Newsletter – 13th October

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Seeing opportunities to improve care and being faced with obstacles getting there probably sounds familiar to us all. Our role is to help colleagues overcome those obstacles so that the very best care consistently reaches as many patients as possible. Doing it successfully requires insight into the challenges faced – and the different perspectives on them depending on your NHS, social care, research or industry viewpoint.
So this week I’d like to share with you a window on the world as it appears to a Surrey based SME. Adrian Flowerday, Chief Executive of Docobo met our team recently and told us what is and isn’t workingwhen it comes to collaborating on healthcare innovation.
Docobo is a UK Digital Health solutions company, approved to develop and market Medical Devices, involved in the management and prevention of long term conditions. Adrian established the company, with EU funding in 2001, from a consortium of clinicians and technologists. Since then they have developed their doc@HOME® Telehealth system for the management of patients in their own homes, and their ArtemusICS™ Commissioning and Care Delivery Support tool based on risk stratification.
Their work locally with Sussex Community NHS Trust has seen a significant reduction in emergency admissions from care homes but Docobo face major challenges in sharing that success with other areas whose care home residents might benefit from similar interventions. They are also supporting CCGs in Crawley and Horsham and Mid Sussex with their successful ProActive care project by providing risk stratification software and expertise.
Patient, need, technology
Adrian has coined the phrase “Need-Ability”, where both the patient’s need and their level of technical ability is taken into account when prescribing the right solution. The key to his operation is starting with patient need and then getting the right technology to the right patient with the right need.
He is clearly unimpressed with the large scale approaches to telehealth (AKA digital health) which meant simply buying some kit and handing it out to patients regardless of their ability to use it or its particular relevance to the management of their health. That approach doesn’t work for the patient (or the clinicians involved in his or her care) and has understandably attracted criticism. For Adrian, the apparent failure of the large deployments overshadows those parts of the country where telehealth is working well and where patients and their carers are experiencing real benefits.
Success comes from process, people and technology blended together. Digital solutions need to deployed wisely and in close co-ordination with the trained staff whose caseload it helps support.
A further sticking point can be the initial investment required to deliver medium term improvements, knowing that in-year savings can be paramount for NHS finances.
One of the ways KSS AHSN can help to make the twin alignments of right supplier with right customer, and right product with right patient, is our Navigator Advisory Service (NAS).
The NAS is designed to make it easier for proven products and innovations, with potential for much wider uptake, to reach clinicians who might otherwise not be aware of them or have the time to seekthem out. It also enables us to horizon scan for busy clinicians and ensure we talk with them about proven innovations with highest potential for improved patient care. Bringing a more systematic approach helps to meet the needs of all parties.
You can find out more about the NAS on our new look website.
I’ll leave you with one Adrian’s own reflections. “Ultimately it’s about benefitting more patients; that’s what we’re all in it for.” I think that’s probably sounding pretty familiar to us all too.
Kind regards,
Guy Boersma
Managing Director, KSS AHSN
Invitation to whole system modelling event
System Modelling is a powerful method for testing, understanding the implications of and building consensus around proposed service configurations and care pathway changes.
KSS AHSN is keen to promote the wider use of System Modelling and is holding a one-day event on 6 November 2014 at the Gatwick Holiday Inn.  Key features include:
         To demonstrate how System Modelling can be used to test and enable healthcare improvement
         To identify how System Modelling can improve services for older people in KSS
          To stimulate interest and connect users and suppliers with an interest in using System Modelling in KSS.
                Connections made, knowledge exchanged, interest developed
                 Users and suppliers with a better understanding of each other and the potential for System Modelling in improving services for older people in KSS
              Candidates identified for KSS AHSN joint project(s).
                Users: NHS, Public Health, Social Care and Local Authority staff involved in service improvement and commissioning.
                  Suppliers: Industry, academics and NHS organisations experienced in providing System Modelling software and expertise.
There are slots for Case Study presentations and slots fordemonstrations. Please contact Gill Potts if you are currently active in modelling and are interested in presenting or demonstrating your work / product.
Attendance will be free to AHSN members and presenters and £75 per delegate for others. Please contact: to register and Gill Potts for further information.
 Health and wealth economic summit
The West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) invites you to attend one or both days of their forthcoming Health and Wealth Economic Summit for the West Midlands.
For further information and registration please click here.
HEE Call for Clinical Academic Programme Internships
[Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex]
Health Education Kent, Surrey Sussex has an objective to ‘support clinical academic careers for health professionals and also seek to increase numbers of staff across all clinical and public health professions with a proper understanding of research and its role in improving health outcomes, including an ability to participate in and utilise the results of research’.
A revised group of eligible professions are able to apply for the internship programme. Please view the list of eligible professionsto learn more. The deadline for applications is Monday, 27 October 2014.
Interested candidates should download the ICAP internship application template and submit the completed template, a current Curriculum Vitae and a declaration of support from their current employer to Mrs Jayne Ingles at
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