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Care City and HealthUnlocked’s collaboration bears fruit as the HealthUnlocked EMIS plug-in for social prescribing goes live across Barking & Dagenham.

Barking and Dagenham GP’s will be able to quickly and easily deliver a digital social prescription to their patients as part of their standard consultation or appointment as the HealthUnlocked EMIS plug-in for social prescribing will go live across the Boroughs over the coming weeks.

The tool that directs and signposts patients to local services, charities and voluntary sector support, and relevant HealthUnlocked online support communities was developed and tested by HealthUnlocked in collaboration with Care City as part of the NHS England & Office of Life Sciences Innovation Test Bed Programme and has proved popular with both GPs and patients. London Borough of Barking & Dagenham and Barking & Dagenham CCG have agreed to work with Care City to grow its use and transform health and care services in the area for the better.

Since February, the HealthUnlocked solution has enabled over 600 social prescriptions to be issued in eleven practices across Barking & Dagenham. Of these prescriptions, most related to helping patients to get active, eat healthily and lose weight loss and to dealing with anxiety and depression.

The solution will be sustained and extended as part of Care City’s partnership with LB Barking & Dagenham, funded under the Better Care Fund. Most practices will use the tool to send social prescriptions directly to patients – in some cases, this will be mediated by a Link Worker, to whom the patient is referred, for more intensive face-to-face support.

John Craig, Chief Executive, Care City commented “As well as promoting healthy lifestyles, public services are very conscious that loneliness and isolation can undermining health and well-being, costing services money. Social prescribing tackles these issues head on. This digital approach to social prescribing enables GPs to connect people to the resources that exist all around them – places where they can make friends, get expert help, or both. These digital tools do not replace face-to-face help; on the contrary, they are designed to help people to build the relationships that can make a real difference to their lives”.

Dr Matt Jameson Evans, Chief Medical Officer of HealthUnlocked said: “By using digital social prescriptions and opening up support and services to patients, we can give people the tools to a better quality of life, reduce reliance on medications and reduce demand on Emergency Departments and GPs in the NHS. I’m delighted that our collaboration with Care City has extended beyond the initial pilot and is now going to be changing lives across Barking & Dagenham.”

This news follows the announcement last week that Care City alongside the BHR Provider Alliance has committed to rolling out its Atrial Fibrillation (AF) Pathway across Barking, Havering & Redbridge, working with local community pharmacies and hospitals to find and treat AF and prevent strokes.

The BHR Provider Alliance states that transforming the pathway of care for Atrial Fibrillation is its top priority.

We are delighted that the BHR Provider Alliance has committed to rolling out our Atrial Fibrillation (AF) Pathway across Barking, Havering & Redbridge, working with local community pharmacies and hospitals to find and treat AF and prevent strokes.

The BHR Provider Alliance brings together health and social care providers across Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge in order to deliver integrated care for our communities and improve population health. Local authority and NHS providers of services, including hospital, community and GP services, work together in the alliance to provide health and care services in the most appropriate way for their population. The Provider Alliance is working with local commissioners to support the development and delivery of an Integrated Care System across the boroughs.

Launched at the Health & Care Innovation Expo last year and developed as part of Care City’s NHS England Innovation Test Bed Programme, the new One Stop AF Pathway finds people with undiagnosed AF, reduces the number of appointments needed to confirm diagnosis and waiting times for treatment. Kardia Mobile, a handheld mobile ECG device can spot AF in 30-seconds. Those with an abnormal result are then reviewed by a Specialist Arrhythmia Nurse and where necessary invited to attend an appointment at the One Stop AF Clinic at Whipps Cross Hospital for further diagnostic tests and, if appropriate, treatment.

Initially only available at 20 community pharmacies, the BHR Provider Alliance has now committed to rolling out the technology and transforming the pathway of care for AF across the Boroughs of Barking, Havering and Redbridge. 

John Craig, Chief Executive, Care City commented “A challenge to the adoption of digital innovation across the health and care system has been how to secure commitment from clinicians to use the technology and understand the benefits to them, their patients and the NHS. We’ve found that the trick is to re-frame the problem, present how digital technology can enable clinicians to become innovators in their own right”.

He continued “Without pathway innovation like this, the NHS will struggle to realise the benefits of this great technology, for which they are paying millions. We are delighted that the BHR Provider Alliance understand this and that they have not just committed to distribute the technology, they are transforming their pathway at scale”.

John Brouder, Chief Executive, NELFT & Co-Chair, Provider Alliance, commented “As an alliance, we are determined to play our part in transforming the health and care system in the interests of local residents. As a local organisation dedicated to health and care innovation, we recognise that success is not about eye-catching initiatives, but improving outcomes at scale. Having reflected as an Alliance on our priorities for 18-19, we have decided to make work to transform the pathway of care for atrial fibrillation across BHR our top priority”.

He continued “We are impressed with the early findings from Care City's work deploying Alivecor's Kardia Mobile and are delighted to work with the Care City team to build on their learnings around AF and mobile ECG technology to transform the AF pathway across BHR. We hope that this can improve outcomes and experiences for our patients, and help to reduce costs. At the same time, we hope that it can be a model of the kind of integrated care we are seeking to develop as an Alliance, and of the ways in which we can work together across the system to transform services for the better”.



Bringing to life the many careers in Health & Social Care for people in our North East London Boroughs

We are delighted to be working with Barking, Havering & Redbridge Community Education Provider Network (BHR CEPN), a resource for health and social care professionals to showcase the many varied roles in Heath & Social Care to the pupils and residents of North East London, this National Apprentice Week.

A huge, inflatable pod is the venue for two career events this week. The 9 metre x 6 metre pop up Care City & BHR CEPN stand showcases a range of careers in health and social care by taking participants through a patient journey - a patient who has fallen at home and fractured their hip – from the initial contact with ambulance services and then through some of the departments they will visit in hospital during their stay and back out into the community and their own home. Within the ‘Pop up Pod’ are a number of practical activities for participants to try that represent some of the over 350 different careers on offer in health and social services.

John Craig, Chief Executive, Care City commented “Our aim is to talk to local pupils about the huge number of exciting and rewarding career opportunities on offer. Some of the latest medical tech is so easy to use for the iPhone generation, we hope giving them a taster can powerfully show that they do have the potential to make a career in health and care services.”

Paul Olaitan, BHR CEPN commented “We are delighted to collaborate with Care City on this valuable career initiative. We share the same vision of supporting the development of people and innovations to improve the outcomes of people who access care locally. The careers pod and the activities that will take place within it give practical insights into a day in the life of those that work in health and social care and gives opportunities to ask questions of the medically qualified and trained facilitators

Through such innovative approaches, we aim to broaden awareness of the range of opportunities local people have to build exciting and rewarding careers in health and social care”. 

The careers events take place on 7th March at Hall Mead School, Upminster, Essex and 8th March at Redbridge Town Hall.