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Finger on the Pulse
29 minutes | Apr 4, 2022
Ep 28. What do we not know about obesity and how can we quash the stigma? Dr Giles Yeo and Dr Stephanie De Giorgio
In this episode of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast our host, Saskia Hicking, speaks with Dr Giles Yeo,a Geneticist at Cambridge University and Dr Stephanie De Giorgio, a General Practitioner, about the stigmas that surround obesity and why we as a society suffer, not only physically, but also mentally with the affects of being overweight. Whilst our guests look to help raise awareness and educate health professionals on how to correctly treat and talk to obese patients, we delve into the solutions our healthcare system could adopt to abolish obesity stigma.
21 minutes | Mar 17, 2022
Ep27. How can ICSs help to transform digital innovations in care settings, Alex Church
In this episode of Finger on the Pulse, NHE's Saskia Hicking spoke to Alex Church, programme lead at Norfolk and Waveney CCG about some of the ways his group are preparing for the introduction of the ICS and how he thinks this new way of working combined with digital technology will help to create a better care system for all.
18 minutes | Mar 7, 2022
Ep 26. Making the difference in mask manufacturing & design, Jon Constantine-Smith
On Episode 26 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, host Matt Roberts is joined by Jon Constantine-Smith, Managing Director of Bluetree Medical, to discuss how the organisation adapted it's manufacturing line to produce face masks for the NHS, and why it has now become a long-term direction for the business.
20 minutes | Mar 2, 2022
Ep 25. Exploring the best ways to implement digital innovation into our health sector, Anne Cooper
On episode 25 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast our host Saskia Hicking spoke to Anne Cooper, former Chief Nurse for NHS Digital about the benefits and drawbacks of implementing technology and digital within the NHS.
21 minutes | Dec 17, 2021
Ep 24. The role of Plus Sutures in an evidence-based care bundle to reduce SSIs and NHS burden
“What we’ve got to do is look at what is the impact of having a wound infection, or a surgical site infection, on the patient, on the doctor and the healthcare professionals, as well as the economic burden within the NHS.” As somebody who has become highly knowledgeable on these what these impacts of a surgical site infection (SSI) are, it is why Giles Bond-Smith is so passionate around improving the processes and attention paid to it within the NHS. The Emergency General/HPB surgeon at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust joined host Matt Roberts on NHE’s Finger on the Pulse podcast discussing some of the challenges commonly faced around this type of infection prevention, but also the opportunities to innovate as well. “We should be doing everything possible to look at how we can mitigate surgical site infections for our patients. “Typically, as surgeons, we don’t really pay much attention to our wounds, but the patients do. How does a patient judge whether an operation went well or not? They look down at their wound; they see how big it was. “If the wound is less in size than the wound is in their mind, they think we’ve done well. If the wound heals beautiful, people show it and say the operation went very well. “Whereas, if someone’s had a complete wound dehiscence due to infection, they feel the operation was a disaster. Now, it might not have been, but that’s how the patient perceives it, and we’ve got to take this more seriously.” But how do we tackle surgical site infections and ensure the wounds can heal neatly, safely and quickly for the patient? One of the ways, as Giles explains during the podcast episode, is to look at some of the really simple but innovative technology out there – such as the antibacterial Ethicon PLUS sutures he and his team uses – as ways to improve patient outcomes without having to drastically alter the way in which these surgeries are performed. Much of the success instead can come from small, incremental gains in the procedures, awareness and tools being utilised by surgeons. Listen to Ep 24. of NHE’s Finger on the Pulse podcast with Giles Bond-Smith
41 minutes | Sep 16, 2021
Ep 23. Improving care for long-term conditions, Todd Manning & Dr Elizabeth Macphie
For patients will all types of conditions, the pandemic has led to significant challenges around their care, with treatment backlogs and elevated risks from the virus. However, particularly for those with long-term conditions, there has been notable disruption to their regular care, with stakeholders from across all aspects of the healthcare required to play a role in the recovery. Speaking with consultant rheumatologist and Chair of the British Society of Rheumatology’s Clinical Affairs Committee, Dr Elizabeth Macphie, and Todd Manning, General Manager at AbbVie UK, the scale of the challenge before us is vast, but spread disproportionately from service to service, and specialty to specialty. This has created unique challenges, but equally opportunities to innovate around the care being provided, to meet the local needs and desires of these services’ patients. Dr Macphie, who alongside