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East Midlands Regional Network Meeting - December 2017

posted 8 Feb 2018, 01:09 by Hollie Stirman

Simple Shared Healthcare 

08 February 2018 

Firth Park Library played host to the December Regional Network Session dedicated to supporting the use of Flo, which enables attendees to share their experience and ideas, as well as promoting best practice in their areas. 

The day began with Lisa Taylor and Karen Moore sharing developments across the wider Simple Telehealth community, including the latest additions to www.simple.uk.net, such as example pathways, case studies & blogs and emerging outcomes from across the UK.  Lisa and Karen also highlighted the development of supported clinical networks across the community to enable the sharing of best practice regardless of geographical location; the first of these being maternity care focused with the inaugural national special interest group call set for February 2018.

Focus: Early pulmonary rehabilitation management of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease following acute exacerbation in Sheffield 

Cath O’Connor, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist in Sheffield, discussed her service evaluation of the implementation of Flo in early pulmonary rehabilitation management of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease following acute exacerbation.  Cath focused on patients who had experienced acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD), and were taking part in Early Pulmonary Rehab (EPR).  In Sheffield, 1 in 3 patients admitted to hospital with AECOPD is readmitted, despite often being asked to participate in EPR; patients may not be receiving the support they require to successfully complete EPR, and this may be a factor in the number of readmissions.  Cath, with some support from Karen, developed a pathway supporting this cohort of patients, which focused on symptoms before and after exercise to understand how the patient felt.  Results from the evaluation showed that:
  • Patients found Flo acceptable
  • Patients felt safe, supported, motivated to exercise. 
  • Patients felt more confident about self-managing their health. 
  • Some patients developed new skills in sending text messages that they now use in other areas of their lives, reducing their isolation.

Focus: Community Neurology Team – Improving adherence to physiotherapy in Stroke, MS, Parkinson's Disease and Head Trauma

Following on from Cath, Ed Rimmer, a Physiotherapist within the Community Neurology Team at Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, discussed his plans for a project integrating Flo across several pathways.  The team currently manages patients with a wide variety of conditions, including stroke, MS, Parkinson's Disease and head trauma.  Given the range of conditions and the varied demographic of their patients, a diverse multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals has developed.  The team recognise that their patients can experience condition led challenges to adhere to prescribed medication and rehabilitation, noting the adverse effect that this reduced adherence has on the recovery of their patients. 

Therefore, Ed is leading the development of pathways aimed to support an improvement in both motivation and adherence to treatment.  Ed hopes that Flo will also help patients to improve their confidence and ability to self-manage, reducing reliance on the team.  The plan is to recruit a minimum of 20 patients over the course of 6 months, and then evaluate with both staff and patients with results informing the recruitment of more patients going forward.
Focus: Virtual Wards in Sheffield

The session was led by Rebekah Matthews, Integrated Pathway Manager, who gave an overview of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals implementation of Virtual Wards and the “Okay to Stay” plan.  The Virtual Wards demonstrated a decrease in admissions over winter months in 2015/16, leading to a pilot project being launched during winter 2016/17 aiming to improve the integration of health and social care, as well as reduce the number of inappropriate admissions.  Patients over the age of 65 who scored the highest on the frailty index were targeted, and through the combined use of a person-centred care plan, the “Okay to Stay” plan & Virtual Wards unnecessary admission were again avoided.  Patients on Virtual Wards are typically offered Flo to support awareness, both to the patient and clinicians of vital signs.  The combination of being able to monitor patients remotely, and Flo’s prompt advice motivates patients to seek appropriate intervention at the right time, and that any admission that occur are necessary and appropriate.