News in Brief

News in Brief: Greater Manchester commissions mental health support for all residents, first fellows in clinical AI announced, North West London tackle diabetes and more

As ever, there’s plenty to talk about in the health tech industry, from a partnership between a digital supplier and an NHS trust providing digital emotional health and wellbeing support, to the introduction of a new app to support e-observations in a children’s hospital.

Join us as we take a look at some of the top stories from the past week…

NHS North West London CCG use digital inclusion to tackle diabetes

NHS North West London CCG’s Mohammed Faqsi has written an article explaining how the CCG is using digital inclusion to help people from disadvantaged and minority groups to manage their diabetes.

Aiming to reduce distress and anxiety around the management of diabetes, and empower people to be more informed about their health, the CCG has been working in partnership with four community organisations since September 2021: Brent Health Matters, Wealdstone Methodist Church, Dalgarno Trust and Age UK Hammersmith and Fulham. The partners act as digital champions, delivering bespoke digital inclusion classes to improve the skillsets of digitally excluded people living with diabetes in North West London. 300 people of all ages are expected to graduate from the programme by September 2022.

The initiative is to act as a blueprint for developing a sustainable model for how digital inclusion services can be expanded in North West London.

The CCG is also strengthening its social media presence, launching a Facebook group and Instagram page to promote events and resources.

Award win for MPFT partnership with digital supplier Cerebral

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) and Cerebral have won an award in the Midlands Excellence in Supply Awards, for their collaborative work to offer digital emotional health and wellbeing support to children and young people experiencing anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

Cerebral offers different levels of support depending on the needs of the individual, including remote evaluation, diagnosis and prescription from a GP, monthly medication delivery if prescribed, regular phone or video sessions, evidence-based behavioural health counselling, secure chats with therapists, and regular checks. In addition, Cerebral offer engaging and fun digital content aimed at supporting children and young people such as gaming livestreams.

Children and young people are matched with healthcare professions based on preferences such as cultural or ethnic background or experience with trauma or abuse, which MPFT believe “improves clinical outcomes by building a strong therapeutic alliance from the start”.

Natasha Khan, Head of Function Mental Health at MPFT, commented that Cerebral “impressed us with their innovative ideas; using technology to help young people’s mental health… it’s so refreshing to collaborate with a provider that is working so hard for young people and who is equally passionate to use technology to transform how we connect with young people.”

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership commissions digital mental health support for all residents over 26

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership has commissioned the use of Qwell, delivered by Kooth, for adults aged 26 and above across all ten localities of Manchester, enabling them to access free, confidential and safe digital mental health services whenever needed.

With children and young people aged 10 – 25 already benefitting from Kooth services, Greater Manchester now provides digital mental health support to nearly all residents, covering approximately two million people aged 10 to 99+.

“We believe this is a significant and important step towards delivering the health and care that the population of Greater Manchester deserve,” said Professor Sandeep Ranote, interim medical executive lead for mental health. “It shows having the freedom and flexibility to make our own decisions over some of the most important things in our lives is a huge opportunity, as well as a great responsibility.”

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust rolls out e-observations across three wards 

The Careflow Vitals app allows nurses to record vital sign observations such as heart rate, blood pressure and temperature electronically and in real time. The system has been launched across three wards and is set to be rolled out across the other Sheffield Children’s inpatient wards and Emergency Department over the coming weeks.

It has been developed and implemented in trusts across the country by System C, a UK-based health and social care IT software and service company.

“Vitals is one of a number of Digital Journey projects which are helping the Trust to move from paper-based activities to digital solutions, and improving processes and patient care,” said Doctor Jeff Perring, Executive Medical Director at Sheffield Children’s. “Recording patient observations via the Vitals app will speed up the process as our nurses can do it instantly in real time and at the bedside. It will allow other health care workers to review Paediatric Early Warning Score charts digitally (and away from the patient bedside) which will aid communication around patient care. Vitals also integrates with our Careflow Connect system which clinicians have been using to digitally record patient handovers at shift changeovers since last summer.”

First fellows in clinical artificial intelligence announced

The AI Centre for Value Based Healthcare has announced its first cohort of fellows in clinical artificial intelligence, set to “lead the charge to revolutionise the NHS with clinical AI”.

The fellows, recruited competitively from all medical specialities attached to the centre’s partnering NHS trusts, will follow a unique training plan to support them in delivering transformational power of AI in healthcare. The programme will last one year and will be integrated alongside the medical training of doctors approaching consultancy, with fellows undertaking immersive Ai projects in live hospital workflows. They will be supervised by world experts in clinical AI and will gain further skills from a teaching programme aligned with the clinical AI curriculum, developed by Guy’s & St Thomas’ Department of Medical Physics.

“‘The launch of the Clinical AI Fellowships is a unprecedented step towards integrating experiential learning into postgraduate training pathways, and we hope to learn from, and scale opportunities like this to other regions and healthcare professional groups, to help prepare the future clinical AI specialist workforce,” said Dr Hatim Abdulhussein, clinical lead at Health Education England’s digital, artificial intelligence and robotics technologies in education.

You can find out more about the cohort here.