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Enabling remote healthcare monitoring in Black Country and West Birmingham

We designed and implemented a programme of transformation to enable remote monitoring across healthcare in the Black Country and West Birmingham health system.

Background

In 2021, NHS England added remote monitoring to the national priorities and operational planning guidance.

Remote monitoring is a golden thread that spans the continuum of care, including inpatients, outpatients and primary care in the community. It also includes Virtual Wards and Hospital at Home.

For Black Country and West Birmingham health system, remote monitoring aligned with another key goal: striving for patient-centred care by digitising and personalising healthcare.

The NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit (MLCSU) launched a multi-year digital transformation programme to provide remote monitoring at pace in Black Country and West Birmingham.

Action

A programme of this size required MLCSU to deploy hundreds of remote monitoring solutions, for everything from deterioration of care-home residents for primary care to acute step-down virtual wards in secondary care.

Each deployment required its own set of procedures, which included separate documentation, information governance, clinical models, bespoke care packages, training and testing.

We began by assigning a team of five at the customer organisation to increase capability and capacity. Three areas were key to the success of this project:

Establishing processes

  • requirements gathering and specifications documentation
  • overarching information governance
  • clinical safety documentation, including DCB0160
  • pathway and standard operating procedure redesign and input into amendments

Boosting awareness and engagement

  • educating clinicians on the remote monitoring solutions available in their respective areas and ensuring they know how to use them

Ensuring follow-up

  • establishing a pathway for the reporting and analysis of activities from the practice or trust, all the way to national level
  • delivering reviews, top-up training and incremental adjustments to the solutions wherever necessary.

Impact

Our services added the extra capability and capacity that the system needed to meet the priority of remote monitoring.

Early statistics demonstrate a significant reduction in metrics like clinical hours spent, length of stay and the number of A&E / paediatric assessment unit visits. These factors have a substantial ripple effect, since freeing up a bed in a service improves flow throughout the system and releases clinician time.

“Black Country and West Birmingham (BC&WB) CCG called upon MLCSU to assist with the timely delivery of remote monitoring at scale. As we head towards FY22/23 we expect to really capitalise on the benefits of remote monitoring.”

Mike Hastings – Chief Information and Operations Officer, ICS Digital Lead, BC&WB CCG

“We’re incredibly excited on the benefits remote monitoring will deliver for our children, young people, their parents and carers. It feels like we’re scratching the surface of what’s possible.”

Lucy Rozga – Matron, Paediatrics and Neonates, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

“MLCSU have been able to deliver an effective service at pace. It is great to work with people with such knowledge and expertise.”

Dr Zishan Yousef – GP, Clinical Safety Officer and Remote Monitoring Co-Clinical Lead, BC&WB CCG

“Remote Monitoring is a key enabler for our clinicians in the delivery of quality Out Of Hospital healthcare”

Bal McAdam – Senior Strategic Commissioning Manager, Out of Hospital Services, BC&WB CCG