Service deliveryAdult Social CareDigital scheme prevents thousands of avoidable hospital visits

Digital scheme prevents thousands of avoidable hospital visits

Instead of an ambulance being automatically dispatched, hospital staff can assess cases virtually, providing advice on the spot

According to the NHS, a Greater Manchester NHS scheme that offers support to elderly patients over Skype has prevented thousands of unnecessary hospital visits.

The scheme has seen on-call NHS teams take over 8,000 calls a year from wardens working in sheltered accommodation, care home staff and community teams looking for expert support for their residents.

In addition to saving elderly patients the stress and disruption of an unnecessary hospital visit, it is estimated that the scheme has also freed up around 2,000 GP appointments.

The scheme has been running in Tameside for two years.

Using technology for more efficient

The scheme is part of a larger programme of integrated services that is being rolled out across the country, with the NHS Long Term Plan using technology to allow for more efficient and personal delivery of care.

Prof Stephen Powis, NHS England Medical Director, said: “Putting every person’s individual care needs at the centre of joined-up services, supported by smart technology, is the heart of our Long Term Plan for the NHS.

“What matters most to every patient and their family is that they get the right treatment, at the right time, so integrating services – across communities and between councils, carers and hospitals – is not only good for the people we care for but a more efficient use of NHS resources.”

Developing new ways of doing things

Greater Manchester is one of 14 areas across the country that has adopted an Integrated Care System (ICS). ICS joins up NHS and local government services.

The impact of this approach has been hailed by Jon Rouse, the Chief Officer of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, who said: “Tameside’s pioneering work is an example of what happens when you bring together teams from the NHS, local authorities and care home providers and give them the freedom and resources to develop new ways of doing things.”

Digital is the missing link between primary and secondary care and healthcare technology industry sees care in ‘tunnel vision’ says Dr Phil Richardson, Chief System Integration Officer, Dorset CCG talks about what needs to change.

Plenty of digital transformation is taking place in the adult social care sector.

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