Health Tech Awards 2022: partnership of the year

We are delighted to share the finalists for the Health Tech Awards 2022 in the category of ‘partnership of the year’:

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Overview: In 2021, Liverpool Heart and Chest and Alder Hey Children’s specialist hospitals came together to create an integrated digital service, iDigital.

Why?  The partnership aimed to provide a high-performing service to both trusts, improvements in staff development and wellbeing and financial savings.

What happened? The new service offers both trusts dedicated support teams as well as central teams to manage projects and infrastructure. This provides savings to the trusts but also offers the benefits of a consistent approach and the opportunity to share learnings. Both trusts have exciting and ambitious digital strategies and combining the digital services teams offers many benefits to staff, with increased chances of progression and an opportunity to input into how the new service is designed via a cross-trust staff council. A notable benefit is the greater range of digital expertise now at each trust’s disposal, improving service provision and level of resilience due to a more robust structure to cope with leave, sickness, maternity and attrition. Staff have been able to gain knowledge and broaden their horizons, with staff development a key priority.

Looking ahead. The digital partnership between the two trusts hopes to continue to reap the benefits of collaboration, whilst ensuring that staff voices are heard and that teams can learn and adapt.

Alcove, Rethink Partners and Suffolk County Council

Overview: The Cassius Service is a new approach to supporting people with care needs using technology solutions, through a digital partnership between Alcove, Rethink Partners and Suffolk County Council.

Why?  The Cassius approach aims to support people to live independently at home for longer.

What happened? By combining the wealth of frontline health and social care experience that Rethink Partners bring, along with Alcove’s digital capabilities, an innovative partnership was formed to utilise collective experience. The partnerships’ solutions are all digital by default and use innovative data aggregation. Cassius is open to all system partners in the region, enabling the partnership to build system-wide opportunities and join up approaches. Through pooling their abilities and resources, the partnership has provided care technology to over 1400 people in Suffolk, trained over 800 staff in Suffolk County Council to understand the offer, how to refer and how to use care technology for best outcomes, achieved an average of 97 percent happiness rating from users and generated £7.3 million in cost avoidance savings for the council.

Looking ahead. The partnership looks forward to delivering a data strategy and development of their offer and platforms, including refreshing of UI, portals and AI/machine learning capabilities.

Counterweight Limited and London Borough of Bexley

Overview: The Counterweight and London Borough of Bexley partnership aimed to provide adults with a high-quality, evidence-based weight management programme.

Why?  Through the programme, the partnership sought to engage and support high-risk groups and reduce health disparities, particularly among men, Black African and Caribbean ethnic groups, and people with low socioeconomic status.

What happened? The London Borough of Bexley commissioned the Counterweight Meal Replacement Programme to compliment their existing tier two weight management service offering. The Bexley teamed identified high-risk groups who had low engagement in current services. The partnership aimed to provide access to an evidence-based, digitally delivered programme; participants received 16 weeks of content delivered digitally by registered dieticians. The service is designed to enable individuals to lose weight safely, embedding good practice behaviour change techniques such as goal-setting, self-monitoring, social support and barrier identification. Counterweight and Bexley established marketing strategies to aid recruitment and the pilot was successful in recruiting hard-to-reach groups. Data from the first 25 patients completing the programme demonstrates an average weight loss of 6.6kg with high levels of attendance.

Looking ahead. By implementing behaviour change techniques, the partnership hope to help people develop strategies and self-regulatory skills for the future.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Overview: Cardiff and Vale University Health Board brought primary care, secondary care and Cardiff University Ophthalmic Services together to create a sustainable cost-effective model of eye care.

Why?  The model came out due to the need for more clinical space, available clinical placements and qualified optometrists.