her BSR role is a consultant rheumatologist based in Preston within a community rheumatology service as part of an integrated musculoskeletal (MSK) service, explains: “I’ve come into this with the local knowledge of what’s happened to our service as a result of the pandemic and how things have changed, but [myself and colleagues] have also been listening to that national voice of what is happening to colleagues and departments up and down the country. “We’re recognising that rheumatology services are very different, and the impact of services has been quite varied. “How these services are now getting back to the ‘new normal’ as we hear being talked about so often, is again very different for services up and down the country. “With respect to the NHS restart, I’ve always wanted to look at the positives. The pandemic has resulted in huge changes across the NHS, with lots of activity put on hold, but I think the change that has happened within the NHS [around new mindsets] needs recognition. “Particularly for services dealing with patients with long-term conditions, there has been so many situations where there were lots of discussions happening before the pandemic about where remote consultations fit [in the offering] for these patients. The pandemic has pressed the fast-forward button on all of that. “It has meant we’ve all had to adapt to new ways of working very rapidly, and now we must capture those new models of care.” But responsibility for those building those improvements in services doesn’t just fall on the clinicians’ shoulders. Rather, all those involved in health have a role to play; with AbbVie’s Todd Manning adding: “We believe very strongly that we have a responsibility to healthcare systems in the UK and around the world to play a really active role in the recovery coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, to the same level we believe we played during the acute phase of the pandemic. “We have a specialisation in medicines and vaccines, but we also have a wealth of expertise in developing initiatives and tools which can help support the efficient and optimised deliver of care for patients, through existing and new channels. “We [equally] have a broad network which we can utilise, bringing stakeholders together to stimulate debate around key issues that are affecting patients. In these types of ways, I think that we can play a role beyond the rules that our medicines can play to help the NHS recover as quickly as possible for patients.” But, for all of the want to spark discussion and collaboration, what do some of the new ways of working and innovative approaches which the likes of Todd and Dr Macphie are championing look like? One recent aspect of research conducted by AbbVie was based around better understanding the impact of Covid-19 on these patients with long-term conditions, helping to understand and qualify the scale of the issue. Evidence showing a sharp drop in GP appointments, referrals and outpatient appointments were not surprising to them, Todd explains, but did demonstrate the concerning breadth of the situation. For example, using modelling techniques, there was estimated to be a staggering 124,000 patients who may have had some kind of misdiagnosis of their conditions. Importantly, as a caveat, many of these have not been given final incorrect diagnoses, but rather saw the pandemic limit further discovery, testing or appointments which might have revealed a different condition. Other patients, due to delays in treatment, have been left without a diagnosis, with many – particularly those with long-term conditions – likely to present in the future with more severe instances of their disease, having more complex care needs and potentially requiring more invasive or potent treatments. Getting the response right will directly impact these patients. As Todd emphasises: “These are patients whose lives are going to benefit from the way the NHS responds. “There is clear evidence that the earlier you treat the disease, the better outcomes that you have in the long term. So there is a risk [regardless of the pandemic] but we may see more individuals presenting with more severe forms of a condition – like rheumatoid arthritis, for example – than we would have pre-pandemic.” And one important, potentially significant way of improving the treatment provided to those patients is to involve them more extensively in their own care decisions; often utilising a method known as shared decision making. That way, for those with long-term conditions, they are choosing models of care which best meet the needs and aspects of their life which matter most to them. As Dr Macphie describes: “I think shared decision making is absolutely pivotal to any sort of healthcare professional conversation. “One of the things that we see is the ethos behind moving from that paternalistic view of medicine where, as the doctor we know best, to this concept of shared decision making that is now well-embedded, particularly in the care of long-term conditions.” Suddenly, by taking a conscious effort to involve the patient within the decision making process around their condition – particularly when most treatment plans involving long-term conditions are related to mitigation rather than curing the disease – the quality