NHS organisations across the North East and North Cumbria have welcomed a new collaboration to harness innovative digital technology with the aim of improving patient health and care.
Led by the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of six NHS organisations in the North East, a three-year licensing contract has been agreed with Inhealthcare, a UK leader in digital health and remote patient monitoring.
The new agreement means that both clinicians and patients will benefit from a range of digital programmes known as ‘Health Call’, developed in partnership between the North East trusts and Inhealthcare.
Graham King, Chief Information Officer at the Newcastle Hospitals, explained: “Patients are increasingly demanding the ability to interact with their personal health and care records through digital applications and services. In order to meet this demand six NHS organisations collaborated to create Health Call, an innovative digital platform that allows tailored personalised services to be created for our patients, delivered through our Clinical and Digital teams, working together.
“We’ve already seen the development of a range of more than 50 services through Health Call and these services are now being adopted by health organisations in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“A ‘do once and share’ agreement is reducing delivery costs and patients using the service are benefiting from being able to better engage and manage their health care, whilst reducing the overheads of attending physical appointments. I am looking forward to continuing to expand and introduce new services over the next three years.”
To help clinicians create their own digital health applications, Health Call has developed a unique ‘toolkit’ as well as a growing library of over 50 applications.
One example is the Tyneside Integrated Musculoskeletal Services (TIMS), a mainly online service managed jointly between the Newcastle Hospitals and Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust which offers a self-care toolkit via an app based website giving a range of easy to follow tips and advice, as well as fast access to expert opinion, diagnosis and treatment of a variety of muscle, joint and soft tissue conditions and chronic pain.
Bryn Sage, chief executive of Inhealthcare said: “We have worked closely with NHS providers in the North East of England over the last seven years and believe the region is at the cutting edge of collaboration and innovation in the NHS.
“The Health Call collaboration started at a single hospital trust in 2017 and now has grown to six trusts. It is helping to transform the way care is delivered in the North East and North Cumbria.
“The region’s long-term commitment is an important milestone for Inhealthcare and follows our successful launch in London at the start of the year.”
About the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NUTH) is one of the busiest, largest and most successful teaching NHS foundation trusts in the country, with 14,000 staff and an annual income of £1billion.
Rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for a second consecutive time in 2019, we have a long history of providing high quality care, clinical excellence, and innovation in medical research regionally, nationally and internationally.
We’re also proud to be the second largest provider of specialised services in the country and support people with a range of rare and complex medical, surgical and neurological conditions, cancers and genetic orders.
In 2017 we were proud to be awarded Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) status based upon our past investment and adoption of technology as part of our drive to continually improve quality of care and patient safety.
About Health Call
Health Call is 100 per cent owned by the NHS and exists to drive service transformation by using proven digital health technologies to support patients and create capacity in the health and care system.
Health Call is a collaboration between six NHS Foundation Trusts in the North East of England. The trusts include County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Health Call is the largest deployment of digital care technologies in England. Covering two STP regions, Health Call enables best practice and diverse clinical expertise to be shared across Trusts.
Digital services designed, built and deployed by care professionals are made available to every organisation within the Health Call collaboration within hours, meaning digital care can be rolled out safely, at scale and at low cost.