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Innovation and expertise across the UK 

Physio expertise app-lied

The Pocket Physio mobile application, developed by our physiotherapists in the South West and now available nationally, uses convenient technology to help patients before and after their hand, foot, knee or hip operations by showing them how to prepare for and recover from surgery.

Providing patients with all the information they need to carry out their exercises, including videos of patients working with physiotherapists, the app also includes contact details for all the key staff. Since its launch, the app has been downloaded by more than 70,000 people and won the 2012 Laing & Buisson Healthcare award for best use of technology in healthcare.

The success of this technology is being monitored through qualitative patient feedback, with 92 percent of patients reporting the app as easy to use, and 88 percent recommending it to friends and family. Patient satisfaction has increased and the app has been used to shorten hospital stays making it not only a success with patients but with commissioners too.

Reducing anxiety

Patients and commissioners also benefit from our innovative Single Point of Contact (SPoC) service in Wandsworth. This out of hours service enables GPs and healthcare professionals to refer people swiftly and directly for a range of services including specialist nursing, rehabilitation and community nursing. Not only does the SPoC give our healthcare partners the direct access they find helpful, it also means that delays and anxiety for patients outside surgery hours are reduced.

Reducing the impact of chronic pain

In Buckinghamshire, our Musculoskeletal Integrated Care team tackled the problem of chronic pain using the internet, piloting the online pain management programme in collaboration with Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. This free, web-based course is available for people experiencing chronic pain and it helps to reduce the impact of the pain and boost wellbeing. Early results show a 27 percent reduction in the depression caused by long-term pain and a 16 percent health improvement.

Managing risk and increasing efficiency

We know that detailed analysis early in any medical process significantly affects its efficiency and the patient’s experience. At our Greater Manchester Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (CATS) the team used this idea when it implemented a computer-based decision support tool for its endoscopy services. Developed by a local surgical consultant, it provides a new and more detailed assessment of risks for all patients, so that the team can prioritise those at highest risk.

Rapid post-operative patient care

Research into post-operative patient care carried out at the North East London NHS Treatment Centre won the team a gold award at the British Association of Day Surgery’s (BADS) annual scientific meeting in 2013.

BADS aims to provide information about day surgery for patients, relatives, carers and healthcare professionals and work carried out at the centre was voted for by a panel of medical professionals attending the conference.

The team conducted a study on the acceptability to patients of having a telephone follow-up conversation with a trained nurse 48 hours after their hernia or gall bladder operations, rather than a face-to-face consultation with a member of the surgery team four to six weeks later.

Complications with this type of surgery tend to happen within days of the operation, so the team explored the efficacy of earlier follow-ups. They found the six-week follow-up was an inconvenience to patients and it took surgical teams away from carrying out more procedures.

During the pilot patients were called by a senior nurse within a four-hour time slot two days after their day surgery. The team carried out the telephone consultations with 359 people who had received treatment for hernias and 99 people who had their gall bladders removed using keyhole surgery.

Over 98 percent of patients were happy with the service at the 48-hour point, with a 100 percent satisfaction rate when the team checked back with them six weeks later. Every single patient agreed the telephone conversation had actually been the best and most convenient method for them.

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