Introducing St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust provides a full range of acute healthcare services across three sites at Whiston, St Helens and Newton hospitals. Their valued workforce of over 4,500 staff is dedicated to providing the best possible care to patients. Guided by the Trust’s vision to provide ‘5-star patient care’, the staff strive to meet the best standards of professional care whilst being sensitive and responsive to the needs of individual patients.
A requirement for improved NHS clinical video consultations
To deliver upon their vision of providing ‘5-star patient care’ the Trust are always considering ways in which their services and practices can be improved. From a digital perspective, the Trust initially identified two key areas where the introduction of online video consultations would improve the patient experience and use clinical time more efficiently and effectively in the care of patients.
1. Six-month stroke review
Within the Trust patient population, annually 750 stroke patients require 6-month reviews with specialist nurses. A number of these are frail, elderly patients who struggle to attend outpatient appointments and the pressures of modern living can make it difficult to attend appointments through travel difficulties, work commitments or condition and health issues.
The objective for the six-month stroke service was to see more patients in their home or care home.
2. Drains outreach service
As a regional cancer centre, St Helens staff can travel up to 4 hours a day to review one patient’s drains and wounds following major cancer reconstruction. The Trust initiated an innovative outreach service managing patients with drains inserted, in their homes within days of surgery, who would have spent up to two weeks in hospital before the drain was safely removed.
For the drains outreach service, the key objective was to radically reduce travelling time, freeing up time that could be better utilised in preparing patients for discharge, further augmenting the outreach service and dramatically improving efficiency.
The Informatics Department at the Trust held an innovation day where organisations were invited to showcase how their solutions would help the Trust achieve their objectives now and in the future. This day gave Cinos the opportunity to pitch their telehealth service; an online consultation service designed specifically for UK healthcare.
Cinos provide the solution with Cisco HealthPresence and UK Cloud
Having thoroughly assessed a number of options for the application of digital services to improve patient access to care and drive efficiency, the Trust secured funding from the Innovation Agency to initiate a cloud-based video conferencing telehealth project, delivered by Cinos, in partnership with Cisco and UKCloud Health.
The telehealth service leverages the best in breed voice and video communication technology from Cisco. With extensive experience in the healthcare sector, our team have developed this platform to enable patients and Trust staff to connect quickly and easily without being in the same room.
The versatility of telehealth ensures Trust staff can access the services easily and from a number of different devices; whether that is from one of the Cisco DX Series touchscreen devices installed onsite, or via their laptop, PC, tablet or smartphone.
For the patient, logging into telehealth couldn’t be easier. The service can be accessed online via a web portal or through smartphone and tablet applications. Once logged in, with a few simple commands the patient can be talking to a doctor or nurse, face-to-face, without the need to physically travel to the hospital.
The six-month stroke review and drains outreach clinics were the initial focal point for the application of this technology.