The Lancashire and Cumbria Innovation Alliance (LCIA) has recruited the first patient to their innovative Test Bed programme which looks at how technology can help people manage their long term conditions and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.
The LCIA Test Bed programme is hosted by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and is an alliance of several partners including, Lancaster University, the Innovation Agency and the two vanguards in Lancashire; Fylde Coast and Better Care Together. The Alliance is also made up of several technology partners or ‘innovators’ including, Philips as the lead innovator, together with other SME (Small and Medium sized Enterprises) and voluntary sector organisations.
The Test Bed, funded by NHS England, is one of seven test bed sites delivered in partnership with the Department of Health, to explore how technology can improve patient outcomes and experience at the same or lower cost, and helping bridge the gap between innovators and the NHS market
The objective of this test bed is to help people living with a mild to moderate dementia diagnosis or other long term conditions, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and diabetes, to self-manage, avoiding acute exacerbations of their condition and unnecessary hospital admissions.
The LCIA test bed has now recruited their first patient within a group which looks specifically at patients with a mild to moderate dementia diagnosis. Mr Eric Sefton from Poulton is one of the first to sign up to the LCIA Test Bed and explains why he chose to take part:
“I believe it is important that with technology progressing as quickly as it does, healthcare makes the best use out of it. When I was told about the Test Bed I thought it was a great idea, and exactly what is needed to help people in similar situations as me to learn how to live with dementia and also have the quick access to the healthcare team when it’s needed. We all know there are limited resources available to the NHS and so it’s important to utilise the advancements in technology to improve the high quality care already available and really bring it into the 21st century. I’m looking forward to getting started with the kit and being part of this exciting programme.”
Dr Amanda Thornton, Consultant Psychologist for older people, Clinical Director at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and Clinical Lead for the dementia cohort within the LCIA Test Bed said:
“There is a lot of excitement within the team regarding the Test Bed project and the real potential it offers to involve our service users in truly exploring technology enabled care. We are totally committed to providing the very best care for people and are always looking for new and innovative ways to provide this. Being a partner in the Test Bed is a great opportunity to incorporate the use of technology to help people with dementia live well, be empowered, and stay connected and ultimately live where they want to live for as long as they possibly can.
“The support available through the programme is flexible and is tailored to each person’s individual needs. We are looking forward to working with those who want to trial the range of technology and hearing what works for them in enabling them to improve or sustain their overall health and wellbeing.”
Aditya Kasliwal from Speakset, one of the Innovators taking part in the Test Bed who provide technology which allows video calls to take place between the patient and their healthcare team through the patient’s TV set said of this milestone:
“Healthcare hasn’t changed since Florence Nightingale was doing her rounds; the test bed is changing that! We’re building the NHS of the future and SpeakSet is providing simple, accessible video calling on the TV to help patients get regular face to face contact with their healthcare teams."
Public Health and Innovation Minister Nicola Blackwood said:
“This is an exciting initiative which shows how the NHS and innovators are empowering people to manage their own condition and stay out of hospital.”
“The Test Bed collaborations demonstrate how we are exploiting technology to enhance patients’ independence and quality of life, whilst reducing unnecessary hospital admissions.”
Michael Macdonnell, Strategy Group Director and Sponsor of the Test Bed said:
“I’m really pleased that the LCIA Test Bed is now working with patients to test how new technologies can improve patient outcomes and value for the NHS. Test Beds, such as this one, are demonstrating that successful partnerships between the NHS and innovators can lead the charge in using technology to improve patient experience and bring care closer to home.”
Professor John Goodacre, Associate Dean for Engagement and Innovation at Lancaster University and Director of the Lancaster Health Hub said:
“It is great to see Lancashire and Cumbria at the forefront of this novel approach. The Test Bed demonstrates the commitment of many local organisations, including Lancaster University, to work closely together to enable people in the area to benefit from innovative health technologies. This exciting programme has the potential to make a major impact.”
Rupert Hipwell, Director of Population Health Management from Philips Healthcare UK, the lead innovators for the Test Bed said:
“The recruitment of the first patient is an exciting moment as it signifies months of planning being realised to improve patient’s health and wellbeing. We are delighted to be working with NHS England to improve the uptake and access of innovation and to deliver a meaningful programme to the population of Lancashire and Cumbria.”
The Test Beds programme is a key strand of the NHS Five Year Forward View, and will help realise the ambition of transforming the care that is delivered by the NHS so that it is fit to face the challenges of the 21st Century - particularly an ageing population and an increase in patients with long-term health conditions – while remaining financially sustainable.