of that consultation increases, the clinician is able to provide more effective and efficient care by getting straight to addressing the root concerns which matter most to the patient, and there is a more positive experience had by the patient too. “It is about recognising that we don’t lose some of the GAME we’ve had with making sure patients are involved in shared decision making. “The other aspect is making sure that patients are provided with options in such a way that they realise the full breadth of what is available to them. Sometimes, I think it’s very difficult, as a consultant, to say to patients that one of the options is that we don’t do anything. “Yet, one of the things I’ve learned over the years as a consultant is that, actually, it’s very helpful sometimes to be very open and honest with the patient. To let them know that is an option. “It puts clinicians in a safe zone to say, ‘Look, I’m here to help guide you through the choices available to you’ and quite often some patients will come back and say ‘What do you advise? You’re the specialist, what is your advice?’ and I think if you’re very open and honest to patients, that there is a number of options, when they put that question to you, you can then assess them with [a level of trust]. “But it does take a lot of confidence. I think it is something you really have to work on as a clinician. You have to be in the right mindset to be able to have those discussion with patients. We all benefit from ongoing learning in this area, and I think it is one of the things that a collaboration with industry can help with because it is something [which can improve services] across all specialties.” It was a statement echoed by Todd too, with AbbVie UK’s General Manager saying: “For shared decision making to work, you need a really dedicated clinician, a person that is going to share all of the options with the patient, and you need a willing patient for it to work too. “But when it does, it has been shown that those patients who do take an active role and take responsibility for the decisions affecting their care have more positive outcomes. “Shared decision making [and giving patients this opportunity to take responsibility for their care] is something that we’re particularly passionate about. “Pre-pandemic, I think shared decision making was quite focused on the treatment pathway, whereas post-pandemic in the recovery phase, it’s about the treatment pathway, but also about the development of care services and how that will develop into the future.” There will be a lot of changes in the near future in healthcare as we restore services and rebuild capacity, but there are also opportunities to reimagine some of our traditional ways of working, to increase the quality and efficiency of care, and to empower patients and clinicians alike. Shared decision making, particularly around long-term conditions, seems to be one of the opportunities of real growth we’re already seeing benefits from.
24 minutes | Sep 16, 2021
Ep 22. Improving care through interoperable data-driven systems, Piyush Mahapatra
What leads to a digital healthcare solution being adopted? Every situation is unique across the healthcare service, but often these innovations span out of some of the simplest of circumstances. For Open Medical’s Innovation Director, Piyush Mahapatra, he remembers the instance of a cleaner accidentally wiping down a whiteboard which had been used to track orthopaedic patients. A momentary lapse in the system, which presented a sudden challenge and an opportunity for a digital alternative. “I’m a practising orthopaedic surgeon in London, and an NHS clinical entrepreneur. “Most patients who have surgery for broken bones within the NHS are often managed on systems such as Excel sheets, Word documents or physical whiteboards. “In our particular organisation, it was a physical whiteboard and, we came in one weekend and the cleaner had rubbed the whiteboard off. “After that, version one [of our trauma digital solution] was created. It was a fairly simple database system at that point, designed to help manage those lists of patients in a better way. “Since then, things have really moved on [at Open Medical]. We became a cloud native platform in 2017, and things really escalated. Now, we’re helping about 70 NHS trusts around the country manage their patients. “We’ve got over a million patients on our systems today. Through Open Medical, Piyush and the team have been able to leverage their own personal clinical experiences to develop a solution which addresses a significant need felt in the NHS, with patient management, pathways, and efficiencies. It has been built to address a need Piyush and his colleagues themselves feel in their regular NHS roles, and allows the team to talk clinically with partners, as well as technologically. “One of the things that I tell everyone is that I use [our Open Medical system] when I’m working clinically. We all use our systems quite a lot. “We get a real understanding of what it is like to utilise the platform, so if things are not user-friendly or don’t work as well as they should, we can adapt and change them. “We can get that feeling if something doesn’t provide the functionality clinicians need, because we see it from that perspective too.”
