Rethinking the way that Trusts deliver care

By Jodie Emery

The shift towards digitisation within the NHS is not a new concept. Every year, the organisation moves ever closer towards a frontline equipped with the technology needed to connect more effectively with staff and patients alike. This is a goal that Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) has been working on since its inception.

Formed following the merger of two Hospital Trusts in October 2017, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) and University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM), MFT set about putting their 3-5 year improvement programme which includes the rollout of Apple devices across the Trust.

One such Hospital Trust is Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT). On September 9th 2022, MFT began a roll out of over 8,000 Apple devices with the help of Public Sector IT Specialists, Kingsfield IT. The Trust had been planning a move towards digitisation for a number of years before they teamed up with the experts from Kingsfield to put their plan into action.

Technology was already a large part of MFT’s day-to-day operations; Electronic Patient Records (EPR) were a steadfast part of their workflows for easy access to patient records. Likewise, workstations on wheels were a means of having technology on wards even if they didn’t provide the mobility often needed in a busy hospital environment.

Now, these processes are more essential than ever, and having the right devices to support these systems is integral to delivering quality care. This is part of a 3-5 year programme to deliver the objectives of the Single Hospital Service (SHS).

More than 800 systems were replaced over the course of one weekend, making the shift from multiple platforms to just one quick and easy alternative for staff and patients. With the devices being used to access patient records, capture observations and oversee the administration of medication, the switch to iPad and iPhone means that healthcare workers can now get everything done on just one device without needing to share with a colleague or the repetition of work.

Frontline Digitisation

Manchester University Foundation NHS Trust’s partnership partnership with Kingsfield IT is just the beginning for Trusts looking to invest in digitisation. While MFT’s current adoption of Apple technology is for the benefit of staff, plans to expand the deployment of tech to patients are already in the works.

Managing Director of Kingsfield IT, Brian Boys, said, “this is such a crucial moment in time for health services across the UK, and to be a part of such a monumental shift within the healthcare sector is so important for us at Kingsfield. Through our work with MFT, we’ve been able to see first-hand the difference that a cohesive technological system can have for everyday workflows.

We know from past research that when hospital staff have the means to work more effectively, that efficiency is often reflected in the level of care that patients receive. MFT’s move towards Trust-wide digitisation is still in its beginning stages after years of planning. Specialists like Kingsfield IT provide the means for Hospital Trusts to take that first step towards implementing technology in their workflows to enhance the quality of care in a quickly advancing landscape.

“Aiding in the rollout of devices for this project allowed us to be there at the start of a journey that has long since been in the works, and to see it come to fruition is incredible. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this project and the people it will inevitably benefit.”

Brian Boys, Managing Director at Kingsfield

“The previous organisations held between the mover 800 systems which were used by the clinical and admin teams to deliver and manage patient care, the introduction of Hive has enabled a significant reduction in these systems and a single view of a patient record.”

Jenny Armstrong, Head of Programmes

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