back to article Teleconferencing 'shifts hundreds of NHS bed-blockers out the door'

The Whittington hospital NHS trust is speeding its discharge rates and saving about £150,000 a year by using teleconferencing, according to Jar O'Brien, team leader for Islington's community rehabilitation services. He said the system, a hosted audio-conferencing service supplied by BT, costs £6,000 a year to run. O'Brien said …

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Trollface

wonderful

So the NHS is up to the 90's in terms of technology... whatever next I wonder?

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Re: wonderful

Any project that only costs £6k per year to an outside provider, is working and actually getting results, has to be commended though

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Re: wonderful

Agreed

But this is really a sticking plaster on the wider problem.. a properly thought out system and supporting process for patient records and management, that's unified for all hospitals.. I wonder how many times this wheel has been re-invented?

There are huge savings available if only they could get a decent system in place.. £150k p/a is barely enough for another doctor

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Unhappy

Re: wonderful

"But this is really a sticking plaster on the wider problem.. a properly thought out system and supporting process for patient records and management, that's unified for all hospitals.."

A sort of "National Programme for NHS IT"

What could possibly go wrong with such a notion?

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Facepalm

Gosh, the NHS has gone all modern

Teleconferencing, what an innovation, they will move onto email soon I bet.

Is it me or did that article portray Whittington NHS trust as being about 20 years behind the curve, which I doubt they really are?

Loved the cross charging though, the thought of virtual taxpayers money moving around is so similar to virtual company money moving around and is great for creating bean counter jobs.

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Bronze badge

NHS plus BT plus IT Wow A Good Outcome

It is great to see and hear a good news story involving BT, IT and the NHS.

Mind you the secret might just be down to the scale of the investment £ 6,000 p.a. investment and a claimed return of £150,000.

Usually it appears that the ratio is the other way round, 'investment' billions and the return is never found.

Could there be a lesson in this for us all?

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They should roll out video teleconferencing to general practice. My GP tends to just look at his computer rather than me, when I visit. If I am on the screen at least I know, he will actually see me.

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Coat

compiles a spreadsheet of the patients

Was it just me that read this as 'compiles a bedsheet of the patients'?

The one with the stethoscope, please...

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Coat

400 bed days per year,...

so, just over 1 actual bed? How expensive are these things?

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Congratulations

Yes, it is easy ot take a cheap shot at people but this is well thought out and benefits everyone so well done!

Cost? It's not just the bed, it is the ward maintnenace, percentage of staff, emergency provision (e.g. crash cart within reach of so many beds) etc.. Less than £400 per day sounds good value.

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hmm

£6000 a year for a daily UK only audio conference seems a lot?

From my experience in a different hospital they could save about half the bed days. I was stuck waiting for tests taking up a bed, I could have gone home after 24 hours not 72.

I wasn't the only one.

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Big saving or just a little?

"Virtual meeting re-ablement triumph saves £150m"

So the article mentions saving 150k per year, is the overall cost benefit being evaluated over 1000 years?!

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Anonymous Coward

You're missing the point here

The point being that discharge from hospital requires coordination of a number of agencies including community health providers (who may or may not be NHS organisations) and social services. So a way that can herd those particular cats together is to be commended.

I speak as one who works in that environment. @horsham_sparky: do you?

Anon because my organisation has a ban on forums such as these and I've been in trouble before...

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Pint

Thats a 20:1 payback.Which sounds quite good.

Note

1) It's "lowest common denominator" tech. It just *works* and that beats the s**t out of some whizz bang system that's still in design after 2 yrs because all the groups involved cannot agree on the screen layout or some other stupid s**t. I'm convinced the larger the group, the lower the collective IQ.

2) It's a process *pattern* It could (and IMHO *should*) be used throughout the NHS. But there are *many* cases like this in the public sector (and I'd guess a few in the private) which require planning the actions of multiple stakeholders (I know I must lay off those management books) . Prisoner release anyone? Imagine every inmate coming straight out the jail into suitable transport (to the airport in the case of foreign crims), substance abuse counseling or just the nearest job centre.

3)It's people being interested in doing a better job rather than some top down IT plan. And I'll bet it was quite a job to get them to (virtually) sit down and do this to begin with.

4) It can be a prototype if they do decide to go some kind of more automated system (I sort of hope they don't).

BTW this problem seems to be a bit like that of scheduling lawyers into courthouses which IIRC has been under development (over several attempts) for about the last 10-15 years.

Human beings doing their job 1 Mindless bureaucratic drones 0

We salute you.

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WTF?

I'm confused

I remember when the Trusts were setup and they all had there own phone switchboard and conference calls and conference rooms were standard even then. They also had videoconferencing setup back then as well.

So I'm confused how this is new/news. I can obly conclude that they never used it and over time BT now own all there kit and rent it to them and they have finaly started to use them.

This is why I'm confused and must admit worried that it has taken them this long to use just the audio conferencing on what is built into any PBX a small office may have these days. Nice table top mic's also been standard. Can only conclude the good times of lets discuss this at a resturant instead of audio conference has come to pass.

On the plus side there would appear to be alot more fat that can be margined into savings, clearly. Whats that about horses and water /o\.

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