26 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
Ep 21. The power of pulse oximetry during the pandemic, Matt Inada-Kim, Irem Patel & Catherine Dale
On Episode 21 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, host Matt Roberts is joined by Matt Inada-Kim, Irem Patel and Catherine Dale to discuss how pulse oximetry was identified and scaled out during the pandemic to support the pandemic response. Matt, Irem and Catherine offer a range of different perspective, brought together by the Health Innovation Network South London.
39 minutes | May 27, 2021
Ep 20. Early pioneers of video consultations, Dr Shanti Vijayaraghavan & Will Warburton
On Episode 20 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, Dr Shanti Vijayaraghavan of Barts Health NHS Trust and Will Warburton, Director of Improvement at the Health Foundation, join host Matt Roberts to discuss the innovative work on video consultations that Shanti and her team have been carrying out for a number of years in Newham, in London.
29 minutes | May 4, 2021
Ep 19. A structured but tailored offer of support, Annie Laverty & Will Warburton
On Episode 19 of NHE’s Finger on the Pulse podcast, host Matt Roberts is joined by Annie Laverty, Chief Experience Officer at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and Will Warburton, Director of Improvement at the Health Foundation, discussing an innovative ‘Corona Voice’ staff wellbeing programme being ran at the trust. Annie explained: “Looking after your workforce is really important. It makes sense from a human perspective, as you want to hold onto good staff. “The NHS relies on the goodwill of people being deeply committed to a purpose to provide the best care to patients, but we know that providing that care sometimes comes at a cost to individuals. “NHS organisations need to do all that they can to protect staff wellbeing because we know that it is inextricably linked to the care that patients receive, and also the safety and reliability of those organisations.” The trust’s Corona Voice programme came out of a project being undertaken before the pandemic, to provide more up-to-date data and staff feedback to the trust and which allowed Northumbria Healthcare NHS FT, alongside support from Will and the Health Foundation team, to expand the scope of the project and better understand and support their trust colleagues through the challenges of dealing with Covid-19 and hospital care. Listen to the full episode of NHE’s Finger on the Pulse podcast with Annie and Will above.
28 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
Ep 18. Innovation in primary care has never happened so fast, Dr Anshu Bhagat
Dr Anshumen Bhagat, Founder and Chief Medical Officer of GPDQ - alongside continuing to be a practicing NHS GP - joined us on episode 18 of NHE’s Finger on the Pulse podcast, talking us through primary care, its challenges over the last 12 months and his visions for its future. We talk difficulties, solutions and ambitions in this insightful episode of the podcast. GPDQ is an organisation well-placed to be assisting with the NHS’ primary care challenges right now, because each and every one of it’s members experiences those challenges in their own daily working lives. That is because one of the core values at the heart of GPDQ is that it is run by working NHS staff. Be it a GP, specialist nurse or paramedic, should a healthcare professional move entirely into private practice, then they won’t be found among GPDQ’s roster of staff. And having that skin in the game, so to speak, is important. As Anshu explains: “We lose about 90-100 GPs a month in this country. We need more coming through.” So, to be able to provide opportunities to work differently, to work with different teams and provide services perhaps outside of their day-to-day NHS duties, including private practice, all without removing staff from an already waning health service pool is essential. It is a belief seen in one of GPDQ’s convictions when it does provide private healthcare. In part, due to its staff’s continued involvement in the NHS side of affairs, moving treatment and care to private provision is less about seizing on a commercial opportunity, and far more about the knock-on implications that can have for those who do have to rely on the NHS to provide their care. “Every patient we see in the private sector is one less patient who needs to be seen in the public sector.” With the pandemic, that has become truer than ever before. The NHS is facing a significant treatment backlog, to overcome which it will have to work with and rely on services like those which GPDQ provide. And to their credit, these services have innovated significantly in response to the pandemic’s demands too. Anshu describes how his organisation and colleagues have worked to deliver necessary services, including virtual clinics - including being able to step in at short notice for NHS staff absences (minimising disruption for patients) - through to running home visitations still where necessary using Covid ‘hot’ car systems. It is a period of substantial change for primary care right now, with the likes of Anshu being able to provide a great insight into it from both sides of the NHS/private debate. To hear much more from Anshu, listen in to episode 18 of NHE’s Finger on the Pulse podcast…
