All of our work is underpinned and supported by technology. As is experienced in everyday life, technology is transforming the way people receive and use services, and the way that services and organisations connect with each other to improve joined up working
Our approach is based on the ‘anytime, anywhere, any place’ philosophy. This will allow health and care professionals to work across public sector buildings. To acheive this we are taking forward three programmes of work:
- Across 64 organisations we have jointly procured a common public sector network which will replace the separate health and local government networks that connect buildings to the required IT systems across the area. This work is now moving in to the mobilisation stage.
- Funding has been made available to allow all our GP practices to give staff and patients access to wifi within the surgery. This is free to use by the public, and also helps by pointing them to health and care advice. Currently 1.9m of our population are able to access this provision.
- We are also implementing something known as Govroam across the area. Govroam allows staff visiting another organisation to connect back to their own organisation, using a consistent username and password. This will save on lost staff time spent arranging for connectivity and issuing temporary passwords. It will also save costs on procuring wireless networks, sharing multi-department spaces, and making the most of our buildings.
A further strategic initiative that is being pursued across the whole of Yorkshire and Humber, and in association with the Academic Health Sciences Network, is the creation of an integrated health and care record. This will build upon experience and technologies already used locally within the WY&H Partnership, to begin to join up health and care information for improved direct care across our ‘places’. We are at the start of this journey but we expect to give this particular focus over the next 2 years.
As part of the urgent and emergency care pilot we have trialled direct booking from NHS 111 to general practices. This will mean that people dialling 111 can have an appointment made directly with their own practice if their need is less urgent. We are piloting NHS 111 online, a web-based tool which will give people greater access to urgent advice.
There is huge potential for digital technology to support healthier lifestyles, allow people to manage their own healthcare, and enable people to benefit from more fully from health and care services. We have recently developed a partnership with the Good things foundation to develop and test digital ‘wearables’ that support people with seeing and hearing difficulties to receive health services in a way that works better for them. This pilot is backed with £50,000 of national funding.
Watch this film where Dr Jason Broch and Dr Victoria Betton talk about the work they have been doing with digital techonology.
Our region hosts 20% of total number of digital health jobs and we plan to work with our universities, through organizations like the Leeds Academic Health Partnership, to improve that number and to design new and ground breaking innovations that will allow us to tackle the challenges inherent in prevention and early intervention, and to promote an approach rooted in self-management. An example of this is Leeds adult social care and the clinical commissioning groups working closely with Samsung to trial new wearable devices that will prevent ill health in the frail elderly and people with long term conditions.
- Providing digital training to staff and public to enable them to make use of all the opportunities available.
- Joining up data and analysing the information so we know what is happening in the city which provides the intelligence to our city leaders to ensure we commission (buy) the correct health and care services.
- Engaging with citizens about how their information is and might be used to improve their health and care.
- Using the Leeds Care Record which provides care professionals directly involved in a person’s care access to the most up to date information. It does this by sharing appropriate information from health and social care services in the city and currently has over 4,500 active users.
- Providing free WiFi in GPs and Leeds City Council buildings
- Piloting a Person Held Record - an electronic record that individuals can use to help manage and share their health and wellbeing information. It is believed by citizens that a Person held Record would give them more control over their own health and wellbeing and enable them to take action sooner to treat or reduce the risk of a condition.
We are working with mHabitat on developing new ways of accessing healthcare providers for people who are hearing and/or sight impaired. To find out more information on this project and others - click on this link: https://tinyurl.com/yc8j2j65
Read about how local people are using digital technology to improve their lives. You can read their stories below:
Susannah and Alice's story
Charities using digital technology
Leading charities such as Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) and local charities like KVIN are also using technology to improve services for those with a visual impairment.
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) charity supports blind and partially sighted people. Offerng practical and emotional support to those that need them - so they can continue living life to the full. You can find out more about them at www.rnib.org.uk
The RNIB have a useful guide to all things digital which can help those who are blind and partially sighted - you can find it here.
KVIN is a user-led organisation, providing services aimed at improving the lives of local sight impaired people through the use of technology. Peer support is at the heart of what they do, with a team of volunteers, many of whom are visually impaired themselves, they are ready to offer real and practical solutions to issues faced by their peers. Find out how KVIN are harnessing the power of new technology here.
You can find out more about KVIN here: www.kvin.org.uk.