National Recognition for South Sefton Health Commissioners

A programme set up by health commissioners in south Sefton has been recognised for its innovative use of information and communication technology. The Care Home Innovation Programme (CHIP) has been commended for the Telehealth Award, rewarding excellence in delivering health services over distance, at the Health Business Awards at the end of December.

This is the second time in a year that CHIP has been recognised for improving the care of patients. CHIP previously won the Best System Improvement Award at the North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards in 2017.

CHIP was set up by NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) just over two years ago as a comprehensive package of support for care homes and their residents. A key part of CHIP was the introduction of a 24/7 televideo system into most care homes across south Sefton.

This system allows care home staff to seek medical advice and support using a secure video link. CHIP has been very successful with a 25% reduction in the number of ambulance journeys compared to the 12 months prior to launch. The programme has previously been recognised by the Care Quality Commission as an example of good practice and also picked up an award at the prestigious North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards earlier in the year.

Dr Debbie Harvey, GP and lead clinician for cancer and end of life at NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “We are very proud of the work we have done in bringing together a number of measures which improve standards of health care for our nursing home residents. CHIP allows care home staff to communicate with doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to quickly diagnose problems and prevent the need for residents to visit hospital when they don’t need to.

“Other CCGs have also begun to implement similar programmes and we are very happy to share our experiences if this can help improve healthcare for care home residents across the country.”

Michael Lyons, editor of Health Business Magazine, said: “The Telehealth Award at last week’s Health Business Awards was one of the most hotly contested of the categories, with some of the most innovative projects recognised as leading the field in digital health.

“Although unlucky not to win, the Care Home Innovation Programme, run by NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group, was rightly acknowledged for achieving more than a 30 per cent reduction in 999 calls and ambulance conveyances. With an ever-ageing population, enabling patients to be treated in the place they live via the use of televideo is a leading example of community based alternatives to going to A&E - one which we are sure will see further success and roll-out in the coming year.”

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