NHS LINCOLNSHIRE SUSTAINABILITY AND TRANSFORMATION PARTNERSHIP APPOINTS SPIRIT DIGITAL TO UNDERPIN ITS ‘VIRTUAL WARD’ AND DOMICILIARY CARE INITIATIVE

Spirit’s CliniTouch Vie Digital Telehealth Offering to support NHS Lincolnshire’s Remote Monitoring Transformation Strategy

NHS Lincolnshire STP has appointed Spirit Digital to implement its Virtual Ward and Domiciliary Care initiative through Spirit’s CliniTouch Vie digital remote monitoring platform. As part of NHS Lincolnshire’s wider Remote Monitoring strategy, CliniTouch Vie will be deployed to monitor and support patients across the county who live in their own homes.

Patients will be identified by risk stratification processes within the local primary care footprint, including COVID-19, Long COVID and those with co-morbidities such as frailty, COPD and Heart Failure. The model will promote joint working across the wider health and care system enhancing the domiciliary care offer, by appropriate escalation of an individual person’s needs to the designated neighbourhood specialist practitioner with clinical oversight.

This project will sit alongside the Enhanced Health in Care Homes (EHCH) programme and is aimed at augmenting and accelerating the proactive care requirements, centred on the needs of citizens at home by the effective use of remote monitoring and digital health services. It will also co-ordinate remote monitoring initiatives in the county, ensuring plans for further development are coherent and learn from local and regional experience.

Nicola Haywood-Alexander, CIO, NHS Lincolnshire, comments: “This initiative forms part of our NHSX-funded regional NHS England remote monitoring strategy. While the need for remote care and virtual wards has definitely accelerated as a consequence of COVID, the desire was already here within NHS Lincolnshire due to the size of the county and the socio-economic and demographically dispersed nature of our population. As an STP, we are proud to have embraced quite a progressive mindset away from having a set of technical projects, to having a portfolio of digital transformation programmes designed around the needs and pathways of our patients.”

The project will support the NHS Long Term Plan’s aims to increase the use of digital technology in patient care and also support the two hour response time aim. Moreover, it will establish pathways for the remote monitoring of patients with long-term conditions in their own homes, with benefits that include reducing GP and Ambulance call outs; overnight hospital admission; and same-day hospital stay.

Mrs Haywood-Alexander adds: “We chose Spirit’s CliniTouch Vie platform due to its proven success in delivering Virtual Ward programmes for patients with COPD, Heart Failure, early hospital discharge and COVID-19: the exact cohorts of patients that we had identified as a priority to prevent readmission by the early identification of deterioration, whilst maximising clinic time and resources. Moreover, Spirit’s leadership team clearly demonstrated an ethos that is very much aligned to our future vision of health and community care, being around patient education and empowerment.”

NHS Lincolnshire is already looking at how it can work collaboratively with Spirit and its other technology providers to extend pathways and further its reach, including developing remote monitoring services and pathways to facilitate – amongst others – planned care for patients who need a considerable amount of support, such as high acuity or very frail patients, and those with learning or mental health disabilities associated with their conditions.

Pamela Penn, Head of Sales and Customer Success, Spirit Digital, concludes: “We are delighted to have been selected to help deliver NHS Lincolnshire’s vision for remote, joined-up care across the region. At our core, we believe that health care should be accessible, inclusive and easy for all, while maximising the limited clinical resources we have. Without a doubt, technology designed around the specific needs and pathways of patients and their carers, will play an invaluable role as we shape the NHS of the future.”