ to encourage sharing, contributions can be made confidentially through a private submission tab.

Please share this opportunity with others who may be able to contribute solutions to the four challenges – the Twitter hashtag is #TestingMethods2020

Tech challenge launched to offer digital support during Covid-19 outbreak

Tech challenge launched to offer digital support during COVID-19 outbreak

  • Tech challenge launched to combat effects of social isolation;
  • Innovators urged to find ways to deliver mental health and social care support digitally;
  • £500,000 worth of Government funding available to start work within weeks.

People confined at home because of Coronavirus (Covid-19) could soon benefit from new technology to combat the effects of social isolation.

Funding is being made available by NHSX through ‘Techforce 19’, for innovators who can find digital ways to support those who need help, including people requiring mental health support and those with social care needs.

The technology is intended to support those who may be most affected by the consequences of remaining housebound for long periods of time.

Announcing the fund, Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said:

“If people cannot leave the house, we need to quickly find ways to bring support to them and today I am calling on the strength of our innovative technology sector to take on this challenge. Techforce19 will mobilise the UK’s incredible reservoir of talent to develop simple, accessible tools that can be rolled out quickly and help tackle the effect of social isolation.”

The programme is being launched by NHSX and is being managed by GovTech venture firm PUBLIC and the AHSN Network.

Piers Ricketts, Chair of the AHSN Network, said:

“The AHSN Network is dedicated to furthering successful collaborations between innovators and the health and social care system. Our well-connected teams throughout the country are ready to support NHSX and PUBLIC with this important call out to industry.

I encourage all innovators with a relevant idea, or with existing technology which could be adapted or scaled, to apply to this programme and help support the most vulnerable and isolated during this difficult time.”

In total, there is £500,000 available to bid for – with funding of up to £25,000 per company available to innovators with solutions that could be deployed at scale in the next few weeks. Specifically, the programme is looking for digital solutions that can be deployed quickly, and could include:

  • Providing remote social care;
  • Optimisation of the care and volunteer sector;
  • Messaging and communication;
  • Mental health support – for example through peer communities or self-management tools;
  • Any other solutions to ease pressures on services and people during this time.

Matthew Gould, Chief Executive of NHSX, said:

“Tech can play an important role in helping the country deal with the challenges created by the Coronavirus.  This competition is focussed on the problems created by isolation, which lend themselves to digital solutions. It will allow NHSX to accelerate the development of those solutions, so within weeks they can help those in isolation suffering from loneliness, mental health issues and other problems.”

The Government has strongly advised everyone in the country – but especially those aged 70 or over, people with underlying medical conditions or pregnant women – to reduce social interaction to help minimise the spread of the virus. Those considered most at risk of having serious complications from the virus – for instance people receiving treatment for cancer – have also been asked to stay at home for 12 weeks as part of efforts to ‘shield’ them from the virus.”

Techforce19 is a new challenge, open to innovative tech companies in this country who will compete to develop accessible digital tools to support people who are staying at home over the coming weeks and months.

For more information on the programme and how to apply, visit Techforce19.uk.

Recruitment for innovators taking part in the challenge programme opens today, Monday 23 March. The closing date for applications is 1 April 2020.

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How is the AHSN Network supporting the response to Covid-19?

Map of the AHSNs

How is the AHSN Network supporting the response to COVID-19?

All AHSNs within the AHSN Network are actively supporting the NHS and social care system regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you would like advice on immediate or future needs, and how best to present your offer to local and/ or national commissioners, please contact the commercial team at your local AHSN via the AHSN Network Innovation Exchange or register online. Use the postcode checker to help you find your local AHSN.

The government has provided national guidance on where to register products to support the Covid-19 response. Please find these details below.

PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)

Contact the Surgical MedTech Co-operative (one of NIHR’s Medtech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operatives) if you have a technology that could be adapted quickly for the healthcare setting to help protect healthcare workers against aerosol contamination. Find out more about their ‘Covid-19 PPE Challenge’ here.

 Vaccines

Contact Public Health England: nervtag@phe.gov.uk

 Ventilators

Contact the Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS): ventilator.support@beis.gov.uk or call 0300 456 3565

 Innovation and Tech

Contact NHSX: DNHSX@nhsx.nhs.uk

 Diagnostics

Contact Public Health England: coviddiagnostics@phe.gov.uk

General

The UK government has set up a service allowing businesses to share any support that might help the Covid-19 response, from PPE and medical testing equipment to transport/logistics and warehouse space. Find out more here.

If you have any other solutions (not specifically Covid-19 related) that could be useful to the health and care system during this unprecedented time, you can access AHSN advice and support by visiting www.ahsninnovationexchange.co.uk.

The AI in Health and Care Award: accelerating testing and evaluation of the most promising AI technologies

The AI in Health and Care Award: accelerating testing and evaluation of the most promising AI technologies

The AHSN Network welcomes the launch of the new Artificial Intelligence (AI) Health and Care Award. This will make £140 million available over three years to accelerate the testing and evaluation of the most promising AI technologies that meet the strategic aims set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

The Award is run by the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), of which the AHSN Network is a key member, in partnership with NHSX and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Guy Boersma, AHSN Network Digital & AI Executive Lead, commented: “We welcome the launch of this new fund to fast track the implementation of the most promising AI innovation into frontline care.

“It is an exciting development following the publication of our AI State of Nation report, supporting the creation of the Code of Conduct and now contributing to the distribution of funding to accelerate testing and evaluation of AI technologies.

“AI has the potential to address the many challenges impacting services today, such as those around workforce and the ageing population. As part of the Accelerated Access Collaborative, the AHSN Network looks forward to supporting this programme through the adoption and spread of AI across our strong research and innovation network.”

About the AI in Health and Care Award

The Award will support technologies across the spectrum of development: from initial feasibility and conception through to initial NHS adoption and testing of the AI technology within clinical pathways.
Initially, it will focus on four key areas: screening, diagnosis, decision support and improving system efficiency.

The AI Award is part of the £250 million funding given by the Department for Health and Social Care to NHSX to establish an AI Lab aimed at improving the health and lives of patients. The Award forms a key part of the AAC’s ambition to establish a globally leading testing infrastructure for innovation in the UK.

A call for applications for the Award will run at least twice a year through an open competition to identify appropriate AI technologies for support into the NHS.

The call for applications for the first Award is now open. A second call will be launched in summer this year.

First competition – application information

The application process for the first competition opened on 28 January 2020 and closes at 1.00pm on 4 March 2020. Applicants will be able to identify which phase they should apply for using the self-assessment criteria. Full details are available here.

Support from the AHSNs
Innovators interested in applying for the AI in Health and Care Award are encouraged to talk to their regional AHSN for advice and support. Find your nearest AHSN on our Innovation Exchange digital gateway here.

AI Event – 3 February 2020
The Accelerated Access Collaborative, NHSX and NIHR are holding an AI Event in London on 3 February. This will provide information about opportunities and support available to AI innovators and technologies at all stages of development.
Come to the event to find out more about the most recent developments and upcoming opportunities, hear about the experience of an SME developing an AI product in the NHS, and find out about organisations such as the AHSNs that can support collaborations. In addition, there will be the opportunity for networking and establishing new connections.
Book your place here.

Webinars

A series of webinars are being organised to provide more information to potential applicants:

Initial information session: 31 January 2020, 11-12.00 Join here
Applicant Webex: 4 February 2020, 11:00-12:00 Join here
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ESCAPE-pain trains 1000 trainers

ESCAPE-pain trains 1000 facilitators to help people living with osteoarthritis in boost to out-of-hospital care

By Professor Mike Hurley, Clinical Director MSK Programme, Health Innovation Network and creator of ESCAPE-pain.

If we are serious about achieving the goals of the NHS’ Long Term Plan, physical activity should be prescribe-able on the NHS and we need to facilitate its delivery through leisure centre and community halls.

It is well documented that people in our communities are now living far longer but they are more likely to live with multiple long-term conditions. Osteoarthritis (chronic knee/hip pain) is a major cause of suffering, physical and mental ill-health in people in our country. It is estimated that in England 4.11 million people (18.2 percent of people aged over 45 years) have osteoarthritis of the knee and 2.46 million people (10.9 percent of people aged over 45 years) have osteoarthritis of the hip.

Typically, these patients are managed in primary care. Despite the risk of side effects and high costs, treatment for osteoarthritis is all too often the prescription of painkillers, typically non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with little to no practical support. Many people with these conditions mistakenly believe that physical activity will make their condition worse, when it can actually benefit them.

Physical activity and reduced pain

There is unequivocal evidence that physical activity can reduce pain, improve mobility and function, quality of life, makes people feel less depressed and gets people up, out and about, while simultaneously improving other health problems. Yet it can’t be prescribed like a drug and there is limited access to this effective treatment inside the NHS.

ESCAPE-pain is an innovation that integrates self-management and coping strategies with an exercise regimen individualised for people living with osteoarthritis. It is an evidence-based, group rehabilitation programme, delivered to small groups of people twice a week, for six weeks (total 12 classes). It was adopted as a case study in NICE’s Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention programme [2013] and delivers the NICE core recommendations of exercise and education for the management of osteoarthritis.

The Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) identified ESCAPE-pain as a national programme for 2018-2020 and so currently all 15 AHSNs are supporting it across the country.

Scaling up
Originally facilitated by physiotherapists in hospital outpatient departments, in 2017 we moved to widen our pool of facilitators to include fitness and leisure centre instructors. We have now trained a total of over 1,000 people to facilitate this programme (629 clinicians and 380 fitness instructors). The widening of our approach to training; going beyond physiotherapists and into the leisure sector, has enabled the programme to be delivered at over 200 locations across the UK, including leisure centres and community halls, to over 4000 people.

Essential to reaching the millions more people who could benefit from this programme is having enough facilitators trained to deliver the it in local communities. Now that over 1000 people have been trained there is a trained facilitator of the programme in every region of England.

Delivering this programme in the community and outside of traditional hospital settings, is a great example of how we can deliver on the Long Term Plan’s ambition to boost out-of-hospital care. I hope the success of this model is, as it could be, replicated in many other areas of care.

Got 30 minutes to learn more about the NHS Innovation landscape? Listen to our AHSN Network Innovation Exchange podcast in which NHS Clinical Director for Older People, Martin Vernon talks Healthy Ageing, featuring Prof Mike Hurley.

Or find out more about ESCAPE-pain and it’s impact here or contact us at hin.southlondon@nhs.net to get involved.

World Mental Health Day: A story of a burning platform for change

A burning platform for change

By Breid O’Brien, HIN Director of Digital Transformation

Today is World Mental Health Day; a day observed by over 150 countries globally to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health. In the 17 years since the day was first conceived, society has come a long way in its understanding of mental health. However, even today, people with serious mental illness are still likely to die approximately 15-20 years earlier than other people.

So this World Mental Health Day we would like to highlight some of the incredible progress being made by mental health teams around the world, to bring about parity of esteem in this area by reflecting on a recent roundtable event we held to share learning internationally, where Martin Davis, a Clinical Nurse from New South Wales’ Mental Health Emergency Care division (MHEC), presented on the successful implementation of a virtual consultation system in a rural and remote mental health setting in Australia.

This is a story of a small team that led the way. MHEC was kick started by a government cash injection at a time when the team needed to deliver a better, more cost-effective system of care to its rural and remote population in rural Australia. Before the MHEC service was introduced remote and rural ambulances (and often other emergency services) were transporting patients hundreds of miles just for an acute mental health assessment; taking them from the comfort of their home, family and friends when they were in a vulnerable state, and often leaving their hometown without any emergency provision. Imagine living somewhere where if there was a fire, there would be no one to put it out, simply because they are effectively acting as a patient taxi? Their situation provided a clear rationale for change – a burning platform, if you will. By using virtual consultations, they could save time, save money and deliver faster patient care.

Starting with an 1-800 number 12 years ago and progressing to an online video system just under a decade ago, MHEC now prides itself on answering calls within three rings, and being able to assess patients on a video call within an hour during daytime hours. The stats continue. Every year since its inception, they have saved the combined services over $1,000,000 AUD a year; and 80% of the patients they see are discharged back into their community within a day, a direct reversal of the 20% of patients who were able to go home under the previous system.

“All just geography”

Despite the obvious differences between MHEC’s setting (their ‘patch’ is the size of Germany but has only 320,000 residents), and our urban south London area where almost three million people reside in an area a fraction of the size, when Martin shared his story the similarities were immediately apparent. In London we have a diverse population who speak an estimated 250 languages, requiring a need for numerous cultural sensitivities; the MHEC team have a large aboriginal population – almost 40% of their mental health in-patients identify as aboriginal.

Patients in New South Wales were having to travel miles away from their families to receive acute mental health care; we too have examples of this happening in acute mental health care in the UK, and while the distances in Australia may be greater, the impact on the patient and their family will be the same. The Australian health system also faces an increasing demand for acute mental services against a backdrop of challenges with staff recruitment; turns out, Julia Roberts had it right in Pretty Woman; it is “all just geography”.

The question our roundtable guests discussed cut to the heart of the complexities of digital transformation: if we have so much in common, why, over a decade later, are we still not embracing virtual consultations in the same way that they are? Distance and cost were MHEC’s burning platform, pushing them to make changes ten years ago that other services are only just catching up with. We seemingly are yet to find our burning platform, despite the pressures on our services and the progress being made in many areas.

As our roundtable participants moved the discussion on to the inevitable complexities of implementation, many of the usual barriers made an appearance; procurement, interoperability, money, time. But a few more situation-specific ones also livened the debate; what are the implications for information governance? How do you prevent reprisals of misdiagnosis? How do you train people to deliver virtual care? How do you ensure that changing a pathway won’t affect patient safety? How do you empower your teams to step outside their role? How do you get buy-in from all the organisations needed to deliver the change?

The need for systems to talk

For Martin – and MHEC – all the barriers to change raised were not only a stark reminder of how far they have come, but also how much work is still to be done. We delved into the extensive stakeholder engagement the MHEC team undertook (they visited all the GP practises in person because face-to-face meetings achieved better buy in from clinicians – an irony that wasn’t wasted on them), and listened to how the accountability process was redefined, before unveiling a key area of distinction between our two situations; how joined up their IT systems had become. A steely silence answered Martin’s assumption that we’d managed to fix the interoperability of medical records in the 20 years since he’d served at Homerton, Enfield and the Royal Free. Sadly, Martin, we have not but it is high on the agenda of NHSX and others so perhaps this time we will.

And therein lies part of the problem. The collaborative nature required to implement the MHEC system between mental health, emergency departments, General Practitioners, community mental health teams and even the police (they have supplied local police with digital tablets to ensure they can get the virtual consultations to people in their own homes, not just the local emergency department) is a testament to the power of joined-up care systems, but working together was undoubtedly made simpler by the support of a joined up technology system, something the various LHRCEs are still working hard to crack.

From the discussion, it became clear however that no one issue of technology, procurement, change management, organisational boundaries or geography on its own poses enough of a barrier, but the cumulative effect of them all risks putting off too many commissioners, clinicians and managers from implementing digital transformation. The risk made all the more terrifying by the fear that it might go wrong and that safety could be compromised.

Martin was incredibly open and forthcoming about the fact that MHEC is not yet perfect. When they started the technology didn’t work; not everyone was bought in to the system; it was not – and still isn’t – an overnight success, but none of that mattered. They were trying something new that, at its heart, was trying to improve patient care and support emergency services to deliver better support to people in a mental health crisis, whilst also saving the overall system money. It is clear that really innovative organisations are willing to tolerate failure and see it as an opportunity for learning and doing things even better. Whilst we can’t tolerate failure in terms of compromising patient safety, it does feel that perhaps sometimes this fear also stops us from implementing proven innovations. So why does the fact that something won’t work perfectly first-time round make us in the NHS feel so uncomfortable? Perhaps this is our inherent fear of failure?

We heard from some present about the fabulous work they are doing to implement similar technology and different ways of working, however, to really impact care we need to do this at scale. And to achieve anything at scale, risks will have to be taken. Perhaps our burning platform is just not hot enough. Yet.

About the author
Breid O’Brien leads HIN’s digital consultancy function. She has extensive improvement and digital transformation experience supported by a clinical and operational management background in acute care within the UK and Australia. She has supported major system level change and has a strong track record of delivering complex programmes of work whilst supporting collaboration across varied teams and organisations. With a Masters in Nursing, an MSc in Healthcare Informatics and as an IHI improvement Advisor, Breid is especially interested in the people, process and technology interface.

Innovating in Urgent and Emergency Care

Innovating in Urgent and Emergency Care

Join our Urgent and Emergency Care Innovation Exchange event exploring the solutions that could transform urgent and emergency care services.

Briefing for innovators to apply to pitch at the event

The Health Innovation Network, and DigitalHealth.London Accelerator are hosting an Innovation Exchange showcase event on Urgent and Emergency Care on Tuesday 31st October 9.30 to 12pm.

We would like to showcase innovations that meet the challenges within London’s urgent and emergency care for example:

• Improving patient flow through emergency departments
• Supporting clinical decision systems
• User experience – directing patients to the most appropriate service
• Predicting emergency admissions
• Alternative models of care eg. Virtual / remote clinical support
• Quicker access to diagnostics / point of care testing
• Real time information for clinicians

We’re looking for a diverse range of digital technologies that are operational in emergency care clinical services to attend the event to pitch their innovations. The event will enable discussions with commissioners, providers and innovators on the potential for technology to address the challenges and pressures on all urgent and emergency care.

On the day we will start with our guest speaker from Healthy London Partnership to give a policy perspective and presentation from the Chief Clinical Information Officer from London Ambulance Service.

Following these presentations there will be an opportunity for innovators to provide a short pitch (3 minutes) to the audience on how they may adopt your innovation(s) in their organisations and participate in our world café session to discuss your solution in more detail. We are aiming to generate warm leads and fruitful follow on discussions by curating a receptive audience for urgent and emergency care innovations.

In order to select the best innovators to showcase, we are asking innovators to complete this short application form, to allow the Health Innovation Network and stakeholders to select an interesting and varied agenda. Please complete the attached for and return to us by 20th September 2019 at 5pm.

Successful applicants will be expected to complete a short registration form immediately, and 3 months after the event for us to quantify the impact of the event on generating new leads and conversations.

Timeline

• Application submission deadline: 20th September 2019
• Notifications to successful applicants: 30th September 2019
• Urgent and Emergency Care Innovation Exchange event: 31st October 2019

Applications to pitch are now closed please email  steph.mckenzie@nhs.net to register for the upcoming event on 31st October 2019.

 

20 New digital health care innovators set to transform the NHS

20 New digital health care innovators set to transform the NHS

Today the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator announce the 20 new digital health care innovators to be supported by the 2019-20 Accelerator programme at a launch event in central London.  Now in its fourth year, the Accelerator supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accelerate the adoption of digital health innovations into the NHS each year. The programme gives innovators improved access to the wealth of world-class research, medical technology, and resources London has to offer and supports NHS providers and commissioners find, and adopt, the new technologies.

Each of the 20 innovators selected for this year’s programme directly support the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan published earlier this year. The programme will support these SMEs to develop and deploy solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing the NHS.

The exciting innovations include a technology that helps clinicians plan and rehearse heart surgery by using patient scans and mechanics to predict the behaviour of a device once inside a patient (Oxford Heartbeat).  Another is a mobile app that tracks the number of steps walked by an individual and incentivises them to walk more through reward points that can be redeemed for products, goods and services (Sweatcoin). Cutting edge technology such as sensors, machine learning and home devices have been brought together in a digital solution to help carers monitor the health and well-being of elderly patients better at home (Birdie).

Anna King, Commercial Director of the Health Innovation Network said: “The Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) have a unique role helping companies navigating the health system and supporting the NHS in the adoption of value-enhancing innovations. The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme helps deliver both improved patient care through the use of digital innovations, but also economic growth through the supporting the best innovative companies. The track record of previous participants in the programme has been fantastic, and we are excited about introducing these new innovations to the NHS.”

Sara Nelson, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, said: “I feel really proud of the Accelerator and its achievements over the last three years. Today is another step forward and represents how both sides – innovators and the NHS – are coming together more and more to solve the very real challenges NHS organisations face every day. Digital technologies are not only creating new opportunities to change things for patients, they are also creating new opportunities to make things better for staff, and the wider system. We all share the ultimate objective of making our NHS sustainable and I am looking forward to helping the next set of digital innovators make this a reality.”

Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer for London, said: “I am delighted to support the Accelerator and this latest intake of digital health companies looking to bring their innovations to Londoners. The programme’s work ensures that London is at the forefront of digital innovation and is vital to building a future where its citizens benefit from the latest technologies to support their health.”

Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer, NHSX said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is part of a long- overdue digital revolution in the NHS. We must create a system whereby healthtech innovators are supported and can really feel our commitment to them and their ground-breaking work. This programme does just that, plus it supports the NHS and social care to make the most of the digital opportunity.”

Success stories the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator in previous years include; a product from MIRA Rehab that turns physiotherapy exercises into video games that can be customised to individual patients’ needs. This has been particularly useful for children and orthopaedic patients who often do not achieve their rehabilitative potential because they do not complete their exercises. As a result of its engagement with the Accelerator, MIRA Rehab is now working with Great Ormond Street NHS Foundation Trust, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and Royal National Orthopaedic NHS Trust. It is now available in 10 NHS organisations across the country.

Infinity Health developed an app to improve patient flow in hospitals. It provides clinical staff with an improved experience from the traditional paper-based processes for requesting, tracking, and prioritising porter requests. The app is now used in Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, one of the busiest Emergency Departments in the country. It has helped save over 10,000 hours of staff time.

