Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust recognises that connectivity is key when it comes to the future of community health, for both patients and staff, which is why they are working with Vodafone.
The trust, which is the main provider of community health for patients from Brighton and Hove to West Sussex, employs more than 6,000 workers who deliver medical, nursing and therapeutic care to adults, children and families, clocking up 9,000 home visits per day.
“The majority of care in the NHS happens outside of an acute hospital or GP surgery,” said Diarmaid Crean who is Chief Digital and Technology Officer of the trust. “I see us as the glue of the NHS. As we are seeing more patients being treated at home we need to ensure these patients can connect which is why we have partnered with Vodafone.
“People get better at home, not in hospital. There is also the ticking time bomb of our population. Sussex has an elderly population and a large amount of our community services are supporting the elderly at home,” he said.
Crean provides one example of a woman who had hip surgery outside the county and was assisted by a nurse who mobilised other service providers via her laptop. “Prior to our partnership with Vodafone this process would have taken up to five days.”
Hospital at home
The trust runs a service called Hospital at Home which offers remote monitoring devices for patients to check their blood pressure or sugar levels if they are diabetic which Crean describes as a “wraparound service” like a hospital setting.
“During the pandemic our clinicians were unable to go into their homes, so we deployed remote monitoring technology and managed large cohorts of patients by monitoring their vitals and carrying out video consultations. These systems are secure and locked down on our networks and on all the data we use across the Vodafone network. It’s a very clever piece of technology and efficient in terms of reducing our carbon footprint.
Mobile device manager
In order to manage the amount of laptops and smartphones used by staff, the trust partnered with Vodafone for the secure Mobile Device Manager.
“This helps us manage tens of thousands of devices, from who's got them, where they are, if they get lost, how can you control them? The Mobile Device Manager allows us to manage all of that equipment and enables us to allow our staff to keep working and not be overly concerned about managing all that equipment,” he said.
This new way of working allows the trust to drive efficiencies, said Crean. “I would see our relationship with Vodafone as being pivotal in us realising that opportunity.
“The ambition with Vodafone is for the relationship to deepen and strengthen as we are such a mobile workforce.”