A pioneering team – who are changing the way people access health and care services in Lanarkshire via innovative technology – have won a coveted national award.
NHS Lanarkshire’s Telehealth team, who work across North and South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnerships, were recently crowned at the inaugural Holyrood (Connect) Scottish Digital Health & Care Awards in Edinburgh.
The highly-contested evening set out to recognise the achievements and innovation which is continuing to put Scotland at the forefront of the digital revolution in healthcare.
Morag Hearty, Telehealth manager, expressed her delight as she and her colleagues, telehealth assistants Kerry Fletcher and Lesley Aitken, won the digital health and care team gong.
Morag said: “Various forms of technology are now supporting growing numbers of people in Lanarkshire with a variety of conditions to feel safe, connected and in control whilst increasing independence.
“We are driven by making those positive changes to people’s lives. The award is the icing on the cake and we are committed to taking this programme forward.”
A panel of award judges heard how the Lanarkshire team have introduced and scaled-up innovations which are shifting the way that people access services.
They include, for example, home and mobile health monitoring to support a variety of health conditions. One of the systems, Florence Simple Telehealth text messaging, allows people with conditions including high blood pressure, to monitor and text their readings from home. This ensures safety and reduces the need to attend the Doctor’s surgery for routine checks.
The judges also heard how one of the wider aims of the team’s work is to use latest video conferencing technology to improve connections with people and clinical support. At several local authority and independent sector care homes across Lanarkshire, for example, the technological infrastructure is now in place so residents have the opportunity to link into GPs and other health staff for consultations. Some care homes are also using the system for online video conference get-togethers, ranging from sing-alongs to group exercise.
Among the overall benefits recognised by the judges are improved levels of long-term condition self-management, staff and service users reducing time travelling to clinics and residents in care homes connecting with their local communities.
Calum Campbell, Chief Executive of NHS Lanarkshire, said: “Telehealth is a vital component of the transformation of health and care delivery and this programme is focussed on ensuring patient safety and improving lives.
“This award reflects not only the exemplary work of this small team driving significant change – but the continuous commitment to improvement here in Lanarkshire.”