Lancet article calls for more online cognitive behaviour therapy on the NHS.

Emma Wilkinson
Health reporter, BBC News

Computer keyboard
Some people may prefer to see a therapist in person

The NHS should offer online psychological counselling for people with depression, a leading mental health expert says.

A Lancet study of online cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) showed it more than doubled the chances of recovery.

Dr Tim Kendall, who led the drawing up of national guidelines on depression, called for online access to become part of the drive to widen access to CBT.

One in six people experience depression at some point in their lives.

Much has been said in recent years about a reliance on antidepressants, with prescriptions for the drugs increasing almost two-fold in a decade, from 18,424,473 in 1998 to 35,960,500 last year.

To read the rest of the article CLICK HERE

Edinburgh pharmacist to offer heart checks on Cardiopod

The Evening News reported that Edinburgh pharmacists are to offer heart checks on the Cariopod.

Cardiopod in Edinburgh
Cardiopod in Edinburgh

Cardiopod in pharmacy
Cardiopod in pharmacy

Telehealth Solutions’ CardioPod is a system for facilitating the NHS Health Check.

CardioPod features:
• Can be installed on a small portable touchscreen device for community use
• Can be installed on a large touchscreen device for use in GP surgeries as well as pharmacies
• Comes complete with scales and phygmomanometer, to capture basic vital signs information.
An LDX blood chemistry analyser is available to provide a lipid profile and blood glucose measurement in less than five minutes.

What needed a lab test two years ago can now be carried out at the point of care! Health Checks can therefore always be completed in one sitting, so no hassles with follow-up appointments…and patients get instant feedback.  Information is uploaded to a secure database for appropriate analysis and review. If approved, the information will also be accessible from GP practice management systems.

Other benefits are substantial too:
• A big reduction in clerical time entering information
• Eliminates clerical errors
• The latest information is immediately available to clinicians.

…and it’s very patient-friendly. The touchscreen means that even those completely unfamiliar with keyboards
can answer the standard Health Check questions.
…and the output is very eye catching. The cardiovascular risk score is calculated using industry standard assessment tools, such as Qrisk®2 and shown in patient-friendly format using visuals to indicate
variances in risk levels.
…and the CardioPod facilitates and records the results of discussion with the patient on how they can improve their risk score, delivering a printout of their agreed actions for the patient to take away. This can also be stored on the secure server for follow-up when the next check is done.

MPOC: Best Practices for Clinical Mobility Deployment

Intel Healthcare recently ran a webinar on the 20th of August about mobile point of care technology.

Mobile point of care technology is key to improving both workflow and patient outcomes. If your organisation is identifying critical components and determining plans find out fromthree industry thought leaders on how other hospitals and healthcare organisations are approaching this task.

There was information on three key practices for deploying mobile point of care technology:

  • How to identify the right form factors or hardware solutions
  • How to choose the right wireless deployment for the needs of all in the facility
  • The Big Picture – from planning to implementation—the critical task of transforming clinical workflow

Download Presentation Slides

View Archived Presentation

Find out more about Intel Healthcare  CLICK HERE

NHS 24 showcase two new services

NHS 24
NHS 24

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon finds out more about two pilot projects at NHS 24 – a British Sign Language (BSL) Breathing Space service and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) telephony service.

The Breathing Space BSL internet service is due to launch shortly and will give BSL users access to Breathing Space counselling via secure webcam. Breathing Space offers support to people suffering from depression or feeling down. The CBT service is being piloted in five health boards and is designed to offer better access to psychological therapies across Scotland, particularly in remote and rural areas.

NHS 24’s Chairman, Allan Watson, said: “NHS 24 delivers a vital and valuable health advice and information service to the Scottish public. There have been many positive developments within NHS 24 in the last year, including the launch of the CBT and BSL pilots.

The CBT service is being piloted in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Shetland, NHS Borders, NHS Western Isles and NHS Lothian.

Scotland has around 6,000 people whose first language is British Sign Language.

For the full article CLICK HERE

TRAK system to help nurses monitor community patients in Lothian

AN electronic system is being developed to help health agencies share information on adults receiving community care.

The TRAK community facility will help nurses access more up-to-date files on patients, and allow them to better plan what care is required for them. It is expected the system, which is being used across East Lothian, will be used across the whole health board area by next year.

