A number of Trusts across the North East of England are working together on digital health services to help with patient care.
Country Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has been using digital health technology across its services for several years.
The Trust worked together with digital health company Inhealthcare to develop Health Call, a company designed to help effectively roll-out digital technologies.
Health Call is working in collaboration with other Trusts in the North East including Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust; Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust; North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Ian Dove, director at Health Call, said: “The company is a vehicle for redefining best practice, recognising specialities and accessing the diversity of care expertise in the North East which has a population of over three million. Health Call will enable professionals in the North East and across the UK, to implement digital care at scale, supporting care organisations to design, develop and implement digital care services at speed.”
Dove references the use of digital technologies by a number of Trusts included within the collaboration. County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation are using digital health to support patients who use the blood thinning drug warfarin, which requires regular monitoring and blood tests. Instead of attending outpatient appointments, patients can use take a blood sample at home and submit their results using a handheld device, saving time for both the patient and the clinic.
Dove continued: “The NHS in the North East is very good at collaboration and sharing ideas and services to make sure our patients get the very best care possible. It makes sense to extend this into the digital age so when one trust identifies an opportunity to use technology we’ll all be able to use it. This avoids the risk of wasting time and resources that are potentially duplicating development across organisations.”
Bryn Sage, chief executive of Inhealthcare and a director of Health Call, said: “This forward-looking collaboration between six acute trusts and industry allows the NHS to deliver digital health at scale to a population of more than three million people. It ensures a consistent approach to health and social care technology, avoids wasting scarce resources on duplicating efforts and allows examples of NHS excellence to be propagated across the region and beyond.”
Chief executive of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Sue Jacques, said: “This is a bold and forward thinking step which I’m immensely proud of. Sharing knowledge and expertise is transforming the experience and care provided to patients across many of our services.”