The work of DigitalHealth.London Accelerator companies has resulted in almost £76 million in savings for the NHS, with just over a third of this (£24.8 million) credited to the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator’s support – based on information self-reported by companies involved. Some of these savings are made in efficiency gains, for example finding more efficient ways of supporting patients to manage their own health conditions, whilst others may help reduce inappropriate urgent care attendances by providing easier access to GP services.

There have been an estimated 22.2 million opportunities for patients to benefit from new technologies supported by the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator.

For more information please contact hin.southlondon@nhs.net.

ITV’s Dr Zoe Williams Joins Alison Barnes for VLCD Event

ITV’s Dr Zoe Williams Joins Alison Barnes for VLCD Event

Last week the Health Innovation Network’s diabetes team hosted an event at St Thomas’s Hospital to speak to dieticians, GPs and other clinical professionals about the role of Very Low-Calorie Diets (VLCD) in putting Type 2 Diabetes in remission. 

The event brought together experts including; Dr Zoe Williams resident GP on ITV’s ‘This Morning’, Alison Barnes Research Dietitian for the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DIRECT) as well as Alastair Duncan, Principal Dietitian at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital. We heard some impactful stories from patients who trailed the diet. Some spoke candidly on the positive difference it has had made to their quality of life, as well as the difficulties they faced, especially during specific times of the year. 

Social and cultural events involving food were one of the difficulties discussed. Eid, Christmas and weddings were all flagged as being possible obstacles on these diets. Results showed that patients felt a sense of anxiety when it came to returning to their normal diets. Dr Rabbani, MD at Sutton GP Service Ltd also flagged that lifestyle changes can be incredibly hard, so simply changing your eating habits after a substantial time will not happen overnight. 

The event gave rise to the complexities many people have in their relationship with food. Although positive results were seen for the individuals who used VLCD diets speaking at the event, the message was clear that it is important to take into account the many barriers that exist for others.  

For more information on future events like this, sign-up to our newsletter today: http://bit.ly/HINSignUp  

Further information

To learn more about Allied Health Professional programmes in this area, visit the NHS England website.

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South London’s first transgender sexual health service, funded by HIN receives positive feedback from patients

South London’s first transgender sexual health service, funded by HIN receives positive feedback from patients

Last year King’s College Hospital in Camberwell were awarded funding from the Health Innovation Network to open the first sexual health service in south London for trans people. The clinic celebrated it’s formal launch at King’s on Friday 13 July 2019. Since its opening the new trans service at has already had a positive impact on trans people’s lives, giving people easier access to an informed, respectful, dedicated local service in South London.

In partnership with cliniQ, the new service offers a range of health and wellbeing initiatives to meet the needs of trans people. Services include STI testing and treatment; contraception; counselling; cervical screening; hormone testing, hormone injection and advice; sexual assault support; hate crime support; housing advice; and the PrEP Impact Trial.

The service includes a counsellor; a support worker; a nurse; and a doctor. Although the focus of the service is sexual health, it has adopted a holistic approach and works with other relevant services such as primary care, mental health services and social services.

In addition to clinical and support services, King’s is also developing and delivering a range of training materials for healthcare professionals to raise awareness, knowledge and skills in relation to trans health.

Since the clinic opened the clinic has seen over 50 people for a range of issues including sexual health testing; contraception; hormone level monitoring; hormone injections; advice and counselling. The feedback from patients so far has been really positive.

Evren Filgate, a 24-year-old service user, said: “With long waiting times for the specialist Gender Clinics, a lack of training for GPs and hospitals, and a general lack of understanding of trans healthcare, combined with difficulties accessing healthcare CliniQ at King’s as a walk-in clinic accessible to all trans people provides dignified, non-judgemental care for myself and my friends. Without CliniQ I would not have been able to access life-saving care many times over. Many trans people I have spoken to agree that CliniQ is absolutely vital to trans people in south London and its importance cannot be overstated.”

Dr Killian Quinn, Clinical Lead for Sexual Health Services at King’s, said: “I’m really proud that King’s and cliniQ are delivering this service here in South London. The service has the expertise of both sexual health professionals and trans community leaders to address not only any medical and sexual health needs but also psychosocial health inequalities of trans people.”

Dr Michael Brady, Consultant Sexual Health and HIV at King’s and National Advisor for LGBT Health, NHS England, said: “Trans and non-binary people experience unacceptable health inequalities and poorer experience of healthcare in general. Services like this one delivered by cliniQ and King’s provide essential clinical care and support as well as training for healthcare professionals and the opportunity to raise awareness locally of trans health issues.”

Michelle Ross, Founder of cliniQ, said: “cliniQ at King’s is fundamental in establishing trans and non-binary people’s health services in South London and further afield. At cliniQ sexual health and HIV are central to our services, as are holistic health and wellbeing. Trans people are disproportionately affected by all health issues – it is cliniQ’s reason for beginning to change these inequalities.”

Dr Natasha Curran, Medical Director, Health Innovation Network, said: “This clinic is a first for South London and fantastic example of genuine co-design in the NHS.  The Health Innovation Network are delighted to have helped open this important service that offers an innovative, holistic approach to the specific needs of trans people. We aim to fund and support healthcare innovation that improves people’s lives and helps staff deliver the best possible care, the innovation grant we awarded the clinic, will help it do just that.”

Cllr Ed Davie, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, London Borough of Lambeth, said:

“This new service is something we’re very proud to deliver alongside King’s and the Health Innovation Network. I’m certain that it will make a positive difference to the lives of trans people in Lambeth and across South London, providing a whole range of health support in a safe, comfortable environment. This will increase learning and awareness, both for health professionals in the issues that trans people and non-binary people face, and also for trans and non-binary people themselves around sexual health and wellbeing, helping us reduce inequality and ensure that everyone can access the support that is right for them. From our black mental health commission to leading the Do It London HIV campaign, Lambeth Council has a proud record of working with our minority communities to improve health and I’m very pleased this new trans clinic builds on this offer.”

Cllr Evelyn Akoto, Southwark Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Health, said: “I am hugely proud that the first dedicated health centre for trans, non-binary and gender diverse people is coming to South London. Everyone has a right to access healthcare safely and with dignity, however trans people can face unique barriers to certain services. Anything that we can do to help people lead healthier and happier lives is a step in the right direction. I am sure that this will have a positive impact on the lives of many people who live in Southwark and South London.”

Mayor Damien Egan, London Borough of Lewisham, said: “I am delighted that cliniQ has officially launched today. In Lewisham we proudly support the trans community, including the principle of self-definition. As the first sexual health service in south London for trans people we know that clinicQ will make a real difference for Lewisham residents, by making sure they receive the advice and care they need. This is a vital service and I am delighted that Lewisham is supporting it. I hope that more clinics will open in the future so that we can continue to support trans people”

The new service is funded by the London Boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham and the Health Innovation Network (South London) and is run every Tuesday from 4pm – 7pm at the Caldecot Centre at King’s College Hospital.

 

Innovative NHS exercise classes launch in Teddington to help local people with knee and hip pain

Innovative NHS exercise classes launch in Teddington to help local people with knee and hip pain

The ESCAPE-pain exercise programme for people living with knee and/or hip pain, also known as osteoarthritis (OA), will launch for the first time in the borough of Richmond-upon-Thames next week (8 July 2019). The programme is widely available across England, operating in over 190 sites. Classes are run in a variety of locations from hospital physiotherapy departments to leisure centres and gyms, from church halls to community centres. ESCAPE-pain is an evidence-based group rehabilitation programme (12 sessions twice weekly for six weeks). It improves participants’ function by integrating exercise, education, and self-management strategies to dispel inappropriate health beliefs, alter behaviour, and encourage regular physical activity.

Thousands of people living in Richmond could be eligible to attend the programme. Official figures estimate that in Richmond, 73,645 people have osteoarthritis in the knees and/or hips.

James Pain, Clinical Specialist in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy at Teddington Memorial Hospital, said: “We see a large number of people with chronic pain in their knees and/or hips every week at Teddington Memorial Hospital.

“ESCAPE-pain is an innovative NHS programme that teaches people how to deal with their pain through simple exercises to help them live healthier and more active lives. The programme is clinically proven to help people feel better and keep moving. I am delighted that we are able to support residents in the borough of Richmond by setting up this fantastic programme.”

The ESCAPE-pain programme was developed by Professor Mike Hurley and is hosted by the Health Innovation Network. Nationwide scale-up is currently being supported by NHS England and Versus Arthritis.

Pictured above: Gillian Morgan, participating in an ESCAPE-pain class in south London being delivered by Diane Friday, Active Lifestyles Programme Manager.

Professor Mike Hurley, Clinical Director MSK Programme at the Health Innovation Network said: “ESCAPE-pain is now being delivered in every region in the country, including several sites in other parts of London. We are delighted it is starting to be delivered in Teddington.

“I hope that the many local people currently suffering with knee and hip pain find this innovative approach as helpful in making their lives better as people in many other parts of the country do. We look forward to them sharing their experiences with us.”

Gillian Morgan, 66 years old, from south London attended ESCAPE-pain courses in Beckenham, south London last year, said: “Before ESCAPE-pain my knees felt fragile, it would feel like they would give out, so although I could walk, my knees would click or give way when I was walking and I certainly couldn’t get the bus because I didn’t feel stable enough to do it. Now I can run for a bus.”

“I would recommend ESCAPE-pain absolutely to anybody who’s suffering with osteoarthritis because it’s just learning to help yourself and doing the remedial exercises that you don’t think could possibly help you, but they do.”

To be considered for ESCAPE-pain in Richmond, you will need to be referred to physiotherapy for an assessment and be registered with a Richmond GP.

Find your local ESCAPE-pain class here and read the full article here.

South London NHS Innovation and Research Priorities Highlighted

South London NHS Innovation and Research Priorities Highlighted

Following a national consultation of key local health stakeholders conducted across all regions in England, the NHS innovation and research priorities for south London have been outlined in the regional statement from the Health Innovation Network.

The views of clinical leaders, managers and directors within each Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) region were collected through qualitative interviews with 61 people and a questionnaire which received more than 250 responses in total. The survey was conducted by ComRes, an independent research agency.

This widespread consultation was commissioned by the AHSN Network, in partnership with NHS England and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to inform the publication of a statement of local NHS research and innovation needs for each AHSN region – as one of the actions in the NHS England and NIHR joint paper on ‘12 actions to support research in the NHS’.

Whilst there were some differences in regional priorities, common themes emerged which reflected both south London priorities and wider challenges facing the NHS and align with the priorities of the NHS Long Term Plan. These include:

  • a need for innovation and research addressing  workforce challenges
  • delivery of mental health services and providing care for patients with mental health needs, particularly in children and young people
  • integrating services to provide effective care for patients with complex needs – including  multimorbidity and frailty
  • use of digital and artificial intelligence technology

The National Survey Full Report outlines the findings from the consultation with local health and social care stakeholders across England. It includes a detailed analysis of the innovation and research needs at local level across all AHSNs.

Natasha Curran, Medical Director, Health Innovation Network said: “Thank you to the south London stakeholders for their invaluable contributions. The statement provides a really useful starting point to build discussions with wider stakeholders, patients and others in the community to address the priorities outlined.”

Professor Gary Ford, Chief Executive of Oxford AHSN, led the AHSNs input into the survey. He said: “The survey provides important information on the research and innovation needs of the NHS which will shape future work of AHSNs and the research community”.

ESCAPE-pain: “The transformation has been huge as a result of this class”

ESCAPE-pain: “The transformation has been huge as a result of this class”

Chris, who was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the hip, was immobile and on medication when he was referred to the ESCAPE-pain programme. Hear about the life changing effect that attending the classes has had on him.

ESCAPE-pan is the gold standard, evidence-based group rehabilitation programme for people with knee and/or hip pain, also known as osteoarthritis.

Over 9 million people in the UK estimated to have osteoarthritis, and many of them live with chronic pain and take medication as a result of the condition. Theaward-winning exercise rehabilitation programme, ESCAPE-pain,integrates simple education, self-management and coping strategies, with an exercise regimen individualised for each person.It also aims help people understand their condition better, and to realise that exercise is a safe and effective self-management strategy, that can be used to reduce knee and hip pain, and the physical and psychosocial effects of joint pain.

The ESCAPE-pain programme, which is delivered in over 190 sites nationally, was originated by Professor Mike Hurley, Clinical Director for the Musculoskeletal theme at the Health Innovation Network. To find out more about ESCAPE-pain, read here.

Or if you are an exercise instructor or clinician in south London, interested in becoming an ESCAPE-pain trainer? Why not sign up to our training session today.

References
https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/arthritis/

The first cohort of LGBTQ+ Project Dare graduate!

The first cohort of LGBTQ+ Project Dare graduate!

Last week, Project Dare celebrated the graduation of their first LGBTQ+ cohort with a showcase event that saw students performing excerpts of the work they have created on the subject of positive body image.

LGBTQ+ Project Dare, funded by the Health Innovation Network, is a 12-week practical, creative and educational course that encourages individuals to participate in dares as a way of approaching wellbeing, encouraging confidence. It gets students to step out of their comfort zones in a safe space amongst their peers whilst also providing support for those within the LGBTQ+ community, for whom resources are often limited.

Ursula Joy, Lead Facilitator said: “LGBTQIA+ Dare Sessions allow participants a judgement free safe space in which to express themselves creatively, and address head on the issues that affect LGBTQIA+ bodies.”

“Within the gay community, there can be immense pressure to look certain ways. The need to conform in a society dominated by social media and marketing where binary bodies are under the spotlight and non-conformity is monetised.”

“LGBTQIA+ Dares not only gives participants a voice but challenges them to step out of their comfort zones, make positive and accepting connections to who they are, forge meaningful relationships and make changes in their lives.”

“Drama is the perfect vehicle for personal growth and the final showcase provides a sense of ownership, empowerment, and achievement.”

Josh Brewster, Project Manager, Health Innovation Network said:“The Innovation Grants are crucial for projects like “Project Dare” that would be unlikely to receive support from the usual commissioning sources. The grants are a fantastic opportunity to fund projects that can make a huge different to people and do so in ways that are very unique. They act as a great springboard for success allowing the projects to prove their value and hopefully get adopted elsewhere.”

Project Dare ran this course in collaboration with the Recovery College and all of the participants were recruited from the College’s database of service users. The Recovery College offers recovery and wellbeing courses with co-production at the heart of everything they do.

Think Diabetes Report calls on London employers to better support staff living with diabetes

Think Diabetes Report calls on London employers to better support staff living with diabetes

London employers are being urged to ‘Think Diabetes’ in the workplace in a new report published by the Health Innovation Network. Figures in the report show a major gap in the number of with people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes attending free educational programmes to help them learn about their condition and live healthier lives.

There were more than 3.1 million people  diagnosed with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes  in England in 2017-18 and it is estimated that in London over 671,000 people of working age (over the age of 16) have  either Type 1 or Type 2  diabetes. But the Think Diabetes Report shows less than 8 percent of eligible Londoners living with Type 2 diabetes are attending these courses (this figure is less than 9 percent of eligible people across England).

Reasons for people not attending these courses are varied, but previous reports have cited ‘time off work’ as one of the key issues.  Given the potential for employers to support staff with health, the Think Diabetes report makes a series of recommendations on how employers can help support their staff to take advantage of the education opportunities available to them, or even provide education for staff themselves.

To celebrate the launch of the report, we partnered with Diabetes  UK  to deliver the Think Diabetes Summit. The event brought employers, diabetes experts and patients together, to discuss ways in which organisations can support their staff including; running education sessions in the workplace, sharing new digital approaches to education with their teams so staff can complete these courses online and by making sure staff are supported to take time off work for education to help them live with a long-term health condition.

Diabetes is covered by the Equality Act 2010 as a long-term condition that has significant impact on individuals’  lives and employers are therefore obliged to make reasonable adjustments, although these adjustments are not defined. The case for employers adjusting their policies and supporting individuals to attend structured education is overwhelming.

The event was chaired by Dr Neel  Basudev, Diabetes Clinical Director of the Health Innovation Network and GP in Lambeth, who said:

“Employers have huge influence over the lives of the working population and a unique opportunity to help with what is arguably the greatest challenge facing our nation’s health: diabetes.

“There are more ways for people to access vital education about diabetes than ever before, with many parts of the NHS innovating with digital courses and new approaches to offer support. We now need to raise awareness of what’s on offer and remove as many barriers as we can. Workplace barriers are some of the simplest to address and changes can be made to support staff that will increase the health and productivity of the workplace.”

As well as hearing from diabetes experts and representatives from the organisations who were case studies in the report, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow Culture Minister Tom Watson MP shared how he self-managed his own type 2 diabetes into remission. A passionate advocate for helping people learn to self-manage, he said: 

“By changing my diet and lifestyle I’ve put my Type 2 diabetes into remission. I feel fitter, faster, and healthier than ever before and this has given me a new mission to help others get healthy.

“Supporting people who live with diabetes is a major challenge facing our society, and one in which we all have a part to play. Employers in particular can play a key role in supporting people in their journey to learn more about their condition, and how best to manage it.

“It is time employers think differently about diabetes in the workplace and the Think Diabetes Summit is bringing together key leaders from across businesses and organisations to do just that.”

The Think Diabetes Summit was attended by organisations that collectively employ thousands of Londoners. TechUK attended the event and their CEO Julian David said: “techUK represents the companies and technologies that are defining today the world that we will live in tomorrow. I feel passionately that our members should also be leaders in supporting and developing the workforce for the future.  Diabetes is an increasing problem in our society and employers should be engaging with innovative ways to help support staff living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes to better manage their condition.”

Download the Think Diabetes Report and Toolkit here.

Innovation Exchange – the digital innovations transforming the NHS

Innovation Exchange – the digital innovations transforming the NHS

As part of London Tech Week, Health Innovation Network and DigitalHealth.London Accelerator partnered with DAC Beachcroft and NHS Improvement to deliver an Innovation Exchange evening at the Wallbrook Building.

At the event, NHS leaders from across the health system, came together to learn about the innovative digital solutions that are already helping trusts across the country to tackle current NHS workforce challenges and discuss the challenges of implementation, interoperability and cost. Attendees included; HR directors from Acute & Mental Health Trusts around London, Borough Councils as well as representatives from national bodies such as Care Quality Commission CQC, NHS England & NHS Improvement.

The overwhelming response to the information shared was encouraging, but also very timely. The recently published Interim People Plan highlighted the important role that digital will have to play to help the NHS combat the current workforce crisis, particularly in relation to productivity.

But digital transformation can be difficult when you consider challenges with costs, planning and implementation. As well as showcasing some of the solutions available right now, discussions were centred around what cultural change is needed to find and uptake digital solutions. A key point that was raised is interoperability – new innovations must be able to work seamlessly with existing systems for compliance and adoption to happen.

And as is always the case with any discussion around digital, the question of how automating services will affect patient care was raised. Workforce shortages are a fact of the NHS and while not all services can be automated, using AI to support the workforce in areas such as rotas and training will help clinicians spend more time on delivering better patient care.

As well as looking to the future, a series of innovations that are already transforming NHS services, by saving money, time and supporting staff, were presented on the night:

  • Locum’s Nest – a temporary staffing management platform to simply connects doctors to locum work in healthcare organisations. The App matches doctors to short-staffed shifts available within preferred hospitals across a chosen geographic area.
  • Virti – Virtual and augmented reality platform for workforce training that transport staff users into realistic environments and uses computer vision to assess how they respond to stress to reduce anxiety and improve skills. Used for mental health staff to provide simulation training.
  • Establishment Genie – An NICE-endorsed digital workforce planning tool for health and social care staff. The Genie collects staffing data for instant reporting at individual unit, organisation and group level, providing analysis and benchmarking capability not previously available to assure and support professional judgement in identifying safe and appropriate staffing levels.
  • Infinity – a secure collaboration and task management solution that integrates with existing health information systems and transforms the way healthcare professionals coordinate their activity and access critical information.
  • Lantum – is a total workforce platform transforming how healthcare organisations and professionals connect. Their next generation AI-powered software helps staffing managers to better manage their rotas, fill shift gaps & drastically reduces reliance & money spent on temporary staffing agencies.
  • Truu – is a digital identity platform that enables secure, digital, remote pre-employment checks. Truu’s approach uses direct connections between doctors’ and hospitals and the sharing of verified credentials that meets regulatory standards and is inherently GDPR-compliant.
  • CoachBot – is the world’s first digital team coach and is designed to help managers get their team performing at the top of their game. It’s built on the principle that technology should make us interact offline more, not less. CoachBot makes it easy for teams to regularly have conversations about the things that matter – it’s not about teaching managers how to be good managers, it’s about making it easy for managers to do the things that great managers do.
  • SilverCloud Health – is a platform that’s provides clinically effective and easily accessible digital programmes that reduce barriers to engagement for those wanting emotional or mental health support. Life changing for users, especially those who feel unable to access help due to stigma, personal situation, location, or service wait times;
  • Q doctor – uses secure video consulting as a workforce solution; to allow NHS organisations to delocalise their workforce across their geography, putting the right clinician in the right place at the right time. Video consulting decreases workforce travel time between sites and in the community and introducing more flexible working.
  • Induction App – is a secure communications toolkit that quickly connects healthcare professionals to the people and information they need to work more efficiently and effectively in hospitals. The functions include a directory of bleep and extension numbers, document and guideline sharing, secure messaging and departmental workspaces. Induction is used by over half of all NHS doctors and is used by healthcare professionals in most NHS trusts.

“It was incredible to see so many well presented company pitches for innovative solutions to tackle the workforce crisis in the NHS. Overall the responses were positive and no doubt many of the conversations that started here will help mitigate the workforce crisis and result in improvements to the NHS using digital technology in the future.” Lesley Soden, Head of Innovation, Health Innovation Network.