What happened? A five-year plan was set up to provide training and clinical placement opportunities, enabling optometrists to experience a wider range of services in their optometry practice closer to the patients’ homes. The team created a ‘teach and learn’ centre, which has been officially renamed The NHS Wales University Eye Care Centre. It is fully equipped with ten clinical rooms, modern imaging hardware and PCs all connected seamlessly back to the University Hospital of Wales. Optometrists from across Wales have received training at the centre, enabling them to treat glaucoma and medical retina patients in their local practices. Ultimately, the centre allows the right person to be seen in the right time at the right location, and enables more complex patients to be seen in a more timely manner in the acute sector.

Looking ahead. In 2022, Cardiff and Vale University Hospital is supporting the training of 56 optometrists and nurses, with a plan to deliver a sustainable eye care service by March 2024.

Ethical Healthcare Consulting and KLAS Research

Overview: Ethical Healthcare Consulting and KLAS Research carried out the “largest usability survey ever” in the NHS over a ten-month period.

Why? The survey underpins the government’s levelling up agenda and enables local providers to baseline digital maturity and identify opportunities for future investments.

What happened?  NHSX created the concept of the What Good Looks Like framework to share good practice for the use of digital technology. After discussions with Ethical Healthcare Consulting, NHSX agreed to use the usability survey as one of the ways to track the performance of the ‘supporting people’ measure of success in the framework. Ethical and KLAS were commissioned to manage and promote an EPR usability survey that would capture the views of healthcare professionals across acute, mental health, community and ambulance providers; the survey was conducted between July 2021 and May 2022, and asked clinical end-users about a range of topics including opinions on whether the EPR helped them do their job, system availability, response times, integration and more. The survey received more than 300,000 clinical responses from across over 275 organisations.

Looking ahead. NHS trusts can use data from the survey to make much-needed improvements in EPR usability, and the project is inspiring the creation of EPR usability communities.

Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust and Aire Logic

Overview: Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust (LTHT) and Aire Logic have partnered together for a decade, with the last 12 months seeing the partnership deliver positive change throughout the wider Yorkshire region.

Why? LTHT first approached Aire Logic in 2013 to provide agile delivery consultancy advice on PPM+ (Patient Pathway Manager), with LTHT later contracting Aire Logic to integrate its innovative low-code digital forms engine to support the trust’s paperless strategy.

What happened? The eForms technology developed by Aire Logic supports digitisation of a high number of patient forms, completed daily at multiple points along the patient pathway. LTHT and Aire Logic have developed a successful relationship enabling LTHT to benefit from a wealth of specialist technological experience. Examples of projects include an early eForm which enabled wards to electronically request social care or community referrals when discharging patients, which was successfully deployed to the whole trust and reduced bed-blocking. Another project is the eObservations form that was rolled out from an initial pilot of four wards to 30 in just three months.

Looking ahead. Aire Logic is collaborating on a project with LTHT to migrate its IT infrastructure onto cloud-based servers, which will allow the trust to benefit from cloud advantages such as cost efficiency, resilience and enhanced security.

iOWNAwHealth and Milton Keynes University Hospital

Overview: Milton Keynes University Hospital has recently partnered with engagement tool iOWNA to transform clinician/patient interactions by facilitating a two-way exchange of information.

Why?  Improving engagement between clinicians and patients helps the hospital to save time, makes it easier to know where patients are on their journey, and removes a lot of communication challenges. It also provides tailored and timely information for patients, improving their experience.

What happened? MKUH’s Rheumatology department has transformed manual, time-intensive processes by embracing the digital iOWNA solution, resulting in significant benefits for clinicians and for patients. The three-month pilot demonstrated a 15 percent saving overall in nursing time with an 80 percent reduction in nursing time spent on repetitive patient education, 70 percent reduction in time spent on patient information gathering, and 60 percent reduction in time spent on sourcing and distributing patient education documents. Tasks that previously required face-to-face meetings or individual phone calls can completed digitally and quickly through iOWNA’s processes.

Looking ahead.  MKUH is continuing to enhance the clinician/patient relationship with planned expansions in aiding clinicians’ pre-clinic with digital forms, and iOWNA is currently integrating with MKUH’s EPR to make the process even more seamless.