August 21, 2015

We’re proud to announce that we’ve been shortlisted as finalists for 3 national awards with our digitally enabled services

We are delighted to announce that we have been short-listed as finalists for three separate national awards this year, due to be announced in September, for our digital health services.  Nominees have been whittled down, and we remain strong contenders for The HSJ Value Award for TelehealthThe HSJ Value Award for Information Sharing as well as the Quality in Care Awards (Anticoagulation) for Best collaboration initiative across the patient pathway.

How important are these awards for the team at NHS Health Call?

We began our digital health journey, determined to respond to patient demand. With our partners at Inhealthcare, we looked to develop a digitally enabled INR self-testing service which would provide these patients at risk of stroke with a more convenient care pathway. Warfarin patients often reported difficulties with their care being routine appointment heavy, in combination with their own busy lifestyles. Despite our aspirations, we certainly didn’t expect to have designed and implemented such an innovative service showing both improved clinical outcomes for our patients, and much needed reduced workloads for healthcare professionals in such pressured times. What’s more is that our INR self-testing service has been referenced by NICE.

These nominations recognise the great outcomes we’ve achieved, and that for us at NHS Health Call is a great privilege.

As we go about our working life, it is sometimes easy to forget the real difference that our INR self-testing service is making. At a recent workshop, an AHSN lead pointed out that this digitally enabled service, which was rolled out to over 300 patients, represented a significant change from the other small pilots to test the true scalability of the approach. Yet when I ask our lead nurse Tracy Murphy, “Are you aware of the difference that you have made to our patient’s lives?” she usually replies with “Aye, we’re not bad!” But when you think about patient stories individually, you realise how people’s lives have really changed for the better.

NHS Health Call is enabling patients to live happy, free lives

When you hear these stories and reflect, this has truly been ground breaking as not only have we freed people from the constraints of NHS clinics, but we have done it safely and cost effectively.

Take for instance our patient who no longer has to make the costly, time consuming flight to and from the Aberdeen oil rigs every 3 weeks just to attend the warfarin clinic. Then there’s the patient who, with our self-testing service, was able to spend the last few weeks with a dying relative at the other end of the country without fear that a trip to a clinic may mean they would miss their last few minutes with their family member. We have also enabled an international business women to self-test and get the appropriate dose anywhere in the world, without having to skip an appointment due to work commitments.  And finally, our service kept a man safe during the winter weather, saving him from the dangerous 30 mile drive from up on the Durham Dales to the warfarin clinic, to name but a few. To read more patients stories, and find out from the patients themselves how they have benefited from self-testing their INR, take a look at the Roche patient grid, or watch this video where our patient Kay speaks about her experiences.

So what’s next for NHS Health Call?

Our main priorities for the future are to continue to recognise the efforts made by the front line clinical staff to more NHS clinician’s, like Tracy, to respond to patient feedback and in partnership redesign services. We also aim to share good practice to allow such approached to healthcare to be replicated elsewhere.

And finally… The real prize, despite what may happen at the ceremonies, are patient stories like the ones mentioned here that mean our patients aren’t confined by their condition, but only lifestyle choices of their own.

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