Patients in NE England to benefit from new NHS digital health tech

NHS organisations in the north east of England have signed a new collaboration involving a range of programmes that aim to set best practice in digital health care.

The suite of programmes, Health Call, has been developed through a collaboration between six NHS Foundation Trusts in the North East of England.

It offers a range of services for patients including medication reminders, telehealth services for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and home monitoring.

Led by the Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the six organisations have signed a three-year licensing deal with digital health firm Inhealthcare to provide the services.

There are around 50 apps in all in the ‘toolkit’ developed by Health Call – for example the Tyneside Integrated Musculoskeletal Services (TIMS) is mainly an online service offered between two hospitals in Newcastle and Gateshead.

It offers a self-care toolkit accessible via an app-based website giving tips and advice, as well as fast access to expert opinion, diagnosis and treatment of a variety of muscle, joint and soft tissue conditions and chronic pain.

Health Call is 100% owned by the NHS and exists to drive service transformation by using proven digital health technologies to support patients and create capacity in the health and care system.

According to Inhealthcare, Health Call is the largest deployment of digital care technologies in England, covering two sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) regions where the NHS and councils have drawn up joint plans to improve services.

The Trusts involved are County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Graham King, Chief Information Officer at the Newcastle Hospitals, said: “We’ve already seen the development of a range of more than 50 services through Health Call and these services are now being adopted by health organisations in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“I am looking forward to continuing to expand and introduce new services over the next three years.”

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