Two NHS Trusts in the North of England have turned to Physio Med, one of the UK’s leading physiotherapy providers, to help improve the health of staff and reduce levels of sickness absence.
Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Airedale NHS Foundation Trust have both awarded contracts to Physio Med after successful trial periods.
Through working with Physio Med since 2009, the Employee Health and Wellbeing department at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust has made fast track access to physiotherapy available to the 2,800 staff at Bradford District Care Trust and another 1,200 at Incommunities.
Bradford District Care Trust reported a 60 per cent increase in productivity among staff who received treatment in 2013. The patients, including school and district nurses, social workers, and healthcare support workers, also reported an average reduction in pain of 68 per cent.
At Incommunities, which is one of the largest social housing providers in Yorkshire and the Humber, productivity amongst the staff treated by Physio Med increased by 31% and they reported a 64% reduction in pain.
Joanne Hoban, Acting Head of Service at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The employees at Incommunities and Bradford District Care Trust all provide vital community services and it is in everyone’s interests to ensure they are fighting fit and able to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.
“By the nature of many of the roles within those organisations the employees can be susceptible to musculoskeletal injuries and in fact across the two organisations approximately two thirds of those employees who sought treatment had conditions that were work related or work aggravated. By working with Physio Med we are able to provide fast track access to physio treatment and help them to reduce the pain of these conditions and get back to work as quickly as possible so we are delighted to be able to continue to provide this service.”
Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s 3,500 staff provide inpatient and community mental health services and learning disability, drug and alcohol and other community services, across Cheshire and Wirral, plus some specialist services in Liverpool, Warrington and Halton.
The nature of the services provided mean that many of the job roles are physically demanding and the in-house physiotherapy service provided by the Trust was under increased demand, with some staff suffering from musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) waiting more than two weeks for an appointment. This led to employees being absent from work and others working at reduced levels of productivity.
After a successful trial the Trust asked Physio Med to implement a service providing fast-track access to physiotherapy in order to promote staff health and wellbeing, improve productivity and reduce sickness absence.
Any employee who suffers a musculoskeletal injury or disorder (MSD) can be referred to Physio Med by their line manager. The employee is then contacted within four working hours by Physio Med’s award winning Physiotherapy Advice Line (PAL) service, for telephone triage to ensure they are clinically appropriate for treatment, and then has an initial assessment call with a Senior Chartered Physiotherapistwithin a few working days, which incorporates a series of evidence-based clinical questions and series of movements to facilitate diagnosis. The employee is then either advised on the best way to self-manage the condition to assist the healing process or referred for face-to-face treatment.
The initial trial found that approximately 62% of Cheshire and Wirral employees that have used the service successfully self-managed their condition without the need for face-to-face treatment, with remainder being referred for face-to-face treatment within Physio Med’s network of approved practitioners in a timely manner.
Andrea Snagg, Head of Occupational Health at Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “From healthcare and nursing staff that can face quite physically demanding situations, to estates and domestic teams, and even admin staff, they are all at risk of suffering MSDs and we need to help them back to full fitness as quickly as possible to enable us to provide services to patients.
“We benchmarked our in-house provision against Physio Med’s PAL service and the initial results have been really positive. 85 per cent of those who report an MSD are still in work when they are referred which can have a huge effect on productivity so being able to give them timely access to treatment and helping them return quickly to full fitness is a huge benefit to the Trust.”
Mark Fletcher, Clinical Director of Physio Med, said: “Evidence shows early physiotherapy intervention on musculoskeletal injuries can prevent acute conditions becoming chronic, promote swifter recovery and return to the workplace and improve productivity levels. By providing fast-track access to physiotherapy to employees these Trusts are demonstrating commitment to ensuring their health and wellbeing and we are delighted to be playing a role in that.”
Physio Med has a UK-wide network of 2,500 senior Chartered Physiotherapists in 780 approved practices and received the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s Clinical Excellence Award in 2012.
For