News in Brief

News in Brief: surgical robotics system for UHNM, new mental health framework, TPP update, maternity staff digital resources and more

It’s been another busy week for the health tech community – here are some of the top stories from the past few days, from collaborative robots assisting nurses in the USA to the development of a new framework to support the wellbeing of mental health patients.

Read on to find out more…

TPP updates core product SystmOne for more personalised care

Electronic patient records supplier TPP has updated its core product SystmOne, to enable implementation of the Professional Records Standards Body (PRSB) About Me standard. This will allow information to be stored consistently in systems, allowing for reuse within and between systems.

TPP has released local SystmOne codes to allow primary care teams to record information in this manner. The codes mean that free text captured within an About Me record is searchable, can be transferred to shared care records and restructured to printable documents.

As a result of the update, more than 265,000 NHS users across all health and social settings will benefit from more personalised care.

Dr John Parry, Clinical Director at TPP, said, “The release of codes to support About Me implementation represents a significant step forward in our drive to promote patient-held records as a means for people to record their preferences, allowing details to be recorded via SystmOne and shared between care providers.”

ChristianaCare introduces collaborative robot to free up nursing time

ChristianaCare, a network of private, non-profit hospitals in the USA, is piloting an innovative tool called Moxi, a collaborative robot (cobot) made by Diligent. Moxi can assist in performing non-clinical tasks in order to give clinical staff more time to focus on caring for patients.

After receiving a $1.5 million grant from the American Nurses Foundation, ChristianaCare will deploy five Moxi cobots to 11 inpatient units at Christiana Hospital, partnering with more than 400 nurses. They will integrate with the Cerner electronic health record and use artificial intelligence to identify when nurses will need equipment, supplies, medication and lab tests. Moxi will be able to prioritise tasks based on the nursing workload, delivering help where it is most needed.

“Connecting Moxi to the existing technology that clinicians use on a daily basis is key to making it easier to anticipate needs so clinicians can spend more time on patient care,” said Eva Karp, Senior Vice President, Chief Clinical and Patient Safety for Cerner. “Moxi could make a real difference in a nurse’s day – alleviating burnout and staffing shortages, which have become especially prevalent since the pandemic.”

North East London NFT and University College London develop framework to improve wellbeing of mental health inpatients

Psychologists at North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) and University College London (UCL) have developed a new framework to support the wellbeing of mental health inpatients through a range of psychosocial treatments, in the hopes of reducing over-reliance on medical treatments.

The framework aims to drive focus on improving wellbeing and social functioning through interventions such as talking therapies, self-help material and support with coping strategies. It provides a structure of the skills and knowledge required by professionals and sets out what is expected from a well-functioning service for patients, families and carers. It has been developed by researchers and clinicians at NELFT and UCL and is endorsed by the Royal College of Nursing and the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health. You can find the new framework here.

Dr Lisa Wood, Care Pathway Lead for Inpatient Psychology at NELFT and one of the lead authors, commented: “Inpatients want access to psychosocial interventions when in hospital but often do not receive them due to a reliance on medical treatments. This framework aims to improve hospital care for mental health patients with complex needs by outlining the skills and knowledge staff need to deliver effective psychosocial treatments.”

Frimley Health launches new service for public to raise concerns

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) has launched a new service to enable members of the public to independently raise concerns if they believe a patient’s clinical condition to be deteriorating.

Call 4 Concern is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has been successfully implemented at several other NHS sites. Friends, relatives and patients themselves can make a direct referral if their concerns have not been alleviated by speaking to the medical team in the first instance. Two phone numbers are provided for people to get in touch, for Frimley Park Hospital and Wexham Park Hospital.

Using the programme will trigger the trust’s critical care practitioners to review the patient, liaise with the medical team and take appropriate action.

Outreach Practitioner Clare Ratcliffe said, “We know that our patients’ loved ones know them best and can sometimes be the first to recognise subtle changes in their condition. The NHS already has robust systems and processes to detect early signs of deterioration in patients and Call 4 Concern is another layer of reassurance for our patients and their families.”

University Hospitals of North Midlands installs state-of-the-art surgical robot

Intuitive da Vinci Xi dual console robotic system, costing £2 million and funded by the Denise Coates Foundation, has been installed at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM).

The integrated robotic simulation system provides surgeons with specialised content to support their learning and enables the training of surgeons and higher surgical trainees, facilitating joint operating for complex procedures. It has 47 skills exercises, 19 3D high definition clinical videos and 30 procedure simulations to support surgeons with practising system skills, procedures, training exercises and virtual reality experiences.

Mr Philip Varghese, Consultant Surgeon and Lead for Colorectal Robotic Surgery at UHNM, said: “This new robotic ecosystem is state-of-the-art and will help us take patient care to the next level at UHNM. Our aspiration is to become a leading robotic colorectal unit nationally with all surgeons trained. By year end we will have eight colorectal surgeons trained and the rest by the end of 2023.”

Health Education England launches new resources for maternity staff

Health Education England e-learning for healthcare (HEE elfh), in collaboration with HEE Maternity Team, has developed a new set of resources to enable maternity staff to access e-learning.

‘The Maternity Resources: Ockenden Immediate and Essential Actions’ has been developed to support the findings of the Ockenden report and collates existing programmes on the elfh Hub into one accessible learning package, providing high quality training for staff working in maternity services such as midwives, neonatal nurses, obstetricians, maternity healthcare support workers and paediatric staff. Topics covered include medical problems in pregnancy, fetal monitoring and preterm birth.

“We are delighted to take this positive step to support improvements to the delivery of maternity services across the country,” said Sima Haririan, Deputy Lead Midwife at HEE. “This e-learning catalogue will make it easier for health and care colleagues to access high quality learning resources on many aspects of maternity care to help ensure that the NHS in England is one of the safest places in the world to have a baby.”

Brandon Medical’s operating theatre tech boosts UK sales

The Intelligent Theatre Control Panel (iTCP), developed by Leeds-based Brandon Medical, connects with operating theatre equipment and communicates with hospital building management systems. The panel gathers data about the patient and environment inside and outside the theatre and can identify issues which could affect the patient. It’s said to work in a similar way to a black box in aviation, enabling hospitals to monitor and maintain their equipment.

The company saw domestic revenues rise by 10 percent to £7.4 million during 2021, and has increased UK sales by 60 percent since 2019.

iTCP has also been exported to hospitals across the Middle East, Africa and India, with the company focusing on domestic business from 2021 by partnering with a number of UK hospitals.

Graeme Hall, Executive Chairman of Brandon Medical, said: “We are proud to be flying the flag for British engineering to help hospitals across the world deliver better surgical outcomes for their patients. We are especially proud to be supplying our world-leading control panel technology to UK hospitals in support of the NHS.

“With the lifting of COVID restrictions across the world and planned investment in new hospitals in the UK, we are investing for continued growth in our domestic and international markets. With our culture of innovation, Brandon Medical is perfectly placed to support the smart redesign of healthcare systems to improve patient care.”