The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on local healthcare services across the UK and Leicester has been one of the most hard-hit cities with lockdown re-imposed on June 29th, following a spike in coronavirus cases. Since the start of the pandemic, local healthcare company, Spirit Health Group, has been investing in its technology and education services to provide remote and online support for vulnerable patients and NHS staff alike, and provide essential safeguarding as the country enters the winter months with the usual pressures complicated by the risk of an expected second wave.
Spirit has been working with local NHS organisations, including the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, and care homes across the region, to significantly increase the number of vulnerable patients across Leicestershire being monitored at home, as local hospital bed capacity was being increased for COVID-19 patients.
Patients who are being cared for by the Trust’s community respiratory and heart failure teams, and those who were discharged from hospital earlier than usual as a result of the pandemic, are being supported by Spirit Digital’s remote monitoring platform CliniTouch Vie. While all clinic appointments were suspended to reduce face-to-face contact between patients and their clinical team, the use of digital, remote monitoring has enabled the team to reduce the number of home visits by over one third, making more efficient use of community-based clinical resources and keeping patients safe with a documented significant increase in telephone and video consultations.
Spirit is now also extending this remote monitoring service for patients with certain lung conditions who need Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, a supervised programme that includes breathing techniques, health education and exercise training.
In addition, Spirit rapidly moved its EMPOWER diabetes education programme, traditionally provided in a face-to-face setting, to a virtual service during April and has since added classes for non-native English speakers, including Gujarati, Hindi and Urdu. By the end of July, Spirit has run 47 courses online on behalf of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Groups (LLR CCGs), and has had nearly 70 people who speak Indo-Aryan languages referred on to the programme. The majority of these people live in Leicester and surrounding areas.
Further afield, Spirit has also recently been awarded a £1million contract to deliver a diabetes education booking service across the South East of England.
As a consequence of this innovation and growth and to continue to develop its services and geographic reach, Spirit Health Group is proud to announce that it has appointed a number of senior executives and added a total of 33 jobs to its local economy in Leicestershire, with five additional positions planned.
Chris Barker, CEO, Spirit Health Group, concludes: “The situation we find ourselves in with COVID-19 emphasises why Spirit exists – to make health easy and accessible. As a Leicester-based company, we are proud to be in a position to support both our local NHS and our vulnerable people and will continue to respond and adapt to this unprecedented situation, finding new ways to provide brilliant products and services to as many people as we can possibly reach.
“I am also delighted to be able to support our local economy through continuous recruitment to aid our growth. We continue to look for individuals who are passionate about healthcare and who share our family ethos and values of innovation, accessibility, and clinical excellence.”