To meet the gaps in NHS workforce, the adoption and spread of innovation across the NHS must be accelerated. Increasing awareness of the products that are currently available and their successes in different trusts is the first step to ensuring a robust NHS workforce fit for the future.

Got a digital innovation project or pilot that could improve the lives of people within NHS south London but would benefit from some additional funding? Then make sure you apply for the Innovation Grants 2019.

Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound Grant Winner Kim Nurse

Winning films selected as part of Homeward Bound Project

Homeward Bound, an innovative project in which patients, carers and clinicians from across Kingston Hospital Trust worked with local students to create short films that explain the transfer home process for patients who have had prolonged hospital stays, has confirmed it will begin showcasing two of the final films to patients, family and carers.

The Homeward Bound project, funded by the Health Innovation Network, brought together film students from the University of the Creative Arts, along with the hospital’s staff and volunteers, to create a series of original animated short films. The films explained some of the issues and practicalities involved in the discharge process from hospital back home, which can often be an anxious process for people who have experienced prolonged hospital stays. The films were then entered into a competition and the winning two films will now be shown to hundreds of patients and carers across the hospital and wider community as part of the patient discharge process.

The first winning film, the Panel’s Choice, was selected a special screening of the shortlisted films at the VIP Screen in Kingston’s Odeon Cinema by an expert judging panel that included, Jan Ives, Patient and Carer Partner, Bob Suppiah, Director of Promotions and Partnerships at SkySian Bates, Chairman of Kingston Hospital, Sophie Beard, University of the Arts Senior Lecturer, Dr Kim Nurse, NHS England and the Health and Innovation Network’s Director of Digital Transformation, Breid O’Brien.

Breid said: “We’re delighted to have supported this fantastic project that is a great example of real co-production in action; hospital staff working alongside students, carers and patients and everyone involved having an important and equal role to play.

“I think all involved should be incredibly proud of what they managed to achieve with the Homeward Bound project. Ultimately what these films will do is make the transition from hospital to home that bit easier for patients, families and their carers, at a what is a very difficult time in their lives.”

The second winning film, the People’s Choice, was voted on by patients and hospital staff online and was announced at the Kingston Hospital Improvement Seminar. Both winning films uniquely provide information to patients to feel more in control of their departure and return back home more quickly and comfortably.

Both films will soon be shown on television screens around the hospital and made available online too.

Patients set to benefit from world-leading innovations on the NHS

Patients set to benefit from world-leading innovations on the NHS

3D heart modelling to rapidly diagnose coronary disease and an advanced blood test which can cut the time it takes to rule-out a heart attack by 75% are among a raft of technological innovations being introduced for patients across the NHS.

New innovations have already reached 300,000 patients, and speaking at the Reform digital health conference in London today, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens will announce that over 400,000 more will benefit this year from new tests, procedures and treatments as part of the Long Term Plan.

This includes pregnant women getting a new pre-eclampsia test, and cluster headache sufferers getting access to a handheld gadget which uses low-levels of electric current to reduce pain.

The new treatments and tests are being delivered as part of the NHS’ Innovation and Technology Payment programme, which is fast-tracking the roll-out of latest technology across the country, building on progress in the past two years.

The programme’s latest innovations include a cutting-edge blood test which can detect changes in protein levels in blood, allowing emergency doctors to rule out a heart attack within three hours – nine hours faster than the current rate – meaning people get quicker treatment and avoid admission to hospital.

NHS England has also confirmed that funding for 10 other new tests and treatments as part of the programme – including a computer programme that creates a digital 3D model of the heart and avoids the need for invasive procedures – will be extended, allowing more patients to benefit.

From this year, thousands of pregnant women will be offered a test on the NHS which can help rule-out pre-eclampsia – a serious condition linked to labour complications, acute pain and vision problems – and allow women either to get extra care faster, or avoid the need for further hospital trips during pregnancy.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “From improving care for pregnant women to using digital modelling to assess heart conditions and new tests to prevent unnecessary hospitalisations for suspected heart attacks, the NHS is taking action to ensure patients have access to the very best modern technologies. It’s heartening to see the NHS grasping with both hands these rapidly advancing medical innovations.”

Plans to speed up the uptake of proven, cutting-edge treatments is being overseen by the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), a joint NHS, government and industry effort which aims to make the NHS the world’s most innovation-friendly health system.

Dr Sam Roberts, chief executive of the Accelerated Access Collaborative and director of innovation and life sciences for NHS England, said: “This programme has been amazingly successful at getting new tests and treatments to patients, with over 300,000 patients benefitting already, and this year we have another great selection of proven innovations.

“We will build on this success with our commitments set out in the Long Term Plan, to support the latest advances and make it easier for even more patients to benefit from world-class technology.”

As set out in the Long Term Plan, the NHS will introduce a new funding mandate for proven health tech products so the NHS can adopt new, cost saving innovations as easily as it already introduces new clinically and cost effective medicines.

Innovations being supported include:

  • Placental growth factor (PIGF) based test: a blood test to help rule‑out pre‑eclampsia in women suspected to have the condition who are between 20 weeks and 34 weeks plus 6 days of gestation, alongside standard clinical assessment. Read more here.
  • High sensitivity troponin test: a blood test that when combined with clinical judgement can help rapidly rule-out heart attacks. Read more here.
  • Gammacore: a hand-held device that delivers mild electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve to block the pain signals that cause cluster headaches. Read more here.
  • SpaceOAR: a hydrogel injected between the prostate and rectum prior to radiotherapy, that temporarily creates a space between them so that the radiation dose to the rectum can be minimised, reducing complications like rectal pain, bleeding and diarrhoea. Read more here.

Lord Darzi, chair of the Accelerated Access Collaborative, said:“As Chair of the AAC, I am delighted that four of the seven technology areas currently receiving AAC support have been selected for this NHS programme.

“This is a vital step in helping patients receive rapid access to the best, proven innovations being developed in our world-class health system.”

This is the third year of the drive to identify and fast track specific innovations into the NHS, which has already benefitted over 300,000 patients across the NHS.

The NHS’ own innovation agencies – the 15 Academic Health Science Networks across England – will take direct responsibility for accelerating uptake locally.

Extra £9 million for NHS to treat people at high risk of stroke

Extra £9 million for NHS to treat people at high risk of stroke

NHS England has announced they are to invest £9 million to help find and treat people with an irregular heart rhythm that puts them at high risk of stroke.

Experts estimate that more than 147,000 people in England with an irregular heart rhythm that puts them at risk of stroke are not receiving appropriate treatment. Making sure people with this condition are given optimal treatment – usually blood-thinning medication to prevent clots – can more than halve their risk of having a stroke.

The £9 million investment will fund specialists to work with GPs and advise them on the best treatment for people identified as having irregular heart rhythms (known as atrial fibrillation). This new scheme, successfully trialled in South London, will treat more than 18,000 people and is expected to prevent up to 700 strokes and save at least 200 lives.

The programme will run across 23 areas of the country with the highest rates of the condition receiving funding for specialist clinical pharmacists and nurses to help identify people who could benefit from medication.

This new approach is being supported by the 15 NHS and care innovation bodies, the Academic Health Science Networks.

Professor Gary Ford, Chief Executive of Oxford AHSN, Consultant Stroke Physician at Oxford University Hospitals and Professor of Stroke Medicine at the University of Oxford said:

“Atrial Fibrillation accounts for 20% of all strokes. We know that providing the best treatment for patients with this condition reduces stroke risk but at the moment half of all people with this irregular heart rhythm who suffer a stroke have not received optimal treatment.

“Our work in South London has shown that when specialists are made available to advise GPs, more people at risk of stroke are identified and treated, helping to avoid strokes and save lives”

NHS England Medical Director, Stephen Powis, said:

“Tackling heart disease and stroke is a top priority in the NHS Long Term Plan, which will save thousands of lives by better diagnosis and treatment for people with killer conditions.

“By targeting help at those people most at risk of illness, and training up specialist clinicians, the NHS in England will help families across the country avoid the pain and loss associated with stroke.

“Not only is stroke one of the biggest killers in our country, but it leads to life-changing and often devastating long-term harm for many others, so by spotting the risks early, the NHS will not only prevent serious harm to the people affected, but avoid the need for aftercare which puts additional pressure on the health service.”

“Treating people who have atrial fibrillation with anticoagulation drugs, reduces the risk of stroke by two-thirds yet only half of those with the condition who go on to suffer a stroke had been prescribed them.

“People who are poorer, from black or ethnic minority backgrounds or other disadvantaged groups are more likely to be among those who go undiagnosed and untreated.”

Helen Williams, Clinical Advisor to the AHSN Network’s atrial fibrillation programme said:

“We piloted this approach in Lambeth and Southwark, utilising expert clinical pharmacists from the local acute trust who worked with GPs to review patients with atrial fibrillation on a case by case basis, offering advice on optimum treatment. As a result, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of patients with atrial fibrillation prescribed anticoagulant therapy and an associated reduction in atrial fibrillation related strokes.

“We are delighted that NHS England are investing in rolling out this model to a further 23 clinical commissioning groups so that more patients across England can benefit.”

Find out more about what AHSNs are doing to prevent and treat atrial fibrillation.

Background

The clinical commissioning groups to receive funding are those parts of the country with high levels of deprivation and/or high levels of untreated AF, which can cause stroke. They are:

NHS Barnet CCG
NHS Bradford City CCG
NHS Brent CCG
NHS Camden CCG
NHS Chorley And South Ribble CCG
NHS Croydon CCG
NHS Enfield CCG
NHS Great Yarmouth And Waveney CCG
NHS Greenwich CCG
NHS Haringey CCG
NHS Harrow CCG
NHS Isle of Wight CCG
NHS Islington CCG
NHS Kingston CCG
NHS Leeds CCG
NHS Morecambe Bay CCG
NHS North Cumbria CCG
NHS North Tyneside CCG
NHS Northumberland CCG
NHS Portsmouth CCG
NHS South Kent Coast CCG
NHS Thanet CCG
NHS West Lancashire CCG

Digital innovation in cardiac rehabilitation services; the time has come…

Digital innovation in cardiac rehabilitation services; the time has come…

Health Innovation Network partnered with the British Heart Foundation and the London Cardiac Rehabilitation Network to create an Innovation Exchange event where clinicans and innovators could discuss how digital solutions can help improve uptake of cardiac rehabilitation services, and the result was overwhelmingly positive, says Anna King.

More and more, I am approached by NHS clinical leaders looking for digital solutions to help them transform their services. Gone are the days when clinicians rejected the idea that patients would use technology. Gone are the days when they believed technology could not improve outcomes. And gone are the days when clinicians worried about their job being taken by a robot. Now instead, clinicians are asking whenthey will get the digital tools they need to improve outcomes, efficiency and patient care. Well, at least this was the fantastic response we had from the London Cardiac Rehabilitation Network members’ recent Innovation Exchange event.

At the event, the challenges that cardiac services are facing were clearly set out by key opinion leaders Sally Hinton (BACPR Executive Director) and Patrick Doherty (Director of the National Audit for Cardiac Rehabilitation), along with patient representative Rob Elvins. The challenges they all raised were uptake and access. But they also highlighted the benefits of improving outcomes and uptake in this area too.

The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) sets cardiac rehabilitation out as an intervention that can save lives, improve quality of life and reduce hospital readmissions. It’s also recommended by NICE. However, uptake of cardiac services currently varies widely across England and only 52% of the 121,500 eligible patients per year are taking up offers of cardiac rehabilitation. If we can increase this uptake to 85% by 2028, as set out by the LTP, it will prevent 23,000 premature deaths and 50,000 acute admissions over 10 years. Furthermore, it would make the NHS amongst the best in Europe. This suggests to me there is plenty of scope to improve services to the standard we all aspire to.

Many of the cardiac rehabilitation services present at the Innovation Exchange believed – as I do – that digital solutions are the only way they will manage to significantly increase uptake with current resources. Especially as uptake is lower in women, the young and those for whom it is their only health condition; a group of patients who might find digital or hybrid rehabilitation opportunities very attractive.

Many innovators applied to contribute to the event, which demonstrates the high level of interest and potential in this area. The selected innovators proved that many of these valuable digital solutions are not only already available, but they are comprehensive rehab programmes that are well-evidenced and could bolt onto existing services right now. There were also innovators with systems in other similar areas of care, that were willing to co-develop solutions for cardiac rehab. It was fantastic to see the energy that came from get all the innovators both from services and those with potential solutions together. I am looking forward to seeing how the plans made develop over the coming months.

The Exchange closed with the panel discussing the way ahead for cardiac rehabilitation and the technology they would implement. Patrick Doherty summed discussions up by saying that you could no longer consider that you run a good cardiac rehab service unless you offered digital and home-based options for patients too. I don’t think anyone will have left the event without thinking the time has come for all cardiac rehabilitation services to have digital components, and many more of London’s cardiac rehabilitation services will be taking those important steps towards implementation.

Find out more about the companies who participated in the Innovation Exchange:

The showcasing innovators:

The exhibiting innovators:

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Topol Review highlights potential of digital technologies to address the big healthcare challenges

Topol Review highlights potential of digital technologies to address the big healthcare challenges

Written by Anna King, Commercial Director at Health Innovation Network.

It is not often that an independent review for a UK Secretary of State gets held up for a book launch, but such is the case when you ask a world-eminent, California-based cardiologist to review the changes required in the NHS healthcare workforce to ensure preparation for the technological future.

Dr Eric Topol, probably best known for his book, The Patient will see you now, published his long awaited The Topol Review: Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future last month. The report highlights how digital healthcare technologies have the potential to address the big healthcare challenges as well as tackle increasing costs. The report observes that innovation will “increasingly shift the balance of care in the NHS towards more centralised highly specialised care and decentralised less specialist care”. This shift in the pattern of need and services is aligned with much of the HIN’s work and our focus on out-of-hospital care. Flatteringly, Topol also supports the ambition that the UK has the potential to become a world leader in such healthcare innovations. This is particularly exciting to hear given the work the HIN has been doing locally with DigitalHealth.London building upon local strengths in clinical care, research, education and business to boost London as a world leader in digital health.

However, Topol also offers words of caution for those impatient for new digital healthcare technologies to reach their full potential. As he observed, “it can take up to 10 years to realise cost savings, investment in IT systems, hardware, software and connectivity, as well as the training of healthcare staff and the public”.  The potential benefits of genomics moving beyond rare diseases and cancers is a good example of this. Allowing better prevention and management of conditions that could reduce costs and disease burden in the 10 to 20 year timeframe will require the NHS to have completed the “digitisation and integration of health and care records if the full benefits of digital medicine (earlier diagnosis, personalised care and treatment) are going to be realised”.

Whilst much of the report focused on the longer-term revolutionary technologies, there was also an acknowledgement that some data-driven technologies can and are being deployed today. Particularly, those with the aim of improving ease of access or remote monitoring, designed to reduce unplanned hospital admissions and decrease non-attendance rates. This is an area that we see many solutions being developed by the innovators of the NHS Innovation and DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programmes. Companies like Transforming Systems and Dr Doctor use data to improve access and system efficiency, and companies like Lumeon and Health Navigator helping improve individual patient pathways. Topol is also refreshingly realistic about the issues we see many innovators face because of “uneven NHS data quality, gaps in information governance and lack of expertise”. Potential enablers to overcome the barriers to adoption, he suggests, include: an information governance framework, and guidance to support the evaluation, and purchasing of AI products.

In the report, genomics, digital medicine and artificial intelligence were all seen to have a major potential impact on patient care, but it also showed how digital will help improve the lives of the NHS workforce. There was a helpful introduction to a number of emerging technologies, including low-cost sequencing technology, telemedicine, smartphone apps, biosensors for remote diagnosis and monitoring, speech recognition and automated image interpretation, that are seen to be particularly important for the healthcare workers.

Topol also finally puts to rest dated concerns that technology exists to replace people working in healthcare. The report clearly responds to this fear confirming that technology is intended to ‘augment’ healthcare professionals, rather than replace; releasing more time to care for direct patient care. Whilst, some professions will be more affected than others,Topol finds that the ‘impact on patient outcomes should in all cases be positive’.

At the HIN we have been supporting the development of the NHS workforce as a necessary part of the journey to digital transformation. I was pleased that Health Education England’s involvement in the Topol Report means that training and education will be modernised, as it is still very dated both in its methods of delivery and syllabus. However, this education should not focus solely on just educating new NHS staff members – but we should also be digitally upskilling the workforce we have now, and at every level. And herein lies the real complexity of the digital revolution. What Topol finds undeniable is that the roles of healthcare staff will change and new skills will be required, and it is good to see Health Education England responding to this challenge – although, it was shocking to learn that radiologist are still be taught how to develop traditional x-ray films, despite them rarely being used in the NHS!

Learning from previous changes, implementation will require investment in people as well as technology. It bodes well for the exciting wide-ranging programmes of the AHSNs, that support a learning environment, understand the enablers of change and create a culture of innovation. Programmes of ours like the Graduates Into Health Fast Track IM&T programme and the DigitalHealth.London NHS Digital Pioneers programme will play an important role in developing an agile and empowered workforce to facilitate the introduction of the new these new technologies. The report is clear that it is an exciting time for the NHS to benefit and capitalise on technological advances, and the AHSNs are well place to support this. The observation that ‘within 20 years, 90% of all jobs in the NHS will require some element of digital skills, illustrates the need for digital education revolution perfectly, even if it did raise the question what would the 10% be doing!

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New report maps the MedTech landscape for innovators in England

New report maps the MedTech landscape for innovators in England

The NHS spends approximately £6 billion a year on medical technology, also known as MedTech, such as medical devices, equipment and digital tools. It is an industry that accounts for over 86,000 jobs in the UK, almost a third of which are within small companies, and supports an additional 24,600 service and supply roles.

A new report from the AHSN Network provides an essential guide for companies looking to successfully develop and roll out innovations in this complex and diverse industry, focused around the MedTech innovation pathway. It includes a foreword by Piers Ricketts, Chief Executive of Eastern AHSN and Vice Chair of the AHSN Network.

The MedTech Landscape Review will be launched formally at an event to be held jointly with one of our partners, the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI), on 20 March and introduced by Piers.

In the meantime, the report is available for download here, featuring case studies, statistics and practical advice for navigating each step of the MedTech Innovation pathway.

NHS Trust first in the country to translate ‘ESCAPE-pain’ chronic joint pain programme into Gujarati

NHS Trust first in the country to translate ‘ESCAPE-pain’ chronic joint pain programme into Gujarati

Rapidly expanding ESCAPE-pain programme, born in south London, has now been translated into Gujarati. Hear all about it in this exclusive video produced by our AHSN colleagues at Imperial College Health Partners.


Physiotherapists at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust have successfully translated a rehabilitation programme for patients with chronic knee and hip pain into Gujarati for the first time.

Previously only available in English, ESCAPE-pain is a programme for people with chronic knee and hip pain that runs over six weeks combining educational self-management and coping strategies with an exercise regimen for each patient.

The physiotherapy team at Northwick Park Hospital (NPH) identified that a significant proportion of their local community were missing out on attending the programme because one of the criteria is for participants to have a good level of English.

Through truly living their Trust’s HEART value of Equality, the team used their expertise to overcome these language barriers. Karsh Patel and Arti Inamadar translated the sessions, allowing members of the local Gujarati community to take part and benefit from ESCAPE-pain. Further sessions are planned in Northwick Park Hospital and have the potential to be used in other locations across the country.

Tanya Aptowitzer, Musculoskeletal Therapy Lead from NPH, said: “We’re immensely proud of our ethnically diverse workforce and our physios who have gone above and beyond to meet the needs of our local Gujarati speaking population. Through their initiative and the support of the Trust we have been able to help patients that would have otherwise been excluded.”

A local patient Aruna on completing the course said: “Having this translated in Gujarati has helped us to properly understand as our English isn’t that good. ESCAPE-pain has given us knowledge about what we should do to reduce pain and in a group we can all do it together.”

ESCAPE-pain is one of the seven programmes developed regionally which have been selected for national adoption and spread across the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) 2018-2020. Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP), as North West London’s AHSN, have been supporting local NHS Trusts and CCGs in this work.

Piers Milner, Innovation Advisor from ICHP, said: “For innovation in the NHS to thrive it needs to be shaped and its adoption supported by local communities. The team, through translating ESCAPE-pain into Gujarati, have shown the key role that frontline staff have in shaping innovative programmes to meet the needs for their local patients.”

Professor Mike Hurley, originator of the ESCAPE-pain programme, said: “It’s really great to see our programme translated into other languages so that as many people as possible benefit. The pain caused by arthritis has no language barriers, so interventions that can help shouldn’t be hindered by language either. It is wonderful to see that the local physiotherapists have responded to the needs of their local community and taken the time to translate the programme into Gujarati. We know getting to non-English speaking populations is difficult and I’m sure this will encourage more people to take part and benefit from the programme.”

NHS Long Term Plan; a welcome focus on digital, prevention and tech

Dr with laptop and smartphone

NHS Long Term Plan; a welcome focus on digital, prevention and tech

With its focus on digital, prevention and out of hospital care, the NHS Long Term Plan matches key work stream priorities of both the AHSN Network and the Health Innovation Network, says Acting Chief Executive Zoe Lelliott.

We very much welcome the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP), published on 7 January, recognising its strong focus on areas of current priority for the HIN. These include service innovation, digital transformation as well as prevention and out of hospital care.

