North East NHS Trust’s pioneering digital work made available to hospitals nationwide

Posted: 06/03/19

Digital tools developed by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) are being made available across the country as part of a new national range of toolkits for other NHS organisations.

The technology enabling NTW staff across the North East to access electronic patient records quickly and securely from anywhere in the Trust has been included in NHS England’s first batch of national ‘blueprints’ – digital toolkits which allow other NHS Trusts and hospitals to implement improvements quicker and more easily in order to improve services for patients and staff.

Mobile access to patient records is used by NTW staff to support the provision of mental health and disability services every day in hundreds of locations across the North East, from the Trust’s own bases to GP surgeries, private homes, public spaces and street triage services delivered in partnership with Northumbria Police.

NTW is one of seven digitally advanced UK mental health trusts currently being supported by NHS England to become a Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) – an internationally recognised NHS provider delivering exceptional care, efficiently, through the use of world-class digital technology and information.

Our Trust’s advanced use of mobile digital technology has transformed the working environment for our staff, supporting our ambition to be the ‘work from anywhere Trust’ and enabling us to provide the best possible standard of care to all our service users.

We are immensely proud of NTW’s status as a Global Digital Exemplar and hope that through this programme many other NHS organisations will be able to benefit from the work we have done.

Lisa QuinnNTW Executive Director of Commissioning & Quality Assurance

The many services benefitting from NTW’s use of digital technology include its street triage team which brings together dedicated officers from Northumbria Police and mental health nurses to assess police incidents and provide support to those who have mental health issues.

The NTW street triage staff are all equipped with mobile devices giving them access to NTW’s electronic patient record system, which in turn allows them to determine the most appropriate response based on both current circumstances and historic information.

Since its formation the team has seen a dramatic reduction in the number of people being unnecessarily detained by the police under the Mental Health Act.

Having mobile digital equipment enables our team to access accurate and up-to-date patient information on the move across the North East. The street triage team have to deal with multiple crisis situations in a fast-paced environment and we’d be lost without our mobile kit, which has had a massive impact on the work we do.

Claire WittenNTW street triage manager

Created by NHS Trusts, the GDE blueprints are a guide for NHS organisations such as hospitals explaining in detail how a particular system or innovation was developed and introduced, the benefits it has had and how organisations can work to implement and deliver it themselves.

The GDE programme also includes ambulance and acute trusts and sees individual trusts partnered with international healthcare organisations to help ensure they learn from those that have already achieved significant benefits from employing digital technology.

More blueprints will be published by NHS England throughout 2019. Find out more about the GDE blueprints on the NHS England website.