Evening News (final edition) p.7

One Day The Blind May See The World With The Tongue

Wicab, Inc out of Middleton, Wisconsin is developing a device that converts visual images into electrical signals that are fed to a user’s tongue via a special “lollipop”. A special electrode panel of the lollipop essentially draws images on the tongue by firing electric pulses on some of the pixels and not others, supposedly producing a feeling similar to a carbonated beverage.

Check out the device in this video: CLICK HERE

Consultant physician Andrew Whitehouse discusses the problem of "bed-blocking"

Here is an opportunity to use Technology more effectively.

Andrew Whitehouse
By Dr Andrew Whitehouse
Consultant physician, West Midlands

Elderly man in hospital
Elderly people have to remain in hospital until social care is arranged

Bed-blocking is an ongoing problem for the health service, with elderly patients stuck in hospital waiting for their long-term care to be arranged.

In this week’s Scrubbing Up health column, Dr Andrew Whitehouse says the answer is to merge health and social services budgets – so elderly people get more streamlined care.

Why do we waste so much money treating our elderly so badly?

Every time I do my ward rounds I find, like other physicians, that roughly a third of my patients do not need to be in hospital.

We deal with the medical and rehabilitation needs of our elderly rather efficiently and we agree the way forward with the patient and her relatives.

When discharge is prescribed, we advise the social services department of any care needs the patient has.

It costs about £700 a day to keep a patient in hospital, and about £700 a week for a decent full-time nursing home placement

This may be for a home care visitor package to assist dressing or washing. It may be for residential or nursing home placement.

Then the wait begins.

The social services department has its own procedures for deciding on what, when and how to deliver, and of course we comply with these procedures diligently and promptly.

Indeed we begin to think about the plan for discharge at the point of admission.

But despite this cooperation long delays are routine; delays which dreadfully distress the elderly and their families for whom these may be precious last months or years, delays which result in hospital acquired infections and depression, and which mean the beds cannot be used for those who really should be in hospital.

Read the rest of the article HERE

NHS Lothian Medical Director supports electronic medical records

Here is a letter from Dr Charles Swainson in the Evening News.

Centralised records improve healthcare
I was dismayed to read Dr John Welford’s letter, “System to blame for record losses, not medical staff” (News, 31 July).

Centralisation and computerisation of medical records have little to do with losing patients’ confidential medical information.

The mass computerisation he mentions refers to the introduction of a modern patient management system in NHS Lothian, TRAK, which is gradually building an electronic medical record for each patient. Currently it contains basic demographic data and contact details, service attended, laboratory and radiology results, and letters. Other key parts of the records, such as operation notes, are held on a computerised surgical database which is looked after by the surgeons.

There are huge advantages to these systems in terms of providing faster, safer healthcare. Each patient may benefit from the expertise of an extensive medical team, all working from different locations. They may be receiving care from a team including their GP, radiologists, oncologists and other health professionals. Hosting these records centrally, in one place, cuts delay and allows every member of the team access to full information on the patient to inform their expert contribution to that person’s care.
Dr Charles Swainson, medical director, NHS Lothian

Link to page

Fife Council’s Telecare programme uses satellite technology to monitor people with dementia

Success in tracking dementia sufferers

A PILOT project in Fife, enabling people with dementia to enjoy more independent lives whilst at the same time giving their families peace of mind, is being hailed a major success.

For a number of months, as part of its wider Telecare programme, Fife Council’s social work service, in partnership with the region’s health service and police, has been monitoring the benefits of using satellite tracking technology to trace dementia sufferers should they become disorientated.

Five people across Fife—two in Glenrothes and the others in Gauldry, Crossford and Kirkcaldy—have now been given GPS (global positioning system) devices as part of the pilot, meaning that family members, carers and even the police can quickly pinpoint the wearer if they become lost.

The matchbox-sized sensors enable a person with early-stage dementia to get out and about with the confidence that a family member or other carer can offer assistance if needed.

Such has been the project’s success thus far, that John Honeyman, training and marketing adviser with the Fife Telecare Programme, said he hoped the technology would become more widespread and eventually become the norm.

“This is only running as a pilot but we want what we’re doing to become as routine as meals on wheels or community alarms,” he said.

“People know these terms so we want the term Telecare to be the same so people know and readily understand the benefits of it.

“The potential cost benefits are clear in that if, for example, there was an emergency situation where the police had to stand up several officers to conduct a search, that could cost them a lot of money and resources.

“But moving away from the cost side of things, in terms of the effect this illness has on the person but also their family, that’s where we’re looking to measure the impact.

To read the report CLICK HERE