The AHSNs have been asked to consider how they best support their local sustainability and transformation partnership and emergent integrated care systems, as they shape local implementation plans over the coming weeks. We believe that we can do this in a number of ways:

  • Through specific expertise and experience  (e.g. digital health, diabetes transformation, medicines optimisation, care homes and prevention)
  • Through practical support for the implementation of innovations which improve patient care and efficiency
  • By connecting the system, through our extensive, cross-sector networks and relationships (health and care, third sector, academia and industry)

As a network, we have been reflecting on what the Long Term Plan means for some of our collective themes in this series of blogs.

Innovation and research for better health: five key opportunities
UCL Partners Managing Director Dr Charlie Davie thinks we need to focus on five key areas and sets them out.

Ten years from now: What to expect from the NHS Long Term Plan

In this joint blog, Yinka Makinde, Programme Director for DigitalHealth.London and Jenny Thomas, Programme Director for DigitalHealth.London Accelerator explore how technology will play a central role in realising the Long Term Plan.

Good news for prevention of stroke in the Long Term Plan

Dr Liz Mear, Chief Executive of the Innovation Agency and a trustee of the Stroke Association, focuses on the plan’s emphasis on stroke prevention.

2019 sees focus on investment in life sciences and economic growth

Mike Hannay, Managing Director of East Midlands Academic Health Science Network, examines investment in life sciences.

Achieving goals of Long Term Plan will only come through innovation

Oxford Academic Health Science Network Chief Executive Gary Ford emphasised the need for innovation.

Artificial intelligence – is the future here?

Big data and computing power is at the heart of this blog by Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN Network Managing Director Guy Boersma.

Digital is a valuable tool for prevention – and so rightly it’s at the heart of the long term plan

Tara Donnelly, HIN Accountable Officer and interim NHS England Chief Digital Officer, blogs on the emphasis on digital to enable the shift to prevention.

For the AHSN Network’s response to the long term plan, click here

Evaluation into ‘Red Bag’ Hospital Transfer Pathway

Key learnings for Red Bag emergency transfer pathway revealed in report

The ‘Red Bag’ Hospital Transfer Pathway, which was highlighted in the recent NHS Long Term Plan, is now running across south London. But how effective is it? The HIN has produced this evaluation report which explores the impact and stakeholder experiences of implementing the pathway within three south London boroughs.

A new evaluation report has found that vital communication between paramedic crews, care home staff and hospital clinicians has been improved by the Red Bag Pathway when all measures were adhered to, but there are still a series of barriers to best practice to overcome.

The study, which included survey responses, interviews with hospital clinicians and paramedics, and a focus group with care home managers, found that the majority of care homes are using the Red Bag as intended. Conducted by the Health Innovation Network, the report said that improvements need to be made at both ends of the pathway to ensure it is adhered to and the benefits are fully realised.

Pioneered by Sutton Homes of Care Vanguard, the pathway ensures vital medical information, such as current medical condition and medicines regime, travels with the care home resident in a specially-designed red bag when they make emergency hospital visits.

Over two-thirds of the 90 survey responses from care homes, ambulance crews and hospital clinicians in Kingston, Richmond and Lambeth, stated that the Red Bag had improved communication between care homes and hospitals and made the handover to ambulance crews smoother.

Over half of care home managers believed the pathway had improved the transfer process for residents and both ambulance and hospital staff stated that the two forms most helpful in the Red Bag documentation were the ‘Do Not Attempt Resuscitation’ form, for older people making decisions about what happens towards the end of their life and the Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘This Is Me’ form to help healthcare professionals know more about people living with dementia.

As well as highlighting some of the positive effects the pathway has had on emergency hospitals for care home residents, the study also flags some of the challenges faced in implementing the transfer pathway. These included finding that, on some occasions, standardised patient information was either missing or incomplete when residents were transferred to hospital, that medical discharge information was not always sent with the patient and that locating and retrieving bags that had become lost in hospital transfers was particularly difficult.

Responses also indicated that both care homes and hospitals faced challenges with successfully promoting the pathway in the face of high turnover of staff and during the busy winter period. The report found that when the pathway was not adhered to – either in the care home or hospital setting – this caused practical difficulties and could result in despondency and frustration amongst professionals

The challenges highlighted have led to some wider learnings for practitioners. Don Shenker, who led the Red Bag project for the HIN, believes there are five key tips that can be taken away from the study:
1. When preparing the Red Bag in the care home, double check all the documentation is filled in properly
2. When receiving the Red Bag in the ambulance or hospital, read through the documentation
3. When transferring patients to different wards in hospital, check the Red Bag and documentation is with the patient
4. When discharging the resident back to the care home, make sure the Red Bag and discharge documentation accompanies the resident
5. When receiving the resident back in the home, update the care plan records.

Effective implementation of the Red Bag Pathway will contribute toward the Enhanced Health in Care Homes (EHCH) model as set out in the recent NHS Long Term Plan.

The report launched at a HIN sharing event, attended by staff from all parts of the Pathway, designed to ensure the complexities of implementing the pathway and opportunities for improvement are discussed more widely so all parties can work together to keep improving the use of the Red Bag.

Zoe Lelliott, Deputy Chief Executive for the Health Innovation Network, said:
“Our work is all about promoting innovation in the NHS and across the whole care system. The Red Bag is a successful innovation born in Sutton and recently extended across the whole of south London, but this study shows that there are still challenges and a focus on careful implementation is needed to maximise the benefits.
“True joined up work with our members and partners in south London is making a real difference to people’s lives and I want to thank all the health and care staff who have worked so hard to adopt the Red Bag Pathway in their areas.”

Berenice Constable, Head of Nursing for Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“Frail care home residents are at their most vulnerable when transferred in an emergency to hospital. It’s vital that the latest state of their health is communicated to all clinicians from ambulance crews to hospital staff so quicker decisions can be made over their care.
“It’s also a moment when they might lose important personal possessions from hearing aids to glasses, so the Red Bag Pathway is a simple innovation that, when followed fully, ensures the safest possible transfer as well as the fastest discharge.”
“This report shows that the Red Bag is really making a difference and improving the care of some of our most vulnerable residents.”

Evaluation of the Hospital Transfer ‘Red Bag’ Pathway in South London

Download the report here.

Health Innovation Network sign up to join the #EquallyWellUK charter

Health Innovation Network sign up to join the #EquallyWellUK charter

In December 2018, Health Innovation Network became the first AHSN to commit to the #EquallyWellUK charter. With more than 100 organisations already signed up, including NHS England and Public Health England, the charter is one of three initiatives that seeks to promote and support collaborative action to improve physical health among people with a mental illness by signing individual organisational pledges.

Pictured above L-R: acting CEO, Zoe Lelliott; Head of Mental Health, Aileen Jackson; and Clinical Director for Mental Health, Dr Muj Husain.

For Health Innovation Network, signing this charter means that all our clinical themes have committed to ensuring that their work improves outcomes for all, including those with mental illness. A great example of a project that already does this is our work in improving the detection of Atrial Fibrillation in people with serious mental illness that you can read about here. We are also committed to introducing providers and commissioners to promising digital solutions, and evaluating their impact.

Read more about our Mental Health theme here and about the pledge here.

Tara Donnelly to take on interim Chief Digital Officer role for NHS England

Tara Donnelly to take on interim Chief Digital Officer role for NHS England

Tara Donnelly, Chief Executive of the Health Innovation Network, has been appointed as the interim Chief Digital Officer to spearhead the mission to empower patients through the use of digital technology.

The Chief Digital Officer leads the strategy for citizen facing digital services for NHS England and is SRO for the “Empower the Person” pillar of the NHS’s Digital Transformation programme. “Empower the Person” is one of the most ambitious digital healthcare transformation portfolios in the world and includes ten key programmes: the NHS website NHS.uk, the NHS App, NHS Online (verification of citizen identity), Apps & Wearables, Personal Health Record & Standards, Digital Child Health, Digital Maternity, Widening Digital Participation, GP Online and Patient access to WiFi.

Tara will continue as the Health Innovation Network’s Accountable Officer and Board Member during the interim period. Zoe Lelliott, currently the Deputy Chief Executive for theHealth Innovation Network, will take on the role of acting Chief Executive.

Tara Donnelly said:

“I’m delighted to be joining NHS England to help deliver the fantastic digital projects set out in the Long Term Plan. The NHS has stepped up its efforts on digital over the last few years and I’m excited at the opportunity to be involved in the next stage of work. The “Empower the Person” programme is one of the most ambitious digital healthcare transformation plans in the world, including the NHS App and its potential to transform the way citizens across the country access and interact with the NHS. I’m looking forward to joining the team that’s working hard to make these ambitions a reality.”

Zoe Lelliott said:

“We have an ambitious and creative portfolio of projects here at the Health Innovation Network, designed to support NHS and care staff to improve patients’ outcomes and experience, through innovation. Taking on the leadership of this work as the CEO is an exciting prospect, and I look forward to working with our team, our members and our partners in this new role over coming months.”

Read more from our Leadership Team and about what we do in our Annual Review.

Photo credit: Emile Holba

Consultation on a patient safety strategy for the NHS

Consultation on a patient safety strategy for the NHS

There’s a chance to have your say on ambitious proposals to halve avoidable patient harm.

NHS Improvement is consulting on a new, national patient safety strategy until 15 February. The strategy is being developed alongside the NHS Long Term Plan and aims to support the NHS to be the safest healthcare system in the world.

The document sets out how some types of avoidable harm to patients can be halved over the next five years in areas such as medication errors and ‘Never Events’, alongside developing a ‘just culture’ for the NHS where frontline staff are supported to speak up when errors occur.

A consultation document and survey is available online. The final strategy will be published in the spring.

It’s time to put digital diabetes tools in the real world, with south London leading the way

It’s time to put digital diabetes tools in the real world, with south London leading the way

Laura Semple, Programme Director for Diabetes and Stroke Prevention, on person-centred care planning and digital in the real world.

When it comes to diabetes, we all know that the statistics are both enormous and increasing. In south London alone there are an estimated 230,000 people living with diabetes. Nationally, the NHS spends £14 billion a year treating people with diabetes. That’s an astonishing £1.5 million every hour. And, as many of us working in diabetes treatment and Type 2 diabetes prevention in south London know, the vast majority of this is not on preventative care that will reap future benefits. It is spent treating complications, many of which are preventable if people receive the right support during the early stages of the condition.

It’s against this backdrop that we set about working with our partners, led by the South West London Health and Care Partnership, earlier this year to bid to test a new model of support for people living with Type 2 diabetes. The full team includes South London NHS commissioners and clinicians, Healum, Citizen UK, Year of Care partnerships and Oviva. Just this week, we’ve found out that our innovative bid to co-design a new support system with patients, maximising the opportunities from digital to support behaviour change as we do, has been successful and will receive more than £500,000 of public funding over 18 months.

One option would have been to try and find a digital substitute for the current way of working, insert it into local care plans and call it self-management. But too often, substituting with digital tools ticks boxes without radically improving care, because the digital tool doesn’t work seamlessly within the wider system of care.

We believe digital health tools workbest when there is a partnership between the patient, their GP and where necessary a team of specialist clinicians or coaches supervising results, coaching and encouraging. When this mix is in place the results can be powerful – weight loss, healthy blood glucose levels, increased physical activity, improved self-care because people feel more empowered and self-confident. These are just some of our biggest goals. And of course all of these bring savings in the longer term to the NHS thanks to fewer complications.

For that reason, the new south London Test Bed focuses just as much on training and care planning with primary care professionals as it does on new digital solutions. Our intervention starts by working with the wonderful Year of Care Partnerships to train GP practices to use a truly collaborative approach to care and support planning with their patients. New, co-designed care plans will be available to patients via an app and accessible to professionals across all care settings.

At this point, when the training and planning has taken place, digital can shine. Following their appointment patients receive an innovative video that presents their personal health data in an intriguing animation, explaining their individual results and what these mean for them as an individual. Using the app, patients will then access a wide range of support and resources to help them reach their goals, including with the helping hand of a dietitian coach from Oviva.

This fully integrated approach, that works with EMIS, considers the needs of primary care professionals as well as the needs of patients, right from the off. It’s not using digital as a simple substitute but placing digital as part of a wider mix in real world clinical settings.

We hope that by testing this model we’ll break down existing barriers to ‘self-management’ and show the power of brilliantly supported self-management. At its core, our aim is simple – real, lasting improvements to the lives of people living with Type 2 diabetes in South London, so that they can live the lives they want to lead without their condition getting too much in the way.

Read more about the Test Bed programme here

Professor Mike Hurley, ESCAPE-pain developer nominated for Outstanding Individual of the Year award

HIN’s Professor Mike Hurley nominated for Outstanding Individual of the Year 2018

Professor Mike Hurley, Developer of the ESCAPE-pain programme, has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Individual of the Year award at this year’s Active Training Awards. Vote for him before 26 October 2018.

The Active Training Awards celebrates the success of the activity workforce and the very best of Learning and Development within the sector. Professor Mike Hurley has been nominated as a result of his relentless commitment to the development, implementation and evaluation of ESCAPE-pain, an evidence-based rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain.

Professor Mike Hurley qualified as a physiotherapist in 1985 and obtained his PhD in 1992. Before dedicating his time to ESCAPE-pain, he was a lecturer, reader and professor of phsyiotherapy at King’s College London and a Professor of Rehabilitation Sciences at Kingston & St George’s. He chaired the UK Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s Research and Clinical Effectiveness Committee, acted as Clinical Advisor to Versus Arthritis (Arthritis Research UK), as well as an advisor to the NICE committee drawing up clinical guidelines for osteoarthritis. He is currently also the research lead for the School of Rehabilitation Sciences.

Vote for Professor Mike Hurley now and follow @ESCAPE_pain on Twitter to follow the nomination. Award winners will be announced on 15 November 2018.

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Innovation Awards support next generation of improvements in health & care in south London

Innovation Awards support next generation of improvements in health & care in south London

From group consultations for chronic health management in urban deprived populations to tackling falls by older residents with dementia, Small Grants kickstarts innovative projects in south London.

Twelve projects, including schemes to meet the needs of women with perinatal mental health problems, group consultations for chronic health management and training for volunteers to hold challenging conversations about end of life care, have won funding under South London Small Grants 2018.

The awards were made by the Health Innovation Network working in partnership with Health Education England (HEE). In all there were 120 applications across 45 different organisations that applied for funding.

The aim of the grants is to support innovative practice that can be spread and adopted across the health and social care landscape. The funding also aims to encourage cross-boundary working in areas of research, education and improvement in healthcare services.

In previous years, the Small Grants have enabled people across London to access funding for research and innovation to kickstart novel ideas, using the grant as a springboard to support their potential. This forms a key aspect of the Health Innovations Network’s role as an Innovation Exchange, helping innovators through signposting and supporting the adoption of innovations.

The 12 projects that will receive funding are:
• Kim Nurse, Darzi Fellow, (Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust): A collaborative project with the University of Creative Arts to create a campaign to educate patients, their relatives and staff regarding the risks of deconditioning in hospital

• Emily Symington, GP, (Amersham Vale Training Practice): Group consultations for chronic health management in urban deprived populations in GP practices

• Manasvi Upadhyaya, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, (Evelina Children’s Hospital): Development of a gastrostomy care package – a quality improvement project

• Vicky Shaw, Clinical Lead, (Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust): A integrated and collaborative approach to Falls (the term that describes older people falling over) training to address high levels of falls amongst residents with dementia in Lewisham Care Homes

• Katherine Bristowe, Herbert Dunhill Lecturer, (King’s College London): ACCESSCare-e: reducing inequalities for LGBT people facing advanced illness and bereavement – an evidence based self-paced online intervention

• Hind Khalifeh, Honorary Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist, (SLAM/KCL): Meeting the needs of women with perinatal mental health problems through partnerships between NHS perinatal mental health services and voluntary sector organisations Home Start and Cocoon

• Ursula Bowerman, Operational Director/Lead Facilitator, (Project Dare/SLAM): The LGBTQ+ Dare Sessions

• Estelle Malcolm, Clinical Psychologist, (NAAAPS/SLAM): Using an appreciative inquiry approach to increase the voice of adults with an autism spectrum condition in shaping psychological therapy services

• Kate Heaps, CEO, (Greenwich & Bexley Hospice): Young Ward Volunteers Scheme

• Michael Brady, Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV, (Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust): Delivering and evaluating a Sexual Health and Well-being service for Trans communities in SE London

• Liz Bryan, Director of Education and Training, (St Christopher’s Hospice): Challenging Conversations: training volunteers to support the frail elderly and those with long-term conditions in the community who want to talk about end of life issues

• Sophie Butler, Higher Trainee in General Adult Psychiatry, (SLAM): Extreme Psychiatry 2.0

Health Innovation Network Chief Executive Tara Donnelly said:
“Great ideas are at the centre of innovation in healthcare but sometimes they need a small amount of money to help them develop. The South London Small Grants have shown to be a great springboard to success with one of our previously supported projects ‘HaMpton’, an app that allows high blood pressure monitoring during pregnancy at home, now on the NHS Innovation Accelerator.
“These 12 winning projects look like being important innovations that could really make a difference to the lives of people in south London and hopefully beyond.”

HEE’s South London Local Director Aurea Jones said:
“South London Small Grants is all about helping develop innovations where there is a funding gap. We had a record number of applications this year and I was really impressed by the quality of these. I’m confident that the winning 12 projects will make a real difference to the lives of patients and their families.

“I look forward to following the progress of these initiatives closely and seeing how they deliver real health improvements.”

Ends
For more information contact the press office on 0207 188 7756
Notes to editors:
• Health Innovation Network is the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for south London, one of 15 AHSNs across England. We work across a huge range of health and care services through each of our clinical and innovation themes, to transform care in diabetes, musculoskeletal disease and healthy ageing, to accelerate digital health uptake into the NHS, and we’re passionate about education. The Health Innovation Network acts as a catalyst of change – identifying, adopting and spreading innovation across the health and care system in south London.
• Health Education England (HEE) exists for one reason only: to support the delivery of excellent healthcare and health improvement to the patients and public of England by ensuring that the workforce of today and tomorrow has the right numbers, skills, values and behaviours, at the right time and in the right place.

Thousands of care home residents across south London to benefit from safer emergency hospital visits and faster discharge as novel ‘Red Bag’ scheme expands

Innovative Red Bag

Thousands of care home residents across south London to benefit from safer emergency hospital visits as novel ‘Red Bag’ scheme expands

Novel ‘Red Bag’ ensures thousands care home residents across south London will have safer emergency hospital visits and faster discharge

The ‘Red Bag’ keeps vital medical info and personal belongings safe during emergency hospital visits

Thousands of care home residents will benefit from an innovation designed to make emergency hospital visits safer and speed up discharge after health and care chiefs agreed to extend the innovative Red Bag scheme across the whole of south London.

The news comes on the United Nation’s International Day of Older Persons (1st October) and means older residents enjoy a more personal and seamless health and care service.

Started three years ago Sutton Vanguard’s Hospital Transfer Pathway ‘Red Bag’ ensures key info such as existing medical conditions and other clinical information is communicated and helps ensure residents return to their care home as promptly as possible once hospital treatment is completed.

Developed by NHS and care home staff, the Red Bag has already been adopted across 11 London boroughs and is expected to go live in south London borough Croydon in November. NHS England unveiled a Red Bag scheme toolkit in June to encourage all areas of the country to adopt the scheme.

Care homes across south London, holding more than 13,000 care home beds between them, have committed to taking part in the Red Bag – a simple innovation which ensures records and personal belongings are kept safe when a care home resident is transferred into hospital.

Under the scheme, when a patient is taken into hospital in an emergency they have a Red Bag to take with them. The Red Bag contains:

  •  General health information, including on any existing medical conditions
  •  Medication information so ambulance and hospital staff know immediately what medication they are taking
  •      Personal belongings (such as clothes for day of discharge, glasses, hearing aid, dentures or other items)

The Red Bag also clearly identifies a patient as being a care home resident and provides hospital staff with the information they need to speed up clinical decisions. This means patients can often be discharged sooner which is better both for the residents and for the NHS, as it means individuals are out of hospital more quickly and money is saved. Extended hospital time can be particularly problematic for those with dementia who can deteriorate more rapidly when away from their usual settings.

The bag stays with the patient whilst they are in hospital. When patients are ready to go home, a copy of their discharge summary (which details every aspect of the care they received in hospital) will be placed in the Red Bag so that care home staff have access to this important information when their residents arrive back home.

The Red Bag has been used with care home residents 2,000 times in south London since April 2017 and length of stay in hospital has reduced by on average 2.4 bed days per Red Bag used.

The Red Bag initiative was created by Sutton CCG hosted Sutton Homes of Care, which was a national Vanguard programme to improve care in residential and nursing homes, in partnership with clinicians from Epsom and St Helier University hospitals, Sutton and Merton Community Services, London Ambulance Service and representatives of the care homes.

Since its introduction in Sutton, the Red Bag has also stopped patients losing personal items such as dentures, glasses and hearing aids worth £290,000 in a year.

There are half a million more people aged over 75 than there were in 2010 – and there will be two million more in ten years’ time. They are also spending more years in ill-health than ever before.

Caroline Dinenage, Care Minister, said:

“The Red Bag is a great innovation that helps link up health and care services for older people, so it’s fantastic news that the whole of south London is now committed to using it. Not only is this more efficient – saving valuable resources – but it leads to a much better experience for patients leaving hospital when their treatment has finished. It’s encouraging to see the scheme being rolled out even further across the country as we move towards our ambition of joined up care that is centred around the individual.”

Aditee Naik, Peartree Care Home Manager, said: “Care home residents are at their most vulnerable when they travel in an emergency into hospital. This is why the Red Bag is so important because it ensures all key paperwork, medication and personal items like glasses, slippers and dentures, are handed to ambulance crews by carers and travel with patients to hospital where they are then handed to the doctor.

