NHS Trusts trialing video conferencing

The chief information officer for West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, is championing the use of technology to improve the patient journey and enrich the experience of their staff.

An IT strategy runs from 2018 to 2021, that is largely around the programme of work agreed with NHS Digital.

One pilot scheme is being tested with a care home in the region.

The reason for the pilot is that the hospital sees 180 patients a year that didn’t actually need to attend the hospital – with many of them coming from a care home setting.

The pilot means we providing a small plastic suitcase with a tablet computer and a small number of Bluetooth devices that allow the care home staff, under the guidance of clinical staff at the hospital, to check the patient’s temperature and blood pressure and feed that into a virtual triage of the patient.

They can then add other clinical parties to the conversation – including an on-call GP, mental health and social care staff, or other clinicians, in order to reach a decision about what the best course of action is for a particular patient.

Apart from offering a fast, more efficient service, it eliminates the need for some patients to go to hospital and generate a saving in excess of £150,000.

NHS Foundation Trusts should continue to innovate so they can generate a return on investment through better patient care, diagnoses, staff experience and an increase in efficiency.

Read more about the work being done here.

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