As part of our Digital Transformation programme, we supported two of our local Integrated Care Systems to enable nursing care homes to view and communicate directly into the GP record to support joined-up clinical care.

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the use of digital technologies to enable the ‘virtual’ care of patients across primary, community and acute care settings. However, for patients residing in care home settings, the effectiveness of this approach was often hampered by the care homes’ lack of digital maturity, including limited suitable technology, connectivity issues, and the low level of digital literacy amongst care home staff.

The programme

Bath Swindon & Wiltshire (BSW) Integrated Care System piloted the use of TPP’s SystmOne online module in care homes. This is the system used by the vast majority of GP practices. Early feedback from this pilot (and another in East Midlands) shows demonstrable benefits through the accessing of up-to-date clinical information on each resident and easier direct communication with GPs. Gloucestershire’s Integrated Care System is also moving ahead with implementation as ‘fast followers’ behind BSW.

By introducing the TPP SystmOne clinical system into care homes they will have improved communication with GPs including read/write access to clinical records, enabling structured digital comms between care homes and practices. This will support informed decision-making and the remote recording and monitoring of NEWS2 or RESTORE2 as well as enabling medicines management.

BSW have produced an infographic to explain their approach. Click on the image below to download a full version.

Benefits from the programme

  • Initial findings suggest the greatest saving will release time of clinical staff in nursing homes from contacting NHS healthcare professionals in favour of care for their patients.
  • Other anticipated benefits include:
    • Reduction in hospital outpatient appointments
    • Reduction in face-to-face GP appointments
    • Reduction in acute care emergency department visits and admissions

Funding and the role of West of England AHSN

This initiative was funded by NHS England South West as part of a wider programme to implement remote monitoring technologies into virtual care settings. The West of England AHSN played a leading role in securing this funding, along with colleagues in Wessex and South West AHSNs.

At an operational level, the local ICS and CCGs implemented the systems, each responding to the transformation needs of their local systems. The AHSN ensured that this work was collaborative where possible. The experiences and learnings from this work will be shared to support implementation in other ICS areas within the region and beyond.