“Sometimes it’s the personal touch that makes a big difference to patients, especially if they’re elderly, and the Red Bag helps people feel reassured and more at home. It’s great that on United Nations International Day of Older Persons, here across the whole of South London we are celebrating the fact that the Red Bag is helping ensure our older residents and patients have the very best care.”

Jason Morris, London Ambulance Service Clinical Team Leader, who helped develop the Red Bag at Sutton CCG during its national Vanguard status, said:

“The Red Bag standardises the process of handover from a care home and means we can get all the essential information in one go, no matter which home in they’re in.

“We’re delighted this scheme has led to such a wide range of benefits for us, our colleagues in hospitals as well as care home staff. But most importantly, it’s seen improvements in the care of these patients who can go to the hospital with everything they need. We’re even seeing them returning back to the care home quicker.”

Stephanie Watts, NHS Greenwich CCG Commissioning Manager, said: “The Red Bag pathway is a true example of collaboration between health and care agencies. It works well because all the agencies involved in patient transfers from care homes are invested in it.

“Use of the Red Bags has a number of proven benefits which we are already beginning to see, even though it’s only been a few months, including things like increased communication between hospital teams and Care Home staff, shorter stays in hospital and improved quality of information provided to Care Homes when their residents are discharged.”

 

Chris Terrahe, Deputy Director of Nursing at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside our partners in Croydon CCG and local care homes as part of the new Red Bag scheme in the borough. For care home residents arriving at or leaving hospital, it should make things much more efficient because all the vital information about their health will be in one place.”

 

Dr Agnelo Fernandes, Clinical Chair of NHS Croydon CCG and local GP said: “I’m delighted that the Red Bag is being rolled out in Croydon.  We’ve seen that it can really reduce hospital stays for care home residents, ultimately improving their quality of life.”

 

Sarah Blow, Senior Responsible Officer for South West London Health and Care Partnership, said: “We’re incredibly proud of the work being done to improve the health of older people in Sutton by bringing together health and social care providers. Having seen the benefits to patients, we have already rolled out the red bag scheme in other boroughs in south west London, so we’re delighted that this will become a national scheme.”

 

Tara Donnelly, Chief Executive of the Health Innovation Network, said: “Our hospitals provide great care, but no one wants to spend any longer there than they need to and being transferred from a care home to hospital in an emergency can feel traumatic. That’s why the Red Bag is a great example of a simple idea with a big impact.”

 

From the “Mortality Aware” to the “Baby Boomer Boozers”, we all need help to cut through the app…

From the “Mortality Aware” to the “Baby Boomer Boozers”, we all need help to cut through the app…

A new report out today from the International Longevity Centre – UK, Cutting through the App: How can mobile health apps meet their true potential?brings together a whole range of statistics and analysis on the current state of play with health apps. It’s a good read and identifies several health apps that have been proven to reduce unhealthy behaviours.  It’s the latest report to emphasise the potential of digital health. From apps that help tackle the devastating impact of insomnia, to those that make it easier for anxious teenagers to discuss mental health as well as apps to tackle diabetes, the reality is that healthcare can be in your pocket.

The report identifies several population groups in the UK that could benefit the most from effective health behavioural change apps. These include:

  • Nearly 1 million ‘baby boomer boozers’ who are over 60, drink frequently and use a smartphone;
  • 760,000 ‘living fast, dying young’ who are under 40 and smoke, drink frequently, have a smartphone and regularly use the internet;
  • 5.7 million people who ‘just need a push’ and who eat healthy and don’t smoke, but drink moderately and rarely exercise;
  • 2 million ‘connected, healthy and young’ who eat well, exercise frequently and regularly use the internet.

While these groups are found to have a huge opportunity to benefit from health apps, the biggest barrier is the sheer volume of apps out there and the difficulty this adds when it comes to sorting the best from the rest. The NHS apps library is applauded for its approach but complexity for consumers remains.

At AHSNs, we see the way that this complexity can be a barrier for busy clinicians too. With so many digital health innovations to choose from, finding the time to assess and assure them can be incredibly tough. That’s why a key part of the role of AHSNs is to work with the NHS up and down the country to cut through this noise, and find and spread the kind of proven digital innovation that makes a difference.

If you’re a clinician and need help “cutting through the app” you can browse examples of the innovations we support, including apps, here:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/innovation/nia/

https://digitalhealth.london/accelerator/companies/

If you need advice about an innovation, contact us at hin.southlondon@nhs.net

NHS England has launched the call for applications for next year’s ITP programme

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Second round unveiled for applications for next year’s Innovation and Technology Payment

Launched at Expo 2018, NHS England has developed the Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) 2019-20.

Delivered with the support of the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), the ITP aims to deliver on the commitment detailed within the Five Year Forward View – supporting the NHS to adopt innovative market-ready medical devices, diagnostics, digital platforms and technologies which have demonstrated improvement to the quality and efficiency of patient care, by removing financial or procurement barriers to uptake.

The Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) 2019/20 builds on the Innovation and Technology Tariff (ITT) and ITP 2018/19. It aims to support the NHS in adopting innovation by removing some of the financial or procurement barriers which can inhibit uptake at scale.

It is a competitive process designed to scale up adoption of innovations and technologies that have already proved their clinical effectiveness and are ready for nationwide spread.

The ITP is looking to support medical devices, digital platforms and technologies. The programme is not suitable for pharmaceutical products or research projects.

We aim to select a range of cost effective innovations within our budgetary confines in order to have a wide-reaching impact on patient care, and maximise learning from the programme while fostering culture change.

The ITP programme forms part of a wider set of activities to support innovation in the NHS, led by NHS England with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).

The programme will be delivered with the support of the AHSNs.

The ITP is specifically focused on low cost innovations which can deliver significant patient outcomes and savings to the NHS.

Applicants can be from healthcare, academia, commercial or voluntary sectors.

The implementation of any agreed payment mechanism or procurement will be operational from April 2019.

Day-to-day support and reporting will be via NHS England’s Innovation and Research Unit.

Read the application guidance here.

Access the application form here.

Digital Outpatients Online Resource launched

Digital Outpatients Online Resource launched

With more than 100 million outpatient appointments every year, the NHS has a major opportunity to introduce more efficient and patient-focused digital outpatient service. The HIN has worked with DigitalHealth.London and members to take advantage.

Photo above: The Hillingdon digital outpatients team

The Health Innovation Networks new digital outpatients online resource is now available on the DigitalHealth.London website.

This follows our successful digital outpatients collaborative work, with sixteen Trusts using digital technology for virtual consultations and new ways to reduce non-attendance.

Project lead Jess Parsons said: “I’m really pleased we’ve had such great feedback about the Digital Outpatients Collaborative. We worked really hard to support the Trusts and we’ve seen some impressive results which we should continue to build on in the future.”

Help shape the next 10 years of the NHS

Help shape the next 10 years of the NHS

National conversation unveiled to help shape the next 10 years of the NHS.

NHS England has launched a national conversation to help shape the next 10 years of the NHS.

Feedback, comments and suggestions are being invited by 30 September on a series of themes that will form the new ‘Long Term Plan’.

NHS staff, people working across social care and public health, healthcare companies, patients and carers are all encouraged to submit their views.

The plan will seek to ensure the NHS continues to innovate and adapt to the needs of all patients, focusing on three key areas:

  • Mothers & children – improving maternity services, care for ill and disabled children and addressing issues such as obesity and mental health
  • Staying healthy – helping people live longer and healthier lives
  • Ageing well – making the right choices and reducing unnecessary hospital stays

The Plan is being developed by a series of sub-groups and the HIN together with the AHSN Network is supporting the Research and Innovation workstream – it is inviting comments on a series of questions about how the NHS can harness the potential for innovation to transform services and empower staff and patients:

  • How can we increase opportunities for patients and carers to collaborate with the NHS to inform research, and encourage and use of innovations (for example new approaches to providing care, new medical technologies, use of genomics in healthcare and new medicines)?
  • What transformative actions could we take to enable innovations to be developed, and to support their use by staff in the NHS?
  • How can we encourage more people to participate in research in the NHS and do so in a way that reflects the diversity of our population and differing health and care needs
  • What should our priorities be to ensure that we continue to lead the world in genomic medicine?

The deadline for feedback is 30 September – to take part visit the NHS England website to access the questionnaire, or for more background contact england.ltp@nhs.net

Following this initial feedback during September, there will be further opportunities to shape the Long Term Plan throughout the autumn.

£100k awarded to drive NHS innovations across South London

£100k awarded to drive NHS innovations across South London

Twelve projects including schemes to meet the needs of women with perinatal mental health problems, group consultations for chronic health management and challenging conversations training for volunteers have won funding under South London Small Grants 2018.

The awards were made by the Health Innovation Network working in partnership with Health Education England. In all there were 120 applications across 45 different organisations that applied for funding.

The aim of the grants is to support innovative practice that can be spread and adopted across the Health and Social Care landscape.. The funding also aims to encourage cross-boundary working in areas of research, education and improvement in healthcare services.

In previous years, the Small Grants have enabled people across London to access small pockets of funding for research and innovation to try out their ideas, using the grant as a springboard to support their potential.

The 12 Projects that will receive funding are:

Kim Nurse, Darzi Fellow, (Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust): A collaborative project with the University of Creative Arts to create a campaign to education patients, their relatives and staff regarding the risks of deconditioning in hospital

Emily Symington, GP, (Amersham Vale Training Practice): Group consultations for chronic health management in urban deprived population in GP

Manasvi Upadhyaya, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, (Evelina Children’s Hospital): Development of a gastrostomy care package – a quality improvement project

Vicky Shaw, Clinical Lead, (Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust): A integrated and collaborative approach to Falls training to address high levels of falls amongst residents with dementia in Lewisham Care Homes

Katherine Bristowe, Herbert Dunhill Lecturer, (King’s College London): ACCESSCare-e: reducing inequalities for LGBT people facing advanced illness and bereavement – an evidence based self-paced online intervention

Hind Khalifeh, Honorary Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist, (SLAM/KCL): Meeting the needs of women with perinatal mental health problems through partnerships between NHS perinatal mental health services and voluntary sector organisations Home Start and Cocoon

Ursula Bowerman, Operational Director/Lead Facilitator, (Project Dare/SLAM): The LGBTQ+  Dare Sessions

Estelle Malcolm, Clinical Psychologist, (NAAAPS/SLAM): Using an appreciative inquiry approach to increase the voice of adults with an autism spectrum condition in shaping psychological therapy services

Kate Heaps, CEO, (Greenwich & Bexley Hospice): Young Ward Volunteers Scheme

Michael Brady, Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV, (Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust): Delivering and evaluating a Sexual Health and Well-being service for Trans communities in SE London

Liz Bryan, Director of Education and Training, (St Christopher’s Hospice): Challenging Conversations: training volunteers to support the frail elderly and those with long-term conditions in the community who want to talk about end of life issues

Sophie Butler, Higher Trainee in General Adult Psychiatry, (SLAM): Extreme Psychiatry 2.0

Health Innovation Network’s Stroke Prevention and MSK themes demo new tech at TEDxNHS 2018

Health Innovation Network’s Stroke Prevention and MSK themes demo new tech at TEDxNHS 2018

High profile conference delegates hear about tech developments under Health Innovation Network and AHSN national programmes for ESCAPE-pain and stroke prevention.

The latest TEDxNHS event in London, which has grown to a record 500 delegates, featured talks around the theme of ‘Shaping our Legacy’ to celebrate 70 years of the NHS.

Held at the British Film Institute IMAX, speakers shared untold stories, infectious ideas and tales of evolution that may shape the future of our NHS.

Photos and videos of the talks will be available shortly on the TEDxNHS website for all NHS staff. All you need to do to gain access to three years of TEDxNHS talks is sign-up to our website.

The MSK theme demonstrated the various digital ways to complement the face to face ESCAPE-pain programme while Stroke Prevention was able to instruct people in the use of various AF test devices and update them as to the national drive to increase detention rates.

MSKs Isabel Rodrigues de Abreu and Stroke Prevention’s Alex Lang met Sir Bruce Keogh, former National Medical Director for NHS England, who heard about the progress of the two high profile national programmes.

Both digital ESCAPE-pain support tools are available free of charge – the ESCAPE-pain app can be downloaded onto iOS and Android devices and the recently launched ESCAPE-pain Online, our web-based version of the app, is designed to be accessed from a computer.

Stroke Prevention is continuing its work distributing AF detection devices across south London and has so far distributed more than 250 out of a total of 400 with the rest due to go out by the end of October. The team is targeting high risk population areas.

Award-winning ESCAPE-pain programme now online

Award-winning ESCAPE-pain programme now online

The award-winning ESCAPE-pain programme for the management of chronic joint pain is now available online to help ease the suffering of thousands of people across the country.

Chronic joint pain, or osteoarthritis, affects over 8.75 million people in the UK, including half the population over the age of 75, and one in five of the population over 45. A small proportion proceeds to surgical intervention while the vast majority are managed in the community with painkillers.

GPs typically spend around a day a week on appointments related to joint pain; by helping those people with joint pain undertake regular exercises evidenced to improve mobility and reduce pain, a large number of GP appointments can be freed for other people to be seen more quickly.

The new online version of ESCAPE-pain (Enabling Self-management and Coping with Arthritic Pain through Exercise), is a digital version of the well-established, face-to-face group programme that is now delivered in over 80 sites across the UK and is already being used to improve the lives of over 7,000 people with chronic joint pain.

Under the new digital programme, people can choose from 16 high-quality exercise videos to help improve joint pain including engaging animations and education videos to learn to manage their condition better. They can feel more in control of their pain through this free NHS resource developed by the South London-based Health Innovation Network which works to innovate health and care in the NHS.

Professor Mike Hurley, originator of the ESCAPE-pain programme, said:
“Thanks to ESCAPE-pain Online anybody with chronic knee or hip pain can now access the ESCAPE-pain programme regardless of where they live. ESCAPE-pain Online isn’t a replacement for attending the face-to-face programme, as that’s the most effective way to experience its benefits but it will support people to exercise safely and regularly in their own homes. People who are unable to attend a face-to-face programme or those who don’t have access to a smartphone can use ESCAPE-pain Online.”

Health Innovation Network Chief Executive Tara Donnelly said:
“ESCAPE-pain is a proven rehabilitation programme with a strong evidence base approved by NICE that is helping thousands of people who have been suffering in pain. By making use of digital technology and extending the programme through offering videos online, we are rolling out the potential benefit of this programme to many more people experiencing chronic joint pain; currently affecting one in five of the population over 45.”

ESCAPE-pain has been recognised with awards from both the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the British Society for Rheumatology, and is cited in the NICE clinical guidelines for osteoarthritis. More recently, ESCAPE-pain has been recommended as a preferred intervention for musculoskeletal conditions by Public Health England, which showed a positive Return on Investment of £5.20 for every £1 spent.

ESCAPE-pain Online is a free resource produced in the NHS by the Health Innovation Network and Salaso Solution Ltd. It is best viewed on a computer and is accessed via the ESCAPE-pain website homepage. For more information please visit escape-pain.org or email hello@escape-pain.org. Watch a film about ESCAPE-pain here.

South London Diabetes Education – Booking Service Contract awarded to Spirit Healthcare

Press Release: South London Diabetes Education Booking Service Contract awarded to Spirit Healthcare

Spirit to deliver new integrated diabetes education booking service to people with diabetes across the 12 south London CCGs

7 August 2018: The twelve south London Clinical Commissioning Groups, led by NHS Southwark CCG, along with the Health Innovation Network, the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for south London, are delighted to announce the award of a three-year contract to Spirit Healthcare to help people living with diabetes to select and book the most appropriate diabetes education course for them.

From October 2018, for the first-time, people with diabetes will be offered the choice of any diabetes education course available across south London. This will give them a much wider range of course location and timing options. This will provide the best possibility of increasing attendance rates and helping people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes to take more control of their own health.

Across south London records show that approximately 165,000 people have diabetes, and this is growing significantly every year. With current attendance rates for diabetes education lower than 10%, the partners led by NHS Southwark CCG, sought a solution to increase uptake of new, accessible education services. During the three years of the new contract, over 40,000 people are expected to benefit from the ability to access a wider range of courses in any part of south London.

Spirit is working collaboratively with Priority Digital Health, a forward thinking digital solution provider based in Cambridge, to develop and deliver this innovative booking service.
GPs and healthcare professionals will be able to refer people living with diabetes to the booking service and people with Type 2 diabetes will also be able to refer themselves and book their course online.

Caroline Gilmartin, Director of Integrated Commissioning NHS Southwark CCG, comments: “We are delighted to have awarded this contract to Spirit. They really understood our vision for this service and we believe this is a great opportunity to get many more people attending diabetes education courses giving them the skills and information to make positive lifestyle changes, take more control of their health and ultimately helping them to improve their health and well-being, whilst living with a long-term condition.

Tim Loveridge, Managing Director, Clinical Services, comments: “We are honoured to have been selected to partner with the south London CCGs and the Health Innovation Network to help people in south London access a broader, more accessible range of diabetes education services. We believe passionately that education is the key to empowering people to take control of their diabetes.”

Alison Meadows, Managing Director/Founder of Priority Digital Health added “We are delighted to have been selected to be Spirit Healthcare’s digital partner for this contract and look forward to deploying our priority.me and social prescribing geo-location technology platform in South London.”

Notes:
The 12 South London CCGs are Bexley CCG, Bromley CCG, Croydon CCG, Greenwich CCG, Kingston CCG, Lambeth CCG, Lewisham CCG, Merton CCG, Richmond CCG, Southwark CCG, Sutton CCG and Wandsworth CCG. The CCGs map directly on to each of the south London Boroughs.

Upcoming Adult Safeguarding Masterclasses

Upcoming Adult Safeguarding Masterclasses

Health Innovation Network are hosting a series of Masterclass safeguarding seminars, supported by the Lambeth Safeguarding Adults Board.

Experts in the field will be providing information on specific topics and facilitating discussion amongst the attendees.

Running from September until December at the new Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton (Room THB-06 (60)), the sessions will last from 09:30 to 13:30 and will cover a number of areas (please see below). This opportunity is perfect if you are a professional from statutory, voluntary or other organisations who provide care and support for adults, their families and carers. Organisations who are interested in attending much be willing to contribute something towards the cost of the seminars.

If you would like members of your organisation to attend, you must be willing to contribute towards the seminars. Please contact Janna Kay to discuss your attendance further.

People encouraged to ‘Go digital’ in new NHS short films

People encouraged to ‘Go digital’ in new NHS short films

A series of nine new films about digital health innovations in the NHS have been launched today, as part of #NHS70DigitalWeek.

Produced by the AHSN Network and NHS England, the films show some of the latest ways the NHS is using digital technology to empower people to take control of their health and care. They feature a range of apps and technologies that are starting to be used in parts of the NHS to help people manage conditions in more flexible ways using digital tools and services.

The NHS is harnessing the power of information and technology to empower people to take control of their own health. Waitless is a app – which combines waiting times at urgent care centres with up-to-the-minute travel information – enables patients to decide where to go to access faster treatment for minor injuries:

MIRA is a digital application that turns practical physiotherapy exercises into videogames to introduce an element of fun into rehab and recovery. It proved to be very popular among the film’s elderly participants, bringing out some healthy competition. Watch this film to learn more:

An innovative way to help women manage hypertension during pregnancy, the HaMpton app enables women like Asha and Clare to monitor their health at home. Watch this film to find out more.

This video shows how the Sleepio app records and recommends ways to improve sleep. Now it’s less counting of sheep – and more good nights of sleep – for people like Audrey and Claire:



Changing Health – a self-management app for type 2 diabetes – is empowering people like Sheinaz to better manage their condition. Watch the video to find out more:

Watch the initial launch film here:


Part of the wider work to celebrate and recognise the NHS’s 70th birthday, the videos aim to prompt people to see the NHS as a digital, as well as face-to-face service. Both the videos and the broader #NHS70DigitalWeek campaign encourage people to visit www.nhs.uk to find out more about how they can engage digitally with their health.

Tara Donnelly, Chief Executive of the Health Innovation Network and AHSN Network lead for digital health said:

“Digital innovation has become an essential part of our everyday life.Whether it is accessing the world’s song catalogue, making immediate connections with friends and family or using maps on our phones to find locations, digital tools have becomepart of thefabric of our lives and society.

“These films show that at 70 years old, the NHS is using digital health more and more, and the benefits are huge. As the innovation arm of the NHS, Academic Health Science Networks are supporting the NHS up and down the country to spread the kind of proven digital innovation that empowers people and frees up clinical time. The reality is that healthcare can be in your pocket.”

The seven examples of digital health that are featured in the series via case studies of people who have used the technology are:

  • Changing Health: digital education and coaching platform for people with type 2 diabetes
  • Sleepio: sleep improvement programme using cognitive behavioural therapy
  • My House of Memories: assisting people living with dementia and memory loss
  • MIRA: turning physiotherapy into videogames to improve adherence and make rehab fun
  • EpsMon: improving epilepsy self-management
  • HaMpton: helping pregnant women to manage high blood pressure at home
  • Waitless: aimed at helping patients to find the shortestwaiting times for A&E and urgent care

The films will be launched over a series of weeks, between 24 July and early September and will be added to this page as they become available.

Sheinaz, who uses the ‘Changing Health’programme, talks in the film about the benefits of a digital approach:

“Going to a (support) group wasn’t going to be sustainable for me, the other option was the health app. Having the app helps me maintain consciousness of the condition I have and that I have responsibility for my own health.”

