North East NHS Trust pioneering use of digital solutions
A North East NHS Trust has been chosen to lead the way in pioneering digital services which will improve the life of people experiencing mental health issues.
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), a provider of mental health and disability services and one of only two in the country to be rated as outstanding by the CQC, has been chosen by NHS England to be a ‘Global Digital Exemplar’.
The Trust is one of seven mental health organisations across England which will receive £5million additional funding for three years to develop and innovate digital solutions to improve patient experience, such as the development of online assessments and consultations as well as improved secure information sharing.
Darren McKenna, director of informatics at NTW said: “We are becoming increasingly used to interacting with organisations online, but the NHS is still very much paper based and this is something we are looking to change and develop.
“We will continue to offer traditional face to face services, however we are also looking to offer digital solutions to people who would prefer that option such as online consultations, email communication and the ability to provide immediate electronic feedback on their experience of our services.”
As well as improving services for patients, the Trust will also share their knowledge and expertise to the wider NHS in order to reduce time and costs as well as improving services and becoming more efficient.
Darren continues: “We want to digitally empower patients, digitally enable our clinicians and digitally equip the Trust for the future and we have ambitious plans to develop a range of services whilst continuing to support those who are unable to access new technology.”
Plans include enabling patients to self-register, developing online consultations and allowing access to their patient record. As well as improving the patient experience the developments will also benefit staff with clinicians being able to securely access records and treat patients online.
New developments will be underpinned by previous innovative digital projects undertaken by the Trust which include the introduction of secure remote access allowing our staff to work from anywhere, the introduction of digital dictation systems and the Keep in Touch (KiT) initiative which helps patients on inpatient wards to keep in touch with their friends, relative and online services via the internet.