About Digital Health
The Digital Health Team and the supporting technology have been in development since 2017. We are located in on the hospital site but work under the Integrated Community Tier Service. Since being established, this service has been deployed to all nursing and residential homes in Tameside and Glossop. The team comprises of nurses and paramedics with a vast variety of both community and acute hospital experience in various fields of care. A video call is made by the care home or nursing home to the team, and a visual assessment is undertaken remotely. The team then refer the patient to an appropriate health care provider, or the patient is brought to the ED department, dependent on the presenting complaint.
Digital Health and the Community Response Service
Digital Health work in partnership with Tameside MBC and compliment the Community Response Service (CRS) thus allowing and assisting with independent living in the service users own home with digital technologies to support. CRS wardens carry devices which allow the Digital Health Team to undertake timely assessments via video of patients into the hospital for a rapid and timely assessment of care and for the team to wrap care around the patient in their own homes, therefore ensuring that only those individuals who need to attend / transferred to the Emergency Department do so. As part of the Community Response Services’ offer it supports those patients identified as having a high frailty indices within our local neighbourhoods, many of whom are currently unknown to service providers but are vulnerable and, with this intervention, could have hospital admissions avoided through pre-emptive intervention via the CRS team and NHS Digital Health Service.
Monitoring long term conditions at home
Digital Health also monitor chronic long term conditions via the Docobo Ltd service for patients who live in their own homes. This provides patients with the re-assurance that clinicians are monitoring their care remotely and reduces the need for appointments with health care professionals and ED attendances. The Digital Health Team have a crisis arm element into the Extensive Care Team, where a range of health care professionals are available to manage exacerbations of their condition in their own home without the need to attend the hospital or GP.
Hand over at scene
Digital Health work closely with North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), the team have a response vehicle and are live of the NWAS systems to intercept and assist patients who may be able to stay at home with care provision wrapped around them in their own homes, this also links very closely with the handover from scene. Handover from scene allows the timely release of the paramedic by handing the patient to Digital Health, if they do not require ED admission. The Digital Health Team then refer the patient to the most appropriate community care provider to meet the needs to the patient. This is likely to be the Integrated Urgent Community Care Team (IUCT) or one of the community services such as the District Nursing Service/Palliative Care Team.
Digital Health and NHS 111
Digital Health are the Local Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) for Tameside and Glossop, and take all the NHS111 calls for the area, with a 20 minute response, the residents of Tameside and Glossop have the assurity that the needs will be assessed in a rapid and timely manner. Care plans and pathways are followed to ensure that patients receive care by the right care provider either in the hospital setting or in primary care via their own GP. The team always encourage the use of NHS111, as the team can refer to virtual doctors remotely thus reducing the demands on other care providers.
There is an exhaustive list of the potential for the use of Digital Health and we are currently exploring the benefits of working closely with other areas and other care providers inclusive of mental health. We operate on a cloud based platform allowing us to deliver in terms of the capacity of the technology to remain robust. Experience to date evidences that this is versatile service model well accepted by users with the potential for broad usage in a range of settings and can be delivered at scale across the Greater Manchester footprint.