Another person who took part in the filming was Audrey, who used to suffer from sleep deprivation and used the Sleepio app. She said:

“It’s amazing, it’s the sort of thing you can do when you are commuting.” After having previously been without sleep for several weeks at a time, she reports she now hasn’t had a bad night’s sleep in over a year using this product that is strongly evidenced to combat sleep deprivation.

AHSNs have highlighted digital health innovation as a priority area for the NHS in coming years, particularly in the area of long-term condition management, where there are major opportunities for supporting people in self-management and NHS currently spends 70 per cent of its budget.

Digital therapeutics work best when there is a partnership between the patient, their GP and where necessary a team of specialist clinicians or coaches supervising results, coaching and encouraging. The results achieved by the best-evidenced products are powerful – weight loss, fewer crises, lower blood glucose, increased activity, better adherence to medicine, improved self-care, better sleep and mood, fewer admissions to hospital and savings in the longer term to the NHS thanks to fewer complications. The AHSNs work to identify and help spread these innovations, supporting innovators from both the NHS and industry, as well as staff within the NHS with uptake, to maximise the opportunities for the benefit of patients.

 

 

Community health trainers are tackling high cost of chronic joint pain in innovative new programme

Chris-smith

New study shows community health trainers are tackling high cost of chronic joint pain

New study shows NICE approved new chronic joint pain intervention could be rolled out across the country through community health trainers.

An intervention that relieves chronic joint pain, called Joint Pain Advisor, has been successfully piloted with community health trainers in south London in a project that reduces pressure on GPs and has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people living in pain.

Musculoskeletal (MSK) pain, which includes chronic knee, hip and back pain, has a major impact on individuals and society. It is the second most common reason for GP visits, accounts for around 25% of all GP consultations and is estimated that 9.3 million working days are lost in the UK to MSK problems.

The Joint Pain Advisor model of care is a safe and cost effective alternative to GP consultations. Involving a series of face-to-face consultations, advisors work collaboratively with people with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis and/or back pain, focusing on supporting self-management. This model has been previously delivered by physiotherapists as Advisors but this new, small-scale study trained health trainers to deliver the advice in the community.

The study has shown that using community health trainers to deliver the Joint Pain Advisor model is effective. Many participants of the study said that their pain was dramatically reduced and movement had returned. They reported taking fewer pain-killers as well as increased mobility and weight loss.

The finding is significant because extending the model to community health trainers could result in much faster growth and mean that many more people can benefit from the service. There are around 3,000 community health trainers at present, who currently provide lifestyle advice on issues such as smoking cessation, weight management and healthy eating. Extending the programme to these trainers could mean that thousands more people are able to live in less pain.

Health Innovation Network Clinical Director Professor Mike Hurley said:
“The Joint Pain Advisor approach allows many more people with joint pain to benefit from NICE advice. Our service enables patients to help themselves live better lives – in less pain, able to do more, with a better quality of life.
This new study is small scale but extremely promising. Not only do we know that the Joint Pain Advisor service works to empower people to manage their pain, but through using the thousands of community health trainers up and down the country we can spread this innovation rapidly and help many more people.

With GPs under so much pressure and the countless working days lost to chronic joint pain, our programme could provide both economic and health and care benefits to the NHS.”

To date over 500 patients have used the service with physiotherapists in a previous pilot in Lewisham, south London, and they reported less pain, better function and higher activity levels. A high satisfaction rate was achieved which included reduced BMI, body weight and waist circumference and has led to fewer GP consultations, investigations and onward referrals. For every £1 spent on the programme there is a saving to the health and social care system of up to £4, according a Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis.
The programme consists of up to four 30-minute face-to-face consultations between the advisors and people with hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) or back pain. Patients attend an assessment where they discuss their lifestyle, challenges and personal goals and then jointly develop a personalised care plan that gives tailored advice and support based on National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the management of OA. They are then invited to attend reviews after three weeks, six weeks and six months to access further tailored support and advice.

Patients involved in the pilot said:
“Before I came, I used to have a lot of pain. Now I can do more walking. It’s helped me.”
“The pains eased, because I’ve strengthened my knees.”
“I’ve stopped taking painkillers because my hip has stopped hurting.”

In the latest study, 10 health trainers were trained as Joint Pain Advisors (JPAs) by the Health Innovation Network and offered the service across six community sites across Greenwich. It involved 85 participants between March 2017 and January this year.

Joint Pain Advisors are currently available in Shropshire and Merton, with plans for Croydon, Bromley and Cornwall to launch Summer 2018.

Download full report Joint Pain Advisor – Greenwich

New tech drive to solve key London challenges including dementia

Clinician looking at digital images

Mayor unveils new tech drive to solve pressing London challenges

The Mayor has launched a major city-wide initiative to harness London’s tech talent during London Tech Week (11-17 June). Health Innovation Network is a challenge partner working to help the Mayor identify digital solutions.

Commenting on the launch this week (11 June) of the Mayor of London’s Civic Innovation Challenge to use tech and data to tackle key challenges, Health Innovation Network Commercial Director Anna King said:

“We’re proud to support the Mayor of London for the first year of the Civic Innovation Challenge. It’s an opportunity for innovative start ups and SMEs to help solve some of London’s pressing challenges, including on health and inequalities. We’re particularly pleased to see the focus on improving dementia treatment and support services for underrepresented communities in London, to help people have more healthy years of life.

“We work with small companies with big ideas every day to help solve problems facing the NHS, so we’ve no doubt that there are fantastic ideas out there to meet the challenges the Mayor has announced. We’d encourage companies to get involved and help us develop new solutions for Londoners.”

The Civic Innovation Challenge is a key initiative within the Mayor of London’s Smarter London Together roadmap published this week. The aim of the challenge is to match tech startups with leading companies and public bodies to tackle some of London’s most pressing problems, including inequality, climate change and London’s ageing population.

Health Innovation Network is working with Our Healthier South East London STP to connect start-ups and SMEs to bid for £15k grants to identify digital solutions to dementia amongst Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities across south London.

Interested innovators should apply here.

#KnowYourPulse during Heart Rhythm Week

#KnowYourPulse during Heart Rhythm Week

Official figures show that more than 420,000 people across England have undiagnosed irregular heart rhythm, which can cause a stroke if not detected and treated. This week south Londoners can have a free, 30-second pulse rhythm check at selected locations.

A fresh drive has been launched to identify cases of undiagnosed Atrial Fibrillation across south London as part of Arrhythmia Alliance’s Heart Rhythm Week.
Several Health Innovation Network partners are putting on events where the public can attend to have their pulse rhythm checked.

Arrhythmia Alliance World Heart Rhythm Week is taking place this week 4 – 10 June 2018.  Health Innovation Network partners are putting on events where the public can attend to have their pulse rhythm checked in an attempt to detect AF in south London.

So far, these are the following events:

Monday 4/6/18

1300-1600 Main reception, Bracton Centre, Bracton Lane, DA2 7AF

Tuesday 5/6/18

1000-1200 + 1330-1600 Bracton Centre, main reception, Bracton Lane, DA2 7AF

0800-1300 Coin Street Family and Children’s Centre, 108 Stamford Street, SE1 9NH

1000-1400 Gracefield Gardens Health and Social Centre, 2-8 Gracefield Gardens, SW16 2ST

Wednesday 6/6/18

1330-1600  Main reception, Memorial Hospital, Shooters Hill, SE183RG

09.30-1700 Lewisham Pharmacy, 334 Lee High Road, SE13 5PJ

1000-1600 Wimbledon Library, 35 Wimbledon Hill Road, SW19 7NB

Thursday 7/6/18

1000-1200 + 1300-1600 Main reception, Bracton Centre, Bracton Lane, DA2 7AF

09.30-1700 Lewisham Pharmacy, 334 Lee High Road, SE13 5PJ

Friday 8/6/18

1330-1600 Main reception, Bracton Centre, Bracton Lane, DA2 7AF

09.30-1700 Lewisham Pharmacy, 334 Lee High Road, SE13 5PJ

1400-18.30 Ethnic Minority Centre, Vestry Hall, 336 London Road, CR4 3UD

Saturday 9/6/18

09.30-1700 Lewisham Pharmacy, 334 Lee High Road, SE13 5PJ

1000-1600 Downham Festival, 7-9 Moorside Road, BR1 5EP

Sunday 10/6/18

0930-1700 Lewisham Pharmacy, 334 Lee High Road, SE13 5PJ

Social prescribing champion training sessions

Social prescribing champion training sessions

Health Innovation Network are proud to be delivering ‘Social Prescribing Champion Training’ sessions in June and July in collaboration with Wandsworth and Merton CCGs. For those working health and care, based in GP practices, working with voluntary groups and/or do some signposting. Please select a date out of four options and book this fantastic opportunity.

Training dates – One half-day (four-hour) session:

Thursday 21 June 9:00 – 13:00, Book here

Friday 22 June 12:00 – 16:00, Book here

Monday 2 July 9:00 – 13:00, Book here

Friday 6 July 12:00 – 16:00, Book here

For further details, please contact Urvi Shah at urvi.shah2@nhs.net

What is Social Prescribing?

Social prescribing is a means of enabling GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services.*

*kingsfund.org.uk/publications/social-prescribing

More support and choice for south Londoners at risk of Type 2 diabetes

More support and choice for south Londoners at risk of Type 2 diabetes

A new collaboration will mean more choice and expert support for south Londoners at risk of Type 2 diabetes. The Health Innovation Network, NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK have confirmed a new contract with ICS Health & Wellbeing (ICS) to offer 4260 free places on Healthier You: the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme across south London.

Healthier You is a nine-month behaviour change programme that helps local patients at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to significantly reduce their chances of getting the disease. Local doctors and nurses refer people to be part of this course so that they can receive support to change their lifestyle in a friendly and supportive group environment. The behaviour change programme runs for nine months and consists of a mixture of 1:1 and group sessions delivered by specially trained Health and Wellbeing coaches, advising individuals on how to prevent diabetes by incorporating healthier eating, physical activity, problem solving, stress reduction and coping skills into their daily lives.

Across south London it is estimated that approximately 275,000 are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Under the new contract, over 4000 people are expected to benefit and choice will be improved because they will be able to access courses in any part of London including evenings and weekends.

Neel Basudev, south London GP and Clinical Lead for south London Healthier You, said:

“I am delighted that ICS will be providing Healthier You in south London for local people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.   This will be an opportunity to make positive, lifestyle changes and take more control of their health and ultimately help prevent them developing what is a potentially life threatening condition.” 

Operations Manager for ICS, Megan Baird, said:

“We are now the only provider across London – this means more patient choice and flexibility to attend services across multiple locations and timings to suit individual needs. We are extremely passionate about the delivery of our service to support those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and look forward to implementing a successful programme across South London.”

ICS is the largest provider for the NHS National Diabetes Prevention Programme. With 19 delivery areas across the UK, ICS has a wealth of experience in delivering the nine month intervention effectively. Across the UK to date, ICS has received over 63,000 referrals, delivered over 30,000 face-to-face initial assessments and run over 1,200 courses. 95% our service users rate the service as Very Good or Good at 9 Months, 79% of service-users lose weight and 66% of service users accessing the service across London are from BAME groups.

Ten thousand people have already been referred to Healthier You under the previous provider, Reed Momenta.

Reducing diabetes is a priority for the NHS. It is estimated that the condition currently costs the NHS £8.8 billion every year. People wishing to be part of the programme should speak to their GP or Practice Nurse who can make a referral into the service if the person is eligible.

Health Innovation Network begins partnership with Alzheimer’s Society

Health Innovation Network begins partnership with Alzheimer’s Society

Health Innovation Network has committed to taking action on dementia by uniting with Alzheimer’s Society in a strategic partnership to change the landscape of dementia care forever.

Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer, with 1 million people set to be living with the condition by 2021.

Having collaborated on a number of successful initiatives including Dear-GP and the “Red Bag” scheme, Health Innovation Network and Alzheimer’s Society are launching a formal partnership to tackle dementia together.

Through the partnership we will support one another in the development of new initiatives to ensure timely diagnosis and develop practical tools to improve health outcomes for people with dementia.  Each organisation will use its expertise and networks to increase the reach and impact of successful initiatives and facilitate the sharing of best practice in dementia care across health and social care.

Zoe Lelliott, Deputy Chief Executive at Health Innovation Network, said: ‘We’re delighted to be working in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society. As one of the leading voluntary sector organisations at the forefront of championing the needs of people with dementia at a national level, we are excited about the opportunities this new partnership will bring for the benefit of people with dementia in south London’,

Tim McLachlan, Director of Local Services at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Dementia devastates lives, slowly stripping people of their memories, relationships and identities. As the UK’s biggest killer, taking action with other charities and health organisations is vital to help us understand more about this devastating illness.

“I am delighted that the Health Innovation Network is uniting with us this Dementia Action Week. Whoever you are, whatever you are going through, no one should face dementia alone.”

Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP): One year on

Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP): One year on

Written by Tara Donnelly, Chief Executive at Health Innovation Network

The latest products available at low or no cost through the NHS Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) have been announced by NHS England, and we were pleased to see some fantastic innovations that reduce the need for intervention, improve care, reduce infection rates and length of stay, and NHS resources.

Above all, we were struck by the potential for the innovations on this tariff to improve patient safety. Here at the Health Innovation Network, we want to do all we can to help NHS organisations in south London take advantage of them.

Nationally the tariff was a real success in its first year, with myCOPD leading the way. There are now more than 35,000 people actively using this great digital tool to improve their self-management and this number is increasing by 5,000 – 8,000 a month. In total almost 100,000 licences have been sold 60% through the tariff and the rest by CCGs and individual patients keen to self manage. You can read more reflections on the first year of the tariff in my related blog here.

It’s great to see the range of products available this coming year. But as an AHSN, we know that just because a product is free or low-cost that doesn’t mean it’s easy to implement, or that the internal resources are available to support implementation. We want to support Trusts as much as we can.

The support we can offer includes help with internal business cases, advice on information governance, connecting trusts to others who have used the products, advice on how to reclaim funds and use the tariff, and wider advice as needed. If you’re an NHS organisation in south London and would like to access HIN support, please do contact us at kate.covill@nhs.net and ian.knighton@nhs.net or on 0207 188 9805.

The products are:

Available completely free for 2018/19:

  • Endocuff Vision – a small device that goes onto the end of a colonoscope and improves the quality of colorectal examination.
  • SecurAcath – a device to secure lines that reduces the infection risk for patients with a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC line). This type of catheter is normally used in people needing intravenous access for several weeks or months in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The use of this device makes cleaning the site much easier and reduces complications. NICE estimates it could improve care for up to 120,000 people each year.

Available free to eligible sites that do high volumes:

  • HeartFlow – advanced image analysis software that creates a 3D model of the coronary arteries and analyses the impact that blockages have on blood flow to rapidly diagnose patients with suspected coronary artery disease. The use of the device can avoid the need for invasive investigations such as coronary angiography, usually carried out under local anaesthetic, where a catheter is passed through the blood vessels to the heart to release a dye before X-rays are taken. NICE estimates it could improve care for up to 35,000 people each year.

Available at 30% discount to eligible sites (as eligible Trusts can reclaim the difference between this product and regular sutures):

  • Plus Sutures – a new type of surgical suture coated with Triclosan, that reduces the rate of surgical site infection. 32% of hospital acquired infections are surgical site infections (SSI), most of which can be prevented. Trusts with SSI rates of above 4% in certain clinical specialties are eligible.

In an effort to tackle the problem of missed hospital appointments NHS England is also supporting the use of DrDoctor, a digital tool which enables patients view, change and schedule appointments on their smartphone, in several demonstrator sites. Almost eight million hospital appointments were missed in 2016/17, according to the latest figures. With each hospital outpatient appointment costing the NHS c£120, it means almost £1 billion worth of appointments were missed, equivalent to completing 257,000 hip replacements or 990,000 cataract operations.

We’d also like to urge readers not to forget that the original products that came into effect in April 2017 remain available at either no cost or through Trusts being able to claim a tariff, until April 2019. They are:

  • Guided episiotomy EPISCISSORS-60guided mediolateral scissors to minimise the risk of obstetric injury, these are now being used in most south London maternity units, including Croydon University Hospital, Epsom and St Helier at both hospital sites, King’s College Hospital, on both the King’s and Princess Royal University Hospital sites and St George’s University Hospital.
  • Safe arterial connector Non-injectable arterial connector (NIC)arterial connecting systems preventing the accidental administration of medicationinto an artery, these are being used successfully at Kingston Hospital.
  • VAP prevention PneuXpneumonia prevention systems which are designed to stop ventilator-associated pneumonia.
  • Web based COPD rehab myCOPDweb based application for the self-management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The scheme means that CCGs and Trusts can get the product free for their patients with severe/very severe COPD. It is proving very popular with patients with over 20,000 people having completed the online pulmonary rehabilitation programme to stay well for longer, and usage is currently being explored within SW London.
  • Day case prostate surgery UroLiftprostatic urethral lift systems to treat lower urinary tract symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia as a day case.

Another great safety innovation

As part of our role in promoting innovations that improve patient safety we are also supporting WireSafe which avoids the never event of a guidewire being inadvertently left in the patient. We know that sadly this never event has occurred in the past year in south London trusts. This ingenious and award-winning device, innovated by the doctor innovator of the NIC, makes it impossible to leave the guidewire in accidently, as you need to use it to open the closing pack. It is not free but is a low cost solution costing the average trust around £3k per year (or £5k for a very large trust).

As an AHSN Network we’ve also built an informative web page devoted to the Innovation and Technology Payment that you and colleagues can view here. Final guidance is awaited from NHS England but will be posted there once available. Free demos and training sessions are also being made available to enable staff to become familiar with and test the devices.

Contact us for support via kate.covill@nhs.net or on 0207 188 9805.

And read further reflections on the tariff here.

 

 

 

Are we in the business of healing?

Are we in the business of healing?

Written by Catherine Dale, Programme Director – Patient Safety and Patient Experience at Health Innovation Network

I was recently lucky enough to present on co-designing healthcare with patients at the Beryl Institute’s US-wide conference in Chicago. I was reunited with Tiffany Christensen a Vice President at Beryl.

While at this conference on Patient Experience I found myself talking to plenty of people about the relationship between ‘patient safety’ and ‘patient experience’. It seems to me and to others that there is an artificial differentiation between these elements of healthcare and that, to most people not working in healthcare, they are inextricably linked. In order for healthcare to be a good experience, it has to be and feel safe.

One of the keynote speakers was Lee Woodruff whose journalist husband Bob was significantly injured in a roadside bomb in Iraq. In her description of the recovery of Bob and the whole family, Lee told the audience that we were “in the business of healing”. There was something about the way she put this that made me realise she meant me too, not just my clinical colleagues. It reminded me of what I learned working in PALS and regularly dealing with the concerns of patients and their loved ones.

When someone gets a letter with the wrong information on it; when the clinic staff cannot access their medical records; when the waiting room is cluttered, messy and hectic in healthcare this is not just annoying – it is frightening. People feel: “if these people are making mistakes with these things how will they get my surgery, treatment, or care for my mother right?”

As a non-clinical person working in the NHS, I had thought that my impact on people’s health was only ever indirect, but this keynote made me think about how all of our work to improve healthcare can contribute to people’s healing.

Find out about the projects that we’ve been working on in the Patient Safety team here

L to R: Allison Chrestensen, Jonathan Bullock, Catherine Dale and Tiffany Christensen (fellow presenters on co-design).

 

Meet south London’s new Digital Pioneers

Meet south London’s new Digital Pioneers

DigitalHealth.London has announced the launch of its prestigious 12-month Digital Pioneers Fellowship. It will support 23 ‘transformers’ (healthcare professionals from a range of disciplines), chosen from across London, in designing and leading transformation projects which are underpinned by digital innovation. Beginning in May 2018, the programme will help the chosen ‘transformers’ to accelerate their knowledge and capability, including supporting them in influencing, problem solving and business case development.

Nine of the 23 are from south London:

  • Rafiah Badat (Speech and Language Therapist and Clinical Research Fellow, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) is investigating the feasibility of a novel digital intervention for caseload children.
  • Rebecca Blackburn (Commissioner, East Merton Transformation and Partnership Manager, NHS South West London Alliance) is working on a project which will double appointment offerings in Merton, by creating two hubs within GP Practices.
  • Dr Thomas Coats (Haematology Registrar and Clinical Research Fellow, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) has built a tool which digitises text-rich clinical data from multiple sources, will calculate complex prognostic scores. give diagnostic prompts and highlight significant data.
  • Faye Edwards (National Programme Manager, AHSN Network) is leading a project advising AHSNs on an agreed approach regarding information governance and data collection, in order to demonstrate the impact of digital mobile ECG devices distributed to NHS providers via the AHSNs.
  • Jack Grodon (Senior Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist/Fracture Clinic Team Lead, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust) recently undertook a three-month project exploring the used of the app Physitrack to record patient exercise adherence, in addition to patient and staff satisfaction. The trial was successful, and he is hoping to implement Physitrack across his department.
  • Dr Husain Shabeeb (Consultant Cardiologist and Cardiac Electrophysiologist, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust) is screening patients for atrial fibrillation using Alivecor Kardia in the community.
  • Haris Shuaib (Magnetic Resonance Physicist, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust) is developing an AI-driven medical imaging quality assurance web application. His ambition is to host it on a cloud-hosting service as a community resources for radiology departments in the NHS, allowing them to contribute test images for performing quality analysis on their clinical imaging equipment.
  • Dr James Teo (Consultant Neurologist, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) is increasing patient safety by developing dashboards for operational management of infections, such as influenza and norovirus outbreaks.

