Health Tech Awards 2022: most promising pilot

In the category of ‘most promising pilot’, our Health Tech Awards 2022 finalists are:

Virgin Media O2 Business

Overview: The Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust has transformed the way that people access mental health services thanks in part to a new contact centre pilot with Virgin Media O2 Business.

Why?  The centre provides a ‘new front door’ for accessing mental health services, providing faster and more accessible support for patients and building community trust.

What happened? To achieve this, the trust chose to implement an 8×8 contact centre pilot with Virgin Media O2 Business. They wanted the programme to be led by clinicians and patients, adopting a ‘bottom up’ approach to transforming the service. A series of workshops were held with service users, employees and mental health specialists to identify key needs and ensure that they were addressed. Employees were given a bespoke four-week training course to give them confidence and help them deliver the best possible care. Patients now only need to explain their situation once, as the solution allows information to be passed between stakeholders rapidly and seamlessly. Since launching, the IRS has dealt with more than 6000 calls and received 2279 referrals, with 43.5 percent categorised as urgent. Self-referral rate increases reflect the ease with which patients can access services.

Looking ahead. The next phase will see the trust roll out the contact centre solution across all four localities.

Spirit Health

Overview: Spirit Health, Swansea Bay University Health Board (SBUHB) and Life Sciences Hub Wales delivered a pilot to streamline services, increase operational capacity and deliver high quality care through harnessing digital technology.

Why? The existing processes were not efficiently streamlined, with considerable admin impacting operational capacity.

What happened? Spirit Health’s remote monitoring platform, CliniTouch Vie, has been deployed across two large care homes in Swansea to help monitor mental health deterioration among residents. The technology allows staff to log residents’ responses to pre-set questions, co-designed by clinicians from Spirit Health and the mental health in-reach team at SBUHB with support from two care home sites. Answers are made available to clinicians alongside vital sign readings. Crucial clinical information gets to the in-reach team much faster than it did previously, allowing them to rapidly assess patients and respond as quickly as possible. Early interventions also reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and allow patients to receive care in a familiar, comfortable setting. Spirit Health employed a ‘train the trainer’ model within care homes to support staff, and also trained the mental health in-reach team to enable them to monitor the clinical dashboard effectively.

Looking ahead. Once evaluation of the pilot is complete, it is hoped that the project will be further adopted across Wales to achieve spread and scale.

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Overview: Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) piloted an electronic prescription system (EPS) with NHS Digital and CLEO Systems, digitising the paper process of sending prescriptions to pharmacies.

Why? The digitisation enables improved patient choice, increases patient safety and contributes to sustainability.

What happened? MPFT worked with NHS Digital and CLEO Systems to implement the EPS; before the EPS, clinicians were handwriting prescriptions and patients often had to travel to collect them. MPFT received feedback asking for a solution and used continual communications with clinicians and patient feedback to shape the direction of the EPR pilot. The pilot consisted of 24 prescribers using the system, which generated 1073 electronic prescriptions, avoiding postage and travel costs. Other services within MPFT were encouraged to see the EPS system and its benefits and these services were added to the deployment list to be on-boarded due to recognition of positive benefits. The pilot has resulted in reduction of time for clinicians in prescribing, travelling time, increased patient safety and removed potential risks such as lost or stolen prescriptions, or illegibility of handwriting.

Looking ahead. An interface is being created between EPS and the main clinical system following the pilot, to allow clinicians to have access to one record that will show all prescribing history.

Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership and Bridgehead Software

Overview: Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership (LSCHCP) collaborated with Bridgehead Software to pilot HiPRES, a digitised and mobile workflow and data management solution.

Why? The digital team at LSCHCP recognised the potential in utilising technology to better capture, manage and leverage clinical, patient and administrative data, addressing process inefficiencies associated with specific care pathways.

What happened? HiPRES uses best-of-breed mobile and data management technology to speed up processes, reduce costly wastage and ensure that data quickly flows across NHS networks. LSCHCP approached Bridgehead Software to determine if the solution was a strategic fit and the partnership began, with the project initially focused on capturing, storing, protecting and sharing the data and images required to support saliva testing for COVID-19 across the region. HiPRES aimed to digitise the testing process, with end-to-end tracking of saliva samples through the pathology laboraties, and test results delivered via text or email to the user. Following phased deployment, the version in use today has over 10,000 NHS users and supports processing of up to 30,000 samples each month.

Looking ahead. Since the rollout of HiPRES for saliva testing, BridgeHead has been collaborating with the digital team at LSCHCP on new pathways.

Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership

Overview: Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership (BLMK ICS) is piloting a bespoke digital epilepsy health record, co-produced by a paediatric team from the hospital, community, parents and Patients Know Best (PKB).

Why? Children with complex epilepsy have complex needs and there is little in the way of funding or resources around this cohort of patients. The lack of joined-up IT systems is a challenge of parents as they often end up taking the role of ‘care coordinator’ through necessity rather than choice.

What happened? The PKB system integrates with GP clinical IT systems and is future-proofed to seamlessly join with new systems. It provides parents and clinicians access to a child’s medical data, enabling the flow of information about medicines, allergies and diagnoses into the PKB platform. The pilot commenced in late 2021 with training to support parents. Efficiencies are already noted, with outdated patient lists cleaned up, time saved through messaging functions, hospital admissions becoming easier, and safety supported through a drug care plan.

Looking ahead. Robust testing of targets is underway for evaluation, which will be shaped with service-users and stakeholders to capture patient and clinician experiences. The team is now considering PKB for children not yet diagnosed with epilepsy and teenagers transitioning into adult epilepsy services, and to use it across all adult services.


Overview: TellMi improved existing mental health care pathways through a pilot with Somerset CCG, providing digital peer support for 542 young people.

Why? The pilot sought to increase access and support for people experiencing mental health issues, and to provide an early intervention as needed.

What happened? The pilot consisted of three elements: conducting engagement activities through schools and the wider communities, providing a pre-moderated, anonymous peer support app, and insight reporting for the NHS and partner schools to increase understanding of youth mental health issues.542 young people in Somerset downloaded TellMi and were active, sharing problems and responding to each other. The pilot demonstrated higher than expected levels of participation, including 26 percent males, with 5 percent of participants identifying as non-binary. TellMi was shown to improve existing care pathways by increasing access to other local services, delivering new social and emotional learning opportunities, providing instant support for young people on CAMHS waiting lists, supporting CAMHS counsellers with improved insight of client needs, and providing school leaders with new insights into youth mental health.

Looking ahead. Following the pilot, the Somerset system is working with MeToo with the intention of deploying the app from late 2022.