36 minutes | Jan 25, 2021
Ep 17. Patient Power, Antonis Papasolomontos, Rachel Power & David Pilbury
“What do you want from your care?” It seems a quite basic question for a clinician to ask. However, in its simplicity is an inherent power. By beginning the conversation in such a way, we naturally shift the patient journey and our interactions with that patient towards a process of shared decision making; we offer the patient a level of involvement and autonomy in their own care. And by facilitating that informed involvement in their own treatments and journey, there are real benefits for everyone involved: for the patients, the clinicians and the wider system alike. For the patient, there can be no better barometer of what is and is not important to them individually in their care, based on their personal experiences, priorities and desires, while clinicians will equally benefit from more engaged patients who are likely to be invested in managing their condition and sticking to the treatment plans that they’ve had a hand in deciding on. Read the full article here: http://btpubs.co.uk/publication/?m=62920&i=691004&p=34&pre=1
30 minutes | Dec 8, 2020
Ep 16. A completely normal reaction to an abnormal situation, Dr Lloyd Humphreys
On Episode 16 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, host Matt Roberts is joined by SilverCloud Health's Head of Europe Dr Lloyd Humphreys as we discuss mental health, Covid-19 and digital mental health services. As a leading digital mental health service provider, SilverCloud Health saw a significant uptick in people using their digital mental health service; was that anticipated, and what are the implications longer-term? As Dr Humphreys explained: "Uncertainty plays a critical role. [The rise in digital mental health services usage] was down to people having a completely normal reaction to an abnormal situation [in Covid-19]. "It's really important we need to not talk about mental illness but talk about mental health. It's a universal truth that we all have mental health." And accessing support is naturally going to change and develop to meet the needs of people at that time, such as shifting more towards remote and digital services as the virus restricted our movements and increased concern among people. As Dr Humphreys described, people "want to access support and help in their own way". Listen to the full conversation to on Episode 16 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast...
27 minutes | Nov 24, 2020
Ep 15. A better understanding of tech benefits the patient, Ged Cairns & Matt Jones
On Episode 15 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, brought to you by Brother UK, regular host Matt Roberts is joined by Ged Cairns and Matt Jones of Brother UK to discuss how IT and technology can directly impact and improve patient care - the only real "currency" which matters across the health sector, as Matt Jones explains. Our discussions with Brother come on the back of a body of work carried out in partnership between our two organisations, culminating in an audience survey and whitepaper report - which can be downloaded now here - which we reflect on the findings of during the episode. Patient care is the ultimate goal for all across the health service, as seen throughout our survey of both primary and secondary care members. As Matt Jones explained: "Moving into the public sector, it was something I was immediately struck by. The currency that people talk about it patient care. "Their ultimate goal is to increase levels of patient care." And as we discuss, both through Brother's products and more widely, there are real opportunities to be found across the health service. That can be everything from significant changes, from the labelling of blood bottles as one example from the episode, through to the marginal gains which all add up across an NHS employee's shift or working day. Want to find out more, jump in and give Episode 15 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast a listen...