Digital transformations are already vital within the public healthcare sector. The need for these skills is only set to increase, as our population ages and increases, with complex and diverse health needs, and as new, exciting (but sometimes difficult to spread) technologies become available and affordable.

Here’s why we love the project:

It will bring like-minded Digital Transformation Pioneers together

It takes a lot of patient, trouble-shooting and solving, training, and unfortunately, meetings, to make even small-scale changes in the NHS. In their January 2018 report, ‘Adoption and spread of innovation in the NHS‘, King’s Fund described the decision to introduce just one innovation in the NHS as creating a ‘domino effect’ – becoming, “in short, a lengthy period of iterative testing and refinement”. The eight case studies that the report draws upon are proof of the arduous nature of implementing change. Implementing new digital solutions means developing new methods, building new habits, breaking from the status quo, and – as is very often needed with any innovation – changing stubborn mind-sets. Throw in that this is within a complex system and an organisation which is 70 years old this year – and it’s easy to see that drive and passion is needed.

Programmes like Digital Transformation Pioneers put all that drive and passion into a room together – with experts who can create new, exciting possibilities. It provides a great support network for those who are attempting their digital transformation project.

It encourages wider collaboration

When organisations fail to collaborate and to communicate with each other on a regular basis, it leaves ample room for wastage and the reinventing of the wheel … over, and over, and over again.

Collaboration across London creates a better environment for all aspects of achieving fantastic patient care. The sharing of ideas – even ones as simple as Croydon University Hospital’s fall initiative (asking patients which side of the bed they prefer to get out of, in order to dramatically reduce falls) or the roll-out of new technologies, for example, via the new ITP – is a catalyst for positive change. We know that collaborative cultures create better conditions for research, learning and patient care. Schemes like the Digital Pioneer Fellowship encourage wider collaboration beyond the Fellows themselves.

Helping people to get things done

Anyone who has tried to attempt to have a hobby on top of their regular day-job can tell you that it’s a challenge. Imagine trying to instigate  a large-scale, transformation project which encourages use of new digital technologies, innovations and processes whilst also coping with the ever-challenging budget changes, population increases, and the wide range of additional issues that can occur in a busy health and care environment.

Through support and skills training, the Digital Pioneer Fellowship will quite simple provide the support these ‘Transformers’ to get things done. If they hit a road-block, the Fellowship team will be there to help them through it. If time is against them, having the protected time to take part in the Fellowship modules could make a huge difference.

Resilient, skilled digital leaders need all of the support we can give them. We wish them the best of luck and hope that they enjoy the programme.

If you want to find out more about the Digitial Pioneers Fellowship, visit DigitalHealth.London’s website.

Catheter Care Awareness Week 2018

Health Innovation Network to run Catheter Care Awareness Week for a third year

Catheter Care Awareness Week consists of five days of events and activities, in partnership with our member organisations, aiming to raise awareness of the risks of CAUTI (catheter-associated UTIs), reduce harm, fight stigma and improve general catheter care in south London and beyond. This year, it falls between 18 – 24 June.

Here’s how you and your organisation can get involved:

  • Host a ‘Catheter Care Awareness Week’ stall – with posters, badges, balloons and pledge cards, encourage patients and staff to talk about their catheter issues and fill out pledge cards, promising better care. See some of last year’s pledges and pictures.
  • Put up a poster to promote your event;
  • Wear your Catheter Care Awareness Week Badge;
  • Join our Tweetchat – held with @WeNurses, the #CatheterCare Tweetchat will take place during the week. Keep an eye on our Twitter (@HINsouthlondon) and News webpage to find out more information about this.
  • Spread the word! Tell your colleagues, family and friends about Catheter Care Awareness Week. Try changing your Twitter or Facebook picture to the Catheter Care logo to show support for the cause, or adding #cathetercare to your Twitter name;
  • Get your organisation’s Communications team to include this news piece in their e-newsletters and on the intranet;
  • Make a vlog – watch this one for inspiration;
  • Watch our Catheter Care Awareness Animation and share across social media;
  • Read and share Alice’s Story

If you are getting involved, please email hin.southlondon@nhs.net with details of your eventthe list of activities and events. Please request the total of balloons and badges you predict you will use, and we will try our best to accommodate requests.

Dr Natasha Curran joins the Health Innovation Network as Medical Director

Dr Natasha Curran joins the Health Innovation Network as Medical Director

The Health Innovation Network, south London’s leading innovation hub for health and care, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Natasha Curran as the organisation’s new Medical Director.

Tara Donnelly, Chief Executive, Health Innovation Network, said:

I’m delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Natasha Curran as our Medical Director. Natasha is an extremely patient-focused clinician, with a wealth of experience in quality improvement and clinical leadership. She has also run services in both community and acute settings in pain and musculoskeletal care and brings valuable knowledge of the wider London health system.

“Her innovative and collaborative approach will be a real asset to us as we continue to grow the support we offer to our members across the Academic Health Science Network. I’m very much looking forward to working closely with Natasha on our wide range of projects to speed up the best in health and care.”

Natasha was appointed Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust in 2008. She was the first doctor to be awarded Fellowship of the Faculty of Pain Medicine by assessment in the same year. She led the UCLH Pain Service from 2013-2018. Natasha has a considerable publication record, has authored NICE guidance for endometriosis, is a reviewer and advisor to UCL’s Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management MSc Programmes, and represents London on NHS England’s Clinical Reference Group for Specialised Pain. Most recently, Natasha has been Clinical Lead for a partnership providing the musculoskeletal service across the London Borough of Camden.

Natasha will continue her clinical interest within the complex pain service at UCLH one day a week while working as Medical Director at the Health Innovation Network. She is also a member of Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body.

Prof Richard Barker OBE, Chair, Health Innovation Network, said:

I’m delighted to welcome Natasha to the Health Innovation Network executive team. She brings broad clinical expertise and further credibility to our programmes. Appointments like this are further evidence that leaders in the NHS view the Academic Health Science Networks as major players in the vital transformation of the health service.”

Dr Natasha Curran said:

I passionately believe that we work more productively and more creatively when we work together. Taking up this position as Medical Director is an incredible opportunity to work across financial, clinical, geographical and sector silos to transform care and change outcomes for the better.

“Working as a clinician for the past 20 years, I have seen countless examples of incredible innovation in the NHS, across a wide range of settings and disciplines. I’m looking forward to using this expertise to help unlock innovation across south London, working closely with colleagues across the AHSN Network.”

Natasha will formally take up her role at the end of June 2018.

The Health Innovation Network is one of 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) created to accelerate innovation across the NHS and social care. England’s 15 AHSNs were set up by the NHS in 2013 to work across all sectors involved in health and care – the NHS, social care, public health, universities, the voluntary sector and industry. They connect people and organisations, identifying innovative ways to do things better and cheaper.

Since 2013 AHSNs have benefited over 6m patients, with more than 200 innovations spread throughout 11,000 locations. Over £330 million has been leveraged to support health and care services, with more than 500 jobs created. In July 2017 NHS England announced that the AHSNs will be relicensed from April 2018 to operate as the key innovation arm of the NHS.

For examples of the AHSN innovation projects visit the AHSN Atlas.

London-wide initiative to tackle chronic joint pain could reduce use of strong painkillers

London-wide initiative to tackle chronic joint pain could reduce use of strong painkillers

Leading NHS health innovator and physiotherapist speaks out after London newspaper The Evening Standard’s ‘The Opioid Timebomb: Special Evening Standard investigation into the overuse of prescription painkillers‘.

Video: The video above provides patient testimony of the effectiveness of the ESCAPE-pain programme.

A leading London physiotherapist and healthcare innovator has joined calls to reduce the use of opioids for chronic joint pain. Commenting on an Evening Standard investigation that has revealed a sharp increase in opioid painkiller prescribing for chronic pain with experts warning of “a public health disaster hidden in plain sight”, a leading physiotherapist who pioneered the award-winning ESCAPE-pain programme Professor Mike Hurley has urged GPs to adopt other methods to tackle chronic joint pain.

New figures published by the London paper show that 23.8 million prescriptions were dispensed for opioids such as tramadol in England last year, one for every two adults. This is an 80 per cent rise on the 2007 figure.

Prof Hurley invented the ESCAPE-pain rehabilitation self-management programme which is shown to reduce pain, improve physical function and reduces healthcare costs for people with chronic pain. The number of sites running the programme has increased rapidly with 12 running across London helping 600 patients aged over 45 each year. He said:

‘Chronic pain is devastating – over the years I’ve seen too many people caught in a cycle of physical pain, leading to mental health problems, and in the worst cases ending up with addiction. We simply can’t continue to care for patients like this. I understand that for many GPs, who have tight 10-minute appointments which often overrun, prescribing medication may seem appropriate. But with patients suffering from poor outcomes and osteoarthritis affecting nearly 10 million people, taking up substantial GP resources, this can’t go on.

‘These painkillers haven’t been proven to work in the long term. The reality is that a combination of exercise and education does more for patients than a prescription. In London, the NHS has already proven that there’s a better way and is already pioneering an alternative approach that doesn’t involve opioids. We hope that more and more places across the country will also change their approach.’

ESCAPE-pain changed Arlene Rowe’s life. She was in terrible pain because of Osteoarthritis before taking up the six-week programme. She says:

‘Since being on the ESCAPE-pain programme, my life has changed massively. My first goal was just to stand straight. Now, I’m not hunched over, and I’m beginning to walk properly.

‘I’m still stiff, I’ve still got arthritis, but what I don’t have is the pain. Occasionally I get twinges, but nothing that makes me miserable. Being able to sleep at night is wonderful. I’m not afraid to go out, I’m not afraid to cross the road, I can get on and off the bus okay, and I can get on the train.’

Ends

For more information contact the Health Innovation Network media team on 077537 60124

The Opioid Timebomb: Special Evening Standard investigation into the overuse of prescription painkillers:
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/the-opioid-timebomb-special-evening-standard-investigation-into-the-overuse-of-prescription-a3791051.html

Case study
For more details on Arlene’s story see: https://nhsaccelerator.com/story-enabling-self-management-coping-arthritic-pain/

About ESCAPE-pain
ESCAPE-pain is a group-based, six-week rehabilitation programme which combines exercise and education in an innovative way. Patients who take part in the programme say they experience less pain, have increased mobility and are better able to undertake activity in their daily life, such as gardening and caring for grandchildren. In addition, mental health improves with results for anxiety and depression improving following the programme. Recent independent evaluations have reinforced how much money the NHS saves, showing that every £1 invested returns over £5 in wider health and social value. For more information on ESCAPE-pain go to: http://www.escape-pain.org/

NHS support
ESCAPE-pain is one of 37 high impact, evidence-based innovations on the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA); a national initiative delivered by the 15 AHSNs and NHS England.

About Professor Mike Hurley
Finding a way to improve the practical support for people experiencing chronic pain has dominated Mike’s 25-year career as a clinical researcher. In 2017 he joined the NHS Innovation Accelerator as an Innovation Fellow: https://nhsaccelerator.com/innovation/escape-pain/
Mike qualified as a physiotherapist in 1985 and obtained his PhD in 1992. Between 1990 and 2009 he held the posts of Lecturer, Reader and Professor of physiotherapy at Kings College London before joining St George’s University of London and Kingston University as Professor of Rehabilitation Sciences. Since September 2013 he has been Clinical Director of the Musculoskeletal Programme at the Health Innovation Network, the AHSN for south London.

Support for the deployment of GP online consultation systems in south London

Support for the deployment of GP online consultation systems in south London

Since its inception, Health Innovation Network’s Technology team has been interested in how new communications technologies offer the opportunity to enhance healthcare interactions. Such interactions could include clinical consultations between a GP or specialist and a patient in general practice or hospital outpatients’ department. They could also include discussions between professionals, for instance:

  • A multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meeting in a hospital/community setting
  • A GP seeking the input of an expert specialist.

In July 2016,we undertook a review of the Hurley Group’s ‘eConsult’ (formerly ‘WebGP’) platform, in which we sought to understand the nature and extent of this particular opportunity to transform access to general practice. More recently, we have undertaken work to promote the spread and adoption, specifically, of video-based remote consultation in hospitals—often generically referred to as ‘Skype clinics’.

Given the announcement in October 2017 of NHS England’s GP Online Consultation Systems Fund, Health Innovation Network’s Technology team is now exploring how it could be of support to CCGs and GPs in south London as they progress plans to introduce or further develop provision for GP online consultation.

We are well-aware that CCGs across south London are by no means lacking in ambition where digital transformation is concerned, and many are already forging ahead with enhancements to primary care provision with online consultation solutions of one form or another at their heart. We watch these developments with great interest and excitement.

We would be interested to hear from colleagues across south London to understand your plans for offering GP online consultation, and to discuss how can best support you in this endeavour. We are in the process of engaging CCGs across the patch, but if you would like to discuss this support opportunity further now, please contact Tim Burdsey, Technology Project Manager at tim.burdsey@nhs.net We look forward to hearing from you—and to working with you, to help realise your digital ambitions for primary care and for your wider local health and care system.

NHS rolls out new tech to prevent 3,650 strokes, save 900 lives and £81 million annually

NHS rolls out new tech to prevent 3,650 strokes, save 900 lives and £81 million annually

Thousands of patients to benefit from increased diagnosis of irregular heart rhythms

Innovative technology is being rolled out across the country to prevent strokes in a national campaign.

More than 6,000 devices including mobile electrocardiogram (ECG) units are being distributed to GP practices, pharmacies and NHS community clinics across England during National Heart Month this February. The range of tech being rolled out can detect irregular heart rhythm quickly and easily, enabling NHS staff to refer any patients with irregular heart rhythms for follow up as they could be at risk of severe stroke.

Official figures show that more than 420,000 people across England have undiagnosed irregular heart rhythm, which can cause a stroke if not detected and treated appropriately, usually through blood-thinning medication to prevent clots that lead to stroke.

The range of technology includes a smartphone-linked device that works via an app and a new blood pressure cuff that also detects heart rhythms. Small and easy-to-use, NHS staff can also take the devices on home visits and allow more staff in more settings to quickly and easily conduct pulse checks.

The devices pictured, which are being distributed by NHS England and the AHSN Network, can accurately and quickly detect atrial fibrillation. Clockwise from top right: Watch BP blood pressure cuff, imPulse, Kardia Mobile, MyDiagnostic & RhythmPad

The mobile devices provide a far more sensitive and specific pulse check than a manual check and this reduces costly and unnecessary 12 lead ECGs to confirm diagnosis. As a result, the project aims to identify 130,000 new cases of irregular heart rhythms (known as Atrial Fibrillation) over two years, which could prevent at least 3,650 strokes and save £81 million in associated health and costs annually.

The devices are being rolled out by the 15 NHS and care innovation bodies, known as Academic Health Science Networks, in the first six months of this year as part of an NHS England-funded project.

Professor Gary Ford, Stroke Physician and lead on the project for the Academic Health Science Networks, said:

“More than 420,000 people throughout England are unaware they have irregular heart rhythms and of the dangers that this can pose to their health. We have highly effective treatments that can prevent these strokes, but early detection is key. Using cost-effective technology, the NHS will now be able to identify people with irregular heart rhythms quickly and easily. This will save lives.

“As the NHS approaches its 70th birthday this year, this is also a great reminder of the way that healthcare is continually evolving and innovating. Taking advantage of digital health solutions will be even more important for the next 70 years. Today’s new devices are just one example of the way that low-cost tech has the potential to make a huge difference.”

Professor Stephen Powis, Medical Director of NHS England, said:

“Cardiovascular disease kills more people in this country than anything else, but there are steps we can all take to prevent it. These innovations have enormous potential to prevent thousands of strokes each year, which is why NHS England has committed to funding the rollout of 6,000 mobile ECG devices to help identify cases of atrial fibrillation so behaviours can be changed and treatment started before strokes occur.

“We are also encouraging people, during National Heart Month, to learn how to check their own pulse so we can catch even more cases.”

One million people in the UK are known to be affected by AF and an additional 422,600 people are undiagnosed. As the most common type of irregular heart rhythm, it is responsible for approximately 20% of all strokes. Survivors must live with the disabling consequences and treating the condition costs the NHS over £2.2 billion each year.

The rollout is being unveiled during National Heart Month, which raises awareness of heart conditions and encourages everyone to make small changes towards a healthier lifestyle. This year the British Heart Foundation is encouraging everyone to make small changes towards a healthier lifestyle. See more here.

The public are being encouraged to spread the word about irregular heart rhythm and urge friends and family – particularly those aged over 65 – to check their pulse and see a GP if it is irregular. Pulse checks can be done manually (a British Heart Foundation video and guide shows how here) or through new technology, with irregular rhythms investigated further by healthcare professionals.

REAL STORIES

Ian Clark, 62, North West London

I was visiting a client in 2012 and suddenly thought I was having a heart attack. The client called 999 for an ambulance. When the ambulance arrived, they took me to see a registrar in A&E who said that I had atrial fibrillation. I was in complete shock because I didn’t know what it was. She told me it’s an irregular heartbeat, lots of people have it and you will get attacks from time to time.
I felt dreadful. Really, really bad as it felt like I could die at any point. I was living in fear. The ongoing feeling was of complete and utter exhaustion and being totally drained. It’s far worse than the worst jetlag. You do not have the energy to do anything at all.
To know that there is something dreadfully wrong with your heart is awful and all you want to do is collapse into a corner.
Three days after being in A&E I went to my GP. The nurse there gave me a ECG and while doing it she ran out and came back with the doctor and they thought I was having a heart attack! It turned out I wasn’t but they booked me to see a cardiac specialist at the Harefield Hospital in North West London, who was amazing. She put me on anti-coagulants to treat my condition.
During this whole period, I constantly thought I was going to die and that was massively draining and stressful. I had 37 medical appointments in three months.
Six years on after the diagnosis, the reality is that I am living a normal life. Two years ago, I even went white water rafting in Costa Rica!

Above: Chris (4th from left) white-water rafting in Costa Rica six years after an atrial fibrillation diagnosis

Wendy Westoby, 77, Tyldesley in Wigan

After suffering from an AF-related stroke, Wendy Westoby is the first to encourage people to get their pulses tested.
77-year-old Wendy, from Tyldesley in Wigan had been suffering from an irregular heart rate since 2000. She first noticed an atrial flutter after her 60th birthday but put it down to “over indulgence!”
Wendy suffered a stroke in 2009 and but despite many consultations with cardiologists, her symptoms “wouldn’t appear to order” so she wasn’t diagnosed with AF until 2011.
Wendy has received a catheter ablation but her symptoms reappeared in 2017 and Wendy is scheduled for further surgery this weekend at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.
Now Wendy has become an AF Ambassadors – using the latest AliveCor technology to test people’s pulses in her community – she also finds it useful for emailing her own ECGs to her consultant’s secretary.
She said: “The experience has shown me is that it’s even more important to pick cases up early.”
And for those who may be nervous after being tested, she advised: “Go ahead – very simple – initial treatment should be non- traumatic and may avoid long term problems after a stroke.”

New Q members Welcome Event

HIN and ICHP welcome new members of Q

On 18 January, Patient Safety held a welcome event for new Q members from south and north west London alongside Imperial College Health Partners AHSN.

The Q Initiative is a long-term programme aiming to connect individuals and support their improvement work. It has been designed to complement and enhance other initiatives and networks. People in the Q Community pool together their knowledge, insight and connections – encouraging collaborative ways of making improvements.

The event was jam-packed with talks from a variety of speakers touching on a number of thought-provoking subjects. The delegates were also diverse – we welcomed 49 new members from across south London from a range of organisations including hospitals, charities, universities and CCGs.

Now we have a nucleus of Q members across the region, they are encouraged to take the initiative and self-organise we will be running a series of activities and workshops to support and advance our improvement efforts across south London. You can find out more about our improvement work in south London by visiting the patient safety pages on the HIN website https://healthinnovationnetwork.com/patient-safety/ or email Ericbarratt@nhs.net.

Please read further for a summary of the event.

The day started off with an introduction from our very own Patient Safety and Experience Director Catherine Dale. Catherine has more than fifteen years’ experience in improvement and transformation roles and gave an insight into quality improvement in an NHS capacity.

Penny Pereira, Deputy Director of Improvement at The Health Foundation gave a fascinating talk on ‘Q National Perspective’. She congratulated new Q members on joining the community and detailed the opportunities members can get involved with highlighting Twitter prompting Qs to follow @theQCommunity and follow conversations via #Qcommunity, sign up for RCTs (Random Coffee Trials) with other Qs and join a Special Interest Group via the Q member website. Penny talked about the Q Exchange launching in April where Q members can bid for funding to support their improvement ideas.

We then had a fantastic talk from former HINster Sheena Visram who is Quality Improvement Lead at Imperial NHS on ‘Building Local Context’. Sheena has significant provider experience and a focus on building a culture of continuous improvement. Sheena gave an inspiring talk about forming partnerships and socialising healthcare.

In the afternoon, delegates were able to choose from a range of workshops including:

  1. A Life QI demonstration from Jason Williams, Business Development Director. Life QI is a platform that enables frontline staff to easily run improvement projects, allows central QI teams to coordinate the portfolio of work and provides senior execs the targeted information they need to make crucial decisions. It facilitates communication and sharing amongst project teams and makes aggregating and reporting results simple. Life QI is available to all of our members. If you would like to sign up to QI, or hear more about it, please email Jemima Heard;
  2. Involving patients in QI led by Catherine Dale on Effectively involving and engaging patients in improvement work;
  3. Behavioural insights in healthcare led by Dan Berry, Behavioural Insights Strategist at Hill + Knowlton Strategies. This explored how behavioural science has and can be used to improve healthcare;
  4. Accountable care in healthcare led by Katja Behrendt, Innovation Delivery Manager and Dr Manpreet Bains, General Practitioner & Advisor, ICHP. This workshop looked at developing outcome based commissioning and accountable care systems;
  5. Bringing innovation into quality improvement led by Dr Shirlene Oh, Director of Commerce and Tim Morrell from ?What IF! Together, Tim and Shirlene explored bringing innovation into quality improvement.

We rounded off the day with a look into the future with Richard Taunt of Kaleidoscope health & care. Richard delivered a thought-provoking engaging session to get new Qs to think creatively about the future of health and care.

Now we have a great number of Q members across the region, they are encouraged to take the initiative and self-organise. However, we will be running a series of activities and workshops to support and advance our improvement efforts across south London. You can find out more about our improvement work in south London by visiting the patient safety pages on the HIN website https://healthinnovationnetwork.com/patient-safety/ or email Ericbarratt@nhs.net

Speeding up the best in mental health together

Speeding up the best in mental health together

Speeding up the best in mental health together with the four SIM London pathfinder NHS Trusts, South West London and St. George’s Mental Health trust, South London and Maudsley, Oxleas, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust alongside the Metropolitan Police is a pioneering mental health project for the Health Innovation Network.

SIM London is a new way of working with mental health service users who experience a high number of mental health crisis events. SIM brings mental health professionals and police officers together into joint mentoring teams. The police officer and the mental health professional work together to provide intensive support service users to reduce high frequency and high-risk crisis behaviours.

Central to SIM is the Care and Response Plan completed by the service user, SIM Police officer and the SIM Mental Health professional.

‘SIM London is the start of a revolution for the co-production of 1st person singular care plans.’
Dr Geraldine Strathdee, Clinical Director, Health Innovation Network Implementation team

SIM developed by Paul Jennings (recipient of multiple awards) on the Isle of Wight, has gone from strength to strength in terms of the lives improved, fewer 999 calls, fewer Emergency Department attendances and fewer hospital admissions.

SIM is going national, the benefits of the involvement of the HIN in leading the London pathfinder implementation, the new sites will we be able to measure. We will share resources, highlight obstacles and solutions and capture and spread the dedication, commitment and enthusiasm we are encountering to implement the programme.

SIM London pathfinder sites are due to go live April 2018

Learn more about SIM and the High Intensity Network here.

To speak to someone about the project, please contact Aileen Jackson, Mental Health lead on aileen.jackson@nhs.net or Josh Brewster, Project Manager on josh.brewster@nhs.net

Digital Outpatients Collaborative

Digital Outpatients Collaboratives Recruiting NHS Trusts in London

Building on the success of their Digital Outpatients event in 2017, DigitalHealth.London, in partnership with NHS Improvement are launching two new Digital Outpatient Collaboratives. The deadline for applications is 31 January 2018.

Digital Outpatient Collaboratives will provide expert help to NHS Trusts within London who are working on Digital Outpatient Projects. These projects can be focused on many themes such as reducing DNA Rates, providing virtual consultations, or helping patients to self-care and self-manage outside of the traditional clinic setting. The team at DigitalHealth.London will support project teams within the Trusts by providing coaching, time and knowledge, helping teams to manage resources, evaluate their projects and share results and learnings.

The collaboratives will assist trusts to accelerate the shift to digital outpatient transformation, in line with the Five Year Forward View and Carter Review. They will run in parallels, with one focusing on Virtual Consultations whilst the other focuses on Steamlining Outpatient Services.

Joining is free and open to all Trusts, though places are limited. If you have a digital outpatient project, email jessica.parsons3@nhs.net to see how they can support you and submit your application.

HSJ Patient Safety Awards 2018

HSJ Patient Safety Awards 2018

The national Patient Safety Collaborative programme (delivered by Health Innovation Network in the south London region) is sponsoring a prestigious award – HSJ Patient Safety Team of the Year 2018.

The deadline for entries to the HSJ Patient Safety Awards is 26 January and teams in south London are urged to enter, to share the learning about initiatives which have led to an improvement in the quality and safety of care.

There are 19 categories; for more information and tips on what makes a successful entry, download the Categories and Criteria brochure.

Patient Safety Collaborative Lead Cheryl Crocker (East Midlands AHSN) said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to recognise great work and share learning which can benefit colleagues throughout the country. Judges are looking for evidence of impact and also for projects which are scaleable and which have been or have potential for, further spread.”

South London Patient Safety Collaborative is part of a national programme delivered by the AHSN Network in partnership with NHS Improvement.

Last year, there were four HSJ Patient Safety Awards for projects involving Patient Safety Collaborative and AHSN teams – read about them here.

Entry is online at: https://awards.patientsafetycongress.co.uk. For queries about the awards, contact the event organiser at: ryan.saunders@wilmingtonhealthcare.com.

To contact the south London Patient Safety Collaborative, email: hin.southlondon@nhs.net

The awards are presented on the evening of the first day of the two-day HSJ Patient Safety Congress, at Manchester Central on 9 July.

Adoption and spread of innovation in the NHS

Adoption and spread of innovation in the NHS

Boots on the ground, local freedoms and supportive leaders: ingredients for successful spread of innovation detailed in new report.

A new report from The King’s Fund, published today and commissioned on behalf of the AHSN Network, charts the journeys of eight innovations from creation to widespread use.

From new communication technologies for patients with long-term conditions, to new care pathways in liver disease diagnosis, to new checklists for busy A&E departments, the report details the highs and lows of an innovator’s journey through the NHS.

While thousands of patients are now receiving new innovative treatments for arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic liver disease, thanks to successful innovations, the report outlines the significant barriers that stand in innovators’ paths.

The case studies reveal common themes:

  • New innovations may appear simple to introduce but can have a domino effect – triggering a series of changes to diagnosis and treatment, revealing new patient needs and resulting in big changes to staff and patient roles. That’s why staff need time and resources to implement them.
  • As long as the NHS sets aside less than 0.1% of available resources for the adoption and spread of innovation, a small fraction of the funds available for innovation itself, the NHS’s operating units will struggle to adopt large numbers of innovations and rapidly improve productivity.
  • Fragmentation of NHS services remains a barrier to adoption and spread of innovation, making it harder to develop shared approaches and transmit learning across sites.
  • Providers need to be able to select and tailor innovations that deliver the greatest value given local challenges and work in the local context.

Read the report in full here.

The findings of the report will be discussed in depth at a live online event hosted by The King’s Fund on 19 January at 10am. Register and more details here.

England’s 15 AHSNs were set up by the NHS in 2013. They bring together the NHS, social care, public health, academic, voluntary and industry organisations to support the spread of innovation throughout the NHS and care. During their first licence (since 2013) they have spread over 200 innovations through 11,000 locations, benefiting 6 million people, creating over 500 jobs and leveraging £330 million investment to improve health and support the NHS, social care and industry innovators.

A manifesto for spread

A manifesto for spread

Innovation – the word is ripe with the prospect of a better future. However for me, the most exciting part of innovation in healthcare is not the invention or discovery element, it is that crucial part of getting the idea to many hundreds or even millions of citizens to benefit their health says Health Innovation Network Chief Executive Tara Donnelly.

While we have a great reputation for discovery in healthcare in the UK, which long predates the existence of the NHS, my recent chapter in Leading Reliable Healthcare argues that there is much more we could do to achieve spread, and that a focus on this would be an important way to achieve legacy from the abundance of entrepreneurial and creative talent that exists in this country in life sciences, digital health, clinical research and process improvements.

This blog expands on this topic further, bringing in thoughts both from the chapter and elsewhere to outline ideas on a manifesto for spread that I think we need to find a way to put in place, as a matter of some urgency.

It is important to acknowledge that there is a variety in the types of innovations; from new devices to digital tools, concepts and processes can be the most significant in changing care design. The chapter starts with a working definition:

“When we talk about “innovation” in the NHS, what do we mean? In the author’s opinion, the most useful is “an idea, service or product, new to the NHS or applied in a way that is new to the NHS, which significantly improves the quality of health and care wherever it is applied” (Taken from Innovation, Health and Wealth, Sir Ian Curruthers, Department of Health 2011).

Spend on spread

Spread has a cost, it is not a free good as clinicians and organisations need some support in adopting any new intervention or product within their practice. In innovative companies they see that communicating and supporting spread really matters and invest in spread related activities. Analysis completed by the AHSN Network indicates that there is a consistent ratio that the most admired companies seem to use.

Regardless of whether you are Apple or GE or a pharma company, the spend on spread activities including sales and marketing is typically over 2.5 times your investment in R&D, so 250-300%. In the NHS, we currently spend less than 1% of our £1.2bn R&D annual spend, on actively spreading it, and this ratio simply looks wrong. It was cited recently in Falling short: Why the NHS is still struggling to make the most of new innovations, a Nuffield Trust publication.

Within the chapter, I interview a range of people to hear their perspectives, particularly on spread and diffusion. Sir Bruce Keogh observes that “the spread can be more important than the innovation in terms of making a difference to people’s lives”. He offers that perhaps the most important single technical innovation to impact the health service is the microscope, invented by the Dutchman Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (“the father of microbiology”) in 1683. But what made a huge difference to adoption was that the president of the Royal Society, Robert Hook, wrote a beautifully illustrated book in English about it called Micrographia, understanding the significance this breakthrough could have in understanding disease. His book became “the first scientific best-seller” and “captured the public’s imagination in a radically new way; Samuel Pepys called it ‘the most ingenious book that I ever read in my life”.

 

Valuing innovation as much as invention

I’m currently reading James Barlow’s comprehensive assessment of “Managing Innovation in Healthcare” where he puts the distinction between invention and innovation beautifully: “an invention is merely a nascent innovation and it may be many years before it makes it to innovation status” p43. He also quotes Schon’s succinct definition: “Innovation is ‘the process of bringing inventions into use’” p25, and I believe we forget this at our peril. James is Professor of Technology and Innovation (Healthcare) at Imperial College Business School and I’d heartily recommend his new book if you’d like to get into this topic in greater depth, details are referenced at the end of this blog.

Elsewhere – in an article entitled “We’re serious about innovation – now let’s get serious about spread” – I state “spread – meaning at scale adoption of an innovation – is the way we will move from unwarranted variation in the NHS; from pockets of poor performance contrasting with beacons of excellence, often in a single geography, to improvements at scale to touch many more lives”. Within the piece I suggested if we were really serious about it we might celebrate and reward spread activities more vigorously, for example, introducing a Nobel Prize for spread rather than only congratulating discovery. Intelligent alignment is also critically important, so that different parts of the NHS and social care systems are set up and incentivised to adopt, including but not limited to financial rewards and methods of tracking data on progress. A transformation fund for hard pressed NHS institutions keen on spread would make a real difference in the current climate. It is welcome that the Office for Life Sciences has announced it will be setting one up, particularly to help parts of the NHS adopt innovations, and interesting that this is coming from a separate part of government than health, as a result of the Accelerated Access Review.

Importantly, that’s not to give the impression the NHS wouldn’t benefit hugely from additional resource as has been articulated clearly by the CEO of the NHS, Simon Stevens. In my view, this is essential, as we face the combined demands of an ageing population and increasing chronic disease burden. But were the NHS to receive an appropriately generous financial settlement, I would like to see proper funding of spread activities, so that we can get the best well-evidenced solutions – that help patients, clinicians and often make better use of resources in the longer term – to as many people, as quickly as possible.

It is interesting to see that across the channel the French government has established 14 regional tech transfer hubs with a budget of one billion euros to draw up, including investing in the strongest digital ideas, many of them in the health sphere. Eight years ago, it also introduced a system to make certain innovations available entirely free of charge to its healthcare system, as referenced by Barlow: “Since 2010, France has operated a system for conditionally covering the full cost of selected innovative devices, services or interventions which appear promising but for which there is insufficient data on the clinical benefit.” (p218)

Reaching many patients as a priority is a sentiment agreed with strongly by all of the interviewees, Tony Young emphasises the unique opportunity we have within the NHS: “The NHS is the single largest unified healthcare system in the history of the human race. This gives us some opportunities that no one else has had the chance to do— and one of them is to innovate at scale. It’s complex and divided— but that’s what gives us the opportunity to say well let’s have a go at it. If you really want to do this at scale, then we can do this in the NHS. Recently, 103 of the brightest clinicians you could ever want to meet were selected to be a part of the Clinical Entrepreneur programme and came together for their first weekend recently. Never before has there been a cohort at such a scale of clinical entrepreneurs who’ve worked together on the planet, ever”.

Skilling up for ‘scale ups’, not just ‘start ups’

Helen Bevan draws a distinction between the skills required for start-up v scale up: “What I think is one of the biggest problems that I see now, is the issue between start-up and scale-up. We have, in my mind, a system that is primarily designed for start-up— and what we keep doing is to put in charge the kind of people that love doing early-stage invention and early innovation. They’re your pioneers, your early adopters. What we keep doing is going over and over the cycle, of start-up again to attempt to spread and scale. But we’ve only got so far. We need a lot a lot of additional thinking … and need to find the people who are good at scale-up, and put them in charge of this activity, not the people who are good at start-up”. Her addition to David Albury’s work at the Innovation Unit, in creating a “checklist for scale” is incorporated as a figure in the book.

Research and data

James Barlow highlights that spread in healthcare has been under-researched to date: “situations involving collective or organisational decisions have been relatively neglected by researchers. Finally, until relatively recently, there was little research on the adoption and diffusion of innovation in the public or non-profit sectors.” P161. The exceptions to this include pioneers such as Trish Greenhalgh of Oxford and Ewan Ferlie of King’s as well as Ritan Atun at Harvard and those in the Imperial group.

Ian Dodge adds “We’re also systemically atrocious at using data systematically. For instance, looking at population outcomes of what’s happening at the end of a service line change, getting rapid feedback, iterating. Some of the initial bit of improvement science is so vital to getting stuff off the ground, but then typically we see really poor engineering discipline, factory style, around how do you actually convert this at scale”.

Clinical innovators and spread

In the chapter, some interesting examples of where spread activity is beginning to work in the English NHS are referenced, calling out the NHS Innovation Accelerator which seeks to accelerate uptake of high impact innovations and provides real time practical insights on spread to inform national strategy. Given publishing deadlines, I wrote the chapter more than a year ago, and it is both fascinating and encouraging to see how the NHS Innovation Accelerator – a programme supported by all 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and NHS England, coordinated by UCL Partners – has gone from strength to strength in this time in terms of tangible results of achieving scale.

It is also striking that many of the innovations on the Accelerator have been developed by innovative NHS clinicians who spotted opportunities to improve care – making it safer and more effective. For instance, Simon Bourne, a consultant respiratory physician at Portsmouth Hospital devised myCOPD, an online platform that helps patients self-manage with dramatic results, Dharmesh Kapoor, a consultant obstetrician at Bournemouth Hospital invented Episcissor-60, scissors specifically designed to make childbirth safer, Maryanne Mariyaselvam, a doctor in training working in research in Addenbrookes, came up with the NIC a device that prevents tragic accidents with blood lines, Peter Young, a consultant anaesthetist at King’s Lynn Hospital created a ventilation tube that prevents the most serious complication of ITU care.

All the products referenced are now eligible for NHS England’s Innovation and Technology Tariff which began in April 2017 and enables NHS Trusts and CCGs in England to use these innovations either for free or to claim a charge per use. It is an important scheme and would be very valuable to see it expanded in future years.

Taking the myCOPD example, it is really interesting to see the impact of this support in terms of scale-up. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder or COPD is a progressive disease, meaning it gets steadily worse over time, and people living with it find that exacerbations increase and they are admitted to hospital more and more frequently. In fact, COPD is the second most common reason for hospital admissions in the country, causing a great deal of distress to people and families and costing the NHS over £800m in direct healthcare costs. Studies have also found that 90% of people with COPD are unable to take their medication correctly. The myCOPD on line platform has been found to correct 98% of inhaler errors without any other clinical intervention.

If you have COPD, there is a great deal you can do to help yourself avoid exacerbations, but it can be hard to do these things consistently, alone. The evidence demonstrates that those who manage to quit smoking, do regular exercises known as pulmonary rehab, have optimal inhaler technique and are able to resist the understandable urge to panic when breathless, do much better than those who do not. Simon’s support system for people with COPD has educational, self-management, symptom reporting, mindfulness and pulmonary rehabilitation aspects, all delivered online. Typical quotes from grateful patients include “Since I started using myCOPD, I have lost weight, my depression has lifted, and I see my GP just once a year (compared with twice-monthly visits previously). I have not needed hospital treatment for 18 months”, “last year, before using myCOPD, I had 12 exacerbations. This year I have had just two.”

The programme is now being used by over 55,000 people with severe COPD in England, which is roughly one-quarter of that population, with more CCGs and respiratory teams coming on board each week. I think it is fantastic that people living with this chronic condition that responds well to regular exercise and relatively simple interventions, now have a tool in their pocket that can help them better manage it, and it is very appropriate that this is NHS funded. What’s more, this expansion has been pacy and achieved in around 18months.

I discuss this further in a blog entitled “Finally, a tariff for digital innovations” – you can perhaps hear the note of impatience in the title – and state that while it is a much needed start, we need to go further faster and expand the scheme to accelerate the adoption of great tools like these that are essential for patients with long term conditions seeking to stay as well as possible. Funding six devices/tool types in its first year, only one of which is digital, the programme has started very modestly compared to the scale of investment of our counterparts in France for example.

 

Patient-led innovation

There have also been some great examples of patient-led innovations succeeding recently. The three London AHSNs founded Digital Health.London with MedCIty in 2016 and established an accelerator focused on spreading the best digital health solutions across the capital. On our founding cohort was Michael Seres, an incredibly entrepreneurial patient who had designed a tool to link stoma bags with smartphones via Bluetooth, to increase the dignity of the user and ensure alerts were provided when bags were reaching capacity, who is now CEO of 11 Health. The ostim-i had achieved sales in other countries but not the UK when Michael joined our programme and we were delighted that the first NHS contract has been achieved in west London. It is also available to patients to buy direct, as is the myCOPD tool. The ostim-i has been a beneficiary – as was myCOPD – of the development fund we have to support interesting UK concepts, the Small Business Research Initiative or SBRI fund – subject of my most recent blog “Why SBRI matters”.

But there are many more ideas out there, developed by patients, parents of patients and carers alongside entrepreneurs and clinicians and we need to radically increase the capacity to give them the support they need. I am encouraged that the Office for Life Sciences, part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is investing in creating Innovation Exchanges, hosted by AHSNs to increase the support to local innovators, with funding due early in this new year and committed to for three years. The need to provide stronger support to UK companies and ideas is felt all the more intensely given Brexit.

I conclude the chapter “While there is plenty to do, it feels as though there is reason for optimism that the entrepreneurial zeal at the heart of our health system will continue to burn brightly and that more recent learning and focus on collaboration and scale will help us to ensure that the best ideas in health and care are disseminated more widely across the NHS.”

A system for spread

A year on, I remain optimistic; we’ve had commitments made as a result of the Accelerated Access Review, it has been announced that AHSNs will be relicensed to operate as the innovation arm of the NHS and we have strong spread and progress particularly through our major collaborations – the NHS Innovation Accelerator and in the capital through Digital Health.London, NHS England has made an important start in a tariff for innovation.

However, my view is that we need many more including our regulators, politicians, NHS staff, patients and their representatives to join this movement if we are to achieve the change we need to take place, and be much bolder about our commitment to spread. To see all NHS organisations join the best in  moving beyond “not invented here” to truly rewarding adoption and diffusion activities and acknowledging that change needs support to be durable, and happens at the speed of trust.

We need our inspection regimes and regulators to really get this and understand the behavioural insights we now know about achieving sustainable diffusion and change, and leaders supporting staff through these changes not resorting to an over simplistic and non-evidence based paradigm that telling will result in adherence.

If the spread movement was to achieve this level of support across the NHS, we would then be able to enact all aspects of the manifesto for spread and with support for these principles, and the action required, including investment in supporting NHS organisations scale up innovation, and I believe it could be possible to make significant change happen quickly.

Acknowledgments

I am very grateful to all those people I’ve discussed this topic with and particularly Suzie Bailey, Richard Barker, Helen Bevan, Ian Dodge, Sir Bruce Keogh, Becky Malby and Tony Young for the generous support they have lent to the chapter and to Stephanie Kovala for all her assistance in compiling it.

Suzie Bailey is Director of Leadership and Quality Improvement at NHS Improvement, Richard Barker is Chair of Health Innovation Network and CEO New Medicine Partners, Helen Bevan is Chief Transformation Officer, Horizons Group, NHS England, Ian Dodge is National Director, Strategy and Innovation, NHS England, Sir Bruce Keogh was Medical Director, NHS England to Dec 17, Becky Malby is Professor Health Systems Innovation at London South Bank University and Tony Young is National Clinical Lead for Innovation at NHS England as well as Consultant Urological Surgeon within the NHS. Stephanie Kovala was my Business Manager and is now Project Manager within the Strategy Team at NHS England.

Author: Tara Donnelly is CEO of Health Innovation Network, the academic health science network for south London. Health Innovation Network exists to speed up the best in health and care, together with its members in south London, and is part of the AHSN Network and Digital Health.London.

Follow Tara on Twitter at @tara_donnelly1­­­­

References:

AHSN Network: ahsnnetwork.com

Al Knawy, B. Editor, Leading Reliable Healthcare, Chapter 12 – Health System Innovation and Reform, Productivity Press CRC, Dec 2017

Barlow, J. Managing Innovation In Healthcare, New Jersey: World Scientific, 2017

Castle-Clarke S, Edwards N, Buckingham H.