award

Hampshire and Isle of Wight patient safety scheme nominated for national award

A digital platform created in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to help people monitor their oxygen levels at home has been shortlisted for a national patient safety award.

Called Covid Oximetry@ home (CO@H), patients with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 are given a measuring device, which clips on to their finger, so they can monitor their oxygen levels safely at home.

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System (ICS) and the Wessex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) worked with Digital firm InHealthcare to adapt their technology to support the programme.

Patients can enter their oxygen readings, temperature, and levels of breathlessness either via text, online or automated telephone. The platform then identifies what the patient should do, for example they might be told to retake their reading, or to call an ambulance.

Data can also be inputted manually by the CO@H team for patients who need to or would prefer to speak to someone over the phone.

Health professionals across the ICS worked together with patients identifying those people who needed extra support in hospital. GPs, paramedics, out-of-hours services and emergency departments were all involved allowing people to feel safe in their own home, knowing they were taking readings that were being monitored and that if their condition was deteriorating, they would be admitted for appropriate treatment.

To date more than 1,400 patients have used the digital service across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

It has been shortlisted in the Best Use of Integrated Care and Partnership Working in Patient Safety category in the HSJ Patient Safety Awards.

Dr Barbara Rushton, clinical lead for the programme, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted as we knew we needed to bring different professionals together to make this work.

“A digitally-enabled service was key to delivering integrated and safe patient care in this environment. The result, we believe, is a really strong, bespoke product that successfully meets our clinicians’ and patients’ needs – and ultimately improves the care we can provide.”

CO@H was originally inspired by St Clements Practice in Winchester, which launched a paper-based, self-monitoring pilot for Covid-19 patients in April 2020.

Recognising the benefits, that the scheme provided to allow patients to safely monitor their oxygen levels at home, the model was adapted across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It was then rolled out nationally and was supported by NHSX funding in November.

In addition the digitalisation of the scheme has also helped improve the visibility and use of data across different healthcare organisations, create better alert systems to identify and prioritise patients in need of urgent treatment and to ensure patients were supported and reassured when being cared for at home.

The full list of finalists for the 2021 HSJ Patient Safety Awards can be found on https://awards.patientsafetycongress.co.uk/2021-shortlist

Shortlisted teams are required to deliver a presentation to the judging panel and the end of July. Winners will be selected ahead of the ceremony, which will take place as part of the Patient Safety Congress and Awards in Manchester in September 2021.