34 minutes | Oct 12, 2020
Ep 14. Health messaging is a science, Professor Craig Jackson
On Episode 14 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, we're joined by Professor Craig Jackson, Professor of Occupational Health PsychologyBirmingham City University to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the health messaging around it and how those in power have missed a trick by overlooking the key role of psychology in informing the public of restrictions, measures and the ever-changing situation. Together, Professor Jackson and regular host Matt Roberts discuss the things the government got right in the early stages, the uncertainty and vagueness caused by a second set of messaging open to interpretation and how things could be pulled together once more - including through the use of psychology, creativity and more individual messaging. We also discuss the risks of an impending Christmas turkey shortage... ensuring it's not all doom and gloom in what is quite a difficult and ever-present subject in all of lives right now. Join the discussion and let us know across social media what your thoughts are. We're always keen to engage with our listeners and hear different points of view. Whether you agree or disagree, discussion is at the core of how we learn and improve: as a society, as an industry and as individuals.
22 minutes | Oct 2, 2020
Ep 13. Accessing the full range of careers available, Anthea Hockly
Anthea Hockly, Associate Director of Workforce Development and Learning at Essex Partnership University NHS FT (EPUT), joins us to talk about the new Health and Care Academy which has been founded in Essex through the work of the trust and a number of other partners from across the region's health and social care delivery spectrum. Giving young people in the area an opportunity to directly engage with NHS and care professionals from a very diverse range of roles, including both clinical and non-clinical positions, the sessions were a great way to help the young people answer the questions they wanted to know and directly engage with people they perhaps otherwise would not have had the opportunity to do so with and discover job roles they may not have ever considered. Having originally been planned as a face-to-face event, the coronavirus pandemic caused EPUT and the other partners to have to flex and shift quickly to a digital offering instead - something which has since become a preferred outcome after it worked well, resonated with the young people who remained highly engaged and opened more doors to provide a wider, more interesting cohort of professionals. Training the next generation, across a range of different methods, and upskilling the existing workforce are essential to the continued success of the NHS and schemes like these are a vital way of ensuring the health service doesn't miss out on any potential future talent; even if they fall outside of the traditional, university/academic-focused route into the service.
27 minutes | Aug 18, 2020
Ep 12. The key words: 'cashless, user experience and revenue', Michelle Nix
On Episode 12 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, I'm joined by Michelle Nix of Parking Eye as we discuss the ways their car park solutions can assist healthcare providers in improving revenues, creating a better user experience and allowing greater accessibility and the introduction of touchless and cashless technologies.
25 minutes | Aug 6, 2020
Ep 11. Using automation technology to make time matter, Darren Atkins
On this episode of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, host Matt Roberts is joined by Darren Atkins, Chief Technology Officer (Artificial Intelligence & Automation) at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust to talk about digital technology, automation and AI and how it all fits into the modern health sector.
30 minutes | Jul 15, 2020
Ep 10. One part of the mental health toolkit, Nicholas Rowley
Mental health has always been an area of significant discussion in the health sector, from clinicians to solution through to prevention. But, on Episode 10 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast host Matt Roberts chats with Nicholas Rowley of the Manchester branch of Andy's Man Club, a mental health charity aimed at supporting men to talk about their mental health problems and overcome some of the stigma, to understand what services are out there to address mental health provision beyond the traditional clinical settings.
29 minutes | Jul 8, 2020
Ep 9. Telemedicine: Effectiveness at all levels of the organisation, Glenn Smith
Telemedicine has been one of the emerging areas of progress during the coronavirus pandemic, with a much more widespread and rapid adoption of remote technology. But how effective is the technology for the clinicians using it - and how do we as a health sector decide which options are the best suited for adoption from organisations? To answer this and more, we speak with Glenn Smith, advanced nurse practitioner and one of NHE's newest editorial board members.
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