Roundup: NHS CEO on Black Lives Matter, N Ireland signs with Epic for £275m EPR programme and more briefs

Also, NHS launches new online support for people with diabetes in this week’s Healthcare IT News roundup.
By Sara Mageit
04:21 AM

SIR SIMON STEVENS ON BLACK LIVES MATTER

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens, internally shared a personal message on Black Lives Matter with all NHS England and NHS improvement staff. The need for faster action was stressed on the reality of racism still experienced by many across the NHS.

In the message, Stevens states that it would be, “wrong to marginalise this moment by trying to compartmentalise it as racism over there in America, not here in Britain.”

“It is increasingly clear that COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on our black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) patients, friends and colleagues. And this, in turn, has brought into stark and urgent focus the layered impacts of years of disadvantage and inequality.”

Although the NHS has made some progress on core HR processes in recent years and seen a 30% increase of senior managers of BAME backgrounds, Stevens highlights that, “no-one thinks this is yet good enough or fast enough.”

On 30 May, the NHS Race and Health Observatory was launched, a new independent centre to stimulate understanding and action around the matter.

CEO of NHSX, Matthew Gould echoed these thoughts in an internal letter to staff, seen by Healthcare IT News: “I’m inviting all our colleagues - particularly but not only black and other BAME colleagues – to sit (remotely) with me and other SLT members, and tell us about your experience. Both about issues in the NHSX and how we tackle them, and more widely - about your experience of racism and exclusion.”

NORTHERN IRELAND SIGNS WITH EPIC FOR £275M EPR PROGRAMME

Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care system has chosen Epic Systems to support its digital transformation with a landmark £275m ten-year contract.

The deal is part of the Encompass programme, a planned £300m investment that will see the creation of a single digital care record for every Northern Ireland citizen, which will also work on reducing waiting times, improving mental health provision, reconfiguring hospital services, transforming cancer services and developing day case elective centres.

Epic will provide a fully regional integrated electronic health and care record solution across acute and community services, replacing the range of ageing health and social care systems. This move will see the country become one of the first in the UK to achieve a fully integrated electronic health and social care record systems.

MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY NHS FOUNDATION SIGNS CONTRACT WITH EPIC 

Manchester University NHS toundation trust (MFT) has signed a £181m contract with Epic to provide an Electronic Patient Record (EPR) solution that will simplify the process of providing all the most up-to-date information about a patient’s care.

In August 2018, MFT began an open procurement process with interested suppliers for the future EPR solution. Epic was announced as MFT’s preferred bidder in September 2019.

The EPR solution, which will be called Hive, will support the UK’s largest NHS trust and will replace the current IT systems. MFT serves nine hospitals spread across six sites and an extensive range of national specialisms. The NHS has described this EPR solution as, “one of the most ambitious undertaken in the NHS.”

EFFICIENT WAYS OF DELIVERING PATIENT CARE

Swiss Post Solutions (SPS) and IMMJ Systems were selected by Kingston Hospital NHS foundation trust to deliver a multi-specialty service to improve patient care through instant access to clinical information, improved integration, and collaboration between clinicians.

By unlocking more efficient ways of delivering care through a fully integrated system, the Trust will achieve increased safety amongst its patients due to greater accuracy of data, 24/7 access to records anywhere geographically and a full consistent and up-to-date version of patient information.

The aim is to increase staff morale and allow them to focus on core duties with decreased administrative workload and provide better care as a result.

FREE NHS COVID-19 SECURITY OFFERING

With a significant rise in malicious ransomware campaigns in healthcare targeting hospitals, research institutions and healthcare government agencies during the pandemic, IBM and The AbedGraham Group have partnered up to combat these security threats.

IBM’s security team of hackers, IBM X-Force has observed a more than 6,000% increase in COVID-19 related spam. This project aims to protect the NHS and its increased reliance on remote working, telehealth and IoT medical device uptake.

This support will offer free security services that aim to strengthen the NHS’s security solutions and enable a focus on limited resources and clinically relevant vulnerabilities.

 

JUSTGIVING PAGE SET UP IN MEMORY OF JASON DA COSTA

A JustGiving page has been set up to raise money in tribute to Jason Da Costa who died on 29 May following a heart attack.

The page is to help raise money for Da Costa’s wife and children in his memory and in tribute to all he did for NHS staff and patients.

Da Costa had been working as the CIO for Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation and previously served as the CIO at Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation. 

Described on the crowdfunding page as “a very much loved member of the NHS digital family”, Da Costa has been praised by colleagues for his various digital endeavours for the NHS.

An online book of condolences has been set up for people to share their messages and tributes.

NEW ONLINE SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES

In light of recent findings showing that people with diabetes face a significantly higher risk of dying with COVID-19, the NHS will launch new online tools to help people manage their condition during the coronavirus pandemic.

The tools will include a range of online videos and training available on each app for children and adults. Patients will also be offered advice on treatment and care, diet and exercise and training to adopt healthy behaviours. This support will complement patient’s video-consultations that have been going ahead during the pandemic.

The apps available to people living with Type 1 diabetes include, Digibete and MyType1Diabetes, which both provide access to a range of awareness, education, training and support resources.

X-TENTION INVESTS IN UK HEALTH TECHNOLOGY GROUP

The Kent-based health technology group Cloud21 and CTO Technologies who provide consultancy and products to the health and social care market has merged with one of Europe’s largest health IT service companies, the x-tention group, headquartered in Austria. They will support them in delivering their technology needs as they get closer to achieving the goal of interoperable systems. 

Cloud21 and CTO Technologies founder Tony Corkett, said, “Whilst the partnership with x-tention is a significant milestone in the group's history, it also marks a point for new capabilities available to UK health and social care organisations. x-tention's product range including Orchestra eHealth Suite and dedicated development and engineering resources can help us to support our mission of maximising the benefits that technology can deliver to the healthcare sector – needed now more than ever.” 

THE UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN CHOOSES BRIDGEHEAD'S INDEPENDENT CLINICAL ARCHIVE

The University of Aberdeen’s world-leading clinical research imaging facility has chosen BridgeHead Software’s Independent Clinical Archive (ICA), to collect, store and protect its clinical research data. This solution will significantly improve insight and help researchers to better understand prevention, diagnostics and treatment of a range of health conditions. Radiographers, radiologists and physicists will be able to securely access, view and analyse images, as and where they need to.

Researchers in the University’s recently upgraded Biomedical Imaging centre will be able to effectively manage medical images that drive understanding of the causes, mechanisms and consequences of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, stroke and Alzheimer's disease ensuring better prevention, diagnostics and treatment.

Solutions like this are proving vital in this time of remote working, social distancing, and revised practices in many healthcare settings.

NHS ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS trust has selected the DXC Open Health Connect platform from DXC Technology to create a blueprint that could dramatically reduce mental health referral times. This move will provide the right assistance for at-risk children through the use of digital technology and give them access to suitable mental health professionals.

The initiative enables young people to use a digital portal to self-refer to local mental health services, eliminating weeks of waiting time from traditional referral processes. It is also now specifically supporting young people as they cope with isolation and anxiety, providing answers to some common questions whilst dealing with the current crises. Plans are already underway to expand the platform to other areas of the country.

Information on the online portal can already be accessed by anyone who has a question about mental wellbeing.

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