News in Brief

News in Brief: online support for patients from deaf community awaiting hospital care, digital referral system for EEAST, digital patient hub in Hertfordshire, and more

It’s time for another news in brief round-up – let’s take a look at some of the stories that caught our eye recently.

Greater Manchester launches While You Wait to support deaf community 

Greater Manchester ICS has recently launched ‘While You Wait‘, a British Sign Language (BSL) page offering accessible information for members of the deaf community awaiting hospital care or treatment.

The page has been developed as part of Greater Manchester’s wider efforts to offer self-management advice to support people’s physical and mental health while awaiting treatment. It includes a range of BSL videos focusing on various areas such as: what to do if your condition gets worse; how hospital waiting lists are prioritised and how to look up an average waiting time; how to get additional support; why it is important to use your waiting time to prepare your mind and body, and more.

It is hoped the page will be a valuable resource for the deaf community as they prepare for treatment and will help to manage the wait lists across Greater Manchester.

EEAST introduces digital referral system 

A digital solution has been developed with the goal of streamlining referral processes for East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) crews in Norfolk and Waveney and Mid and South Essex.

The portal is said to support ambulance crews to transfer patients directly to the NHS 111 service for primary care support, replacing the need for crews to telephone NHS 111 to request a clinician call back.

The app was developed by CLEO Systems, parent company Integrated Care 24 (IC24), the NHS 111 provider in Norfolk and Waveney and Mid and South Essex, and EEAST.

Since the initial roll out in February 2023, ambulance crews using the app have estimates a saving of over ten minutes per patient when completing referrals to NHS 111 services.

Colchester Hospitals introduces surgical robot to support prostate cancer patients

A recent investment by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust will enable patients diagnosed with prostate cancer to undergo robotic surgery as part of their treatment at Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals.

The DaVinci robot is said to be less invasive, enabling surgeons to perform operations with increased precision and minimising the recovery period for patients following surgery. The trust has invested in four robots to treat patients undergoing colorectal, gynaecological and urological surgery across Ipswich and Colchester Hospitals.

The robot is split into two sections– a console and operating robot, with the surgeon controlling the machine’s four arms via the console.  The surgeon is then able to move tissue, with the robot supporting accuracy when making incisions.

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust launches digital patient hub

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has launched a new digital Patient Hub, allowing orthotics patients in the region to access appointment information online via their smart phone, tablet or computer.

Patients will be able to view information regarding their outpatient appointments, letters, leaflets related to their conditions and questionnaires about their medical history. They will also have the option to download letters, useful information and even maps to assist them in locating their next appointment.

Whenever an appointment is made or changed for an orthotics outpatient, a text message will be sent to the patient with links to updates and replant information on their Patient Hub account. The Patient Hub is currently being trialled for orthotics patients with a view to expand across all outpatient services and clinics in the future.

Mark Stanton, chief information officer at the trust, said: “We are really pleased to have launched our digital patient hub. We know from listening to our patients that they would like to see information about their treatment and care online. Our new patient hub helps us to do this and makes it easy for people to find information about their appointments and care without needing to call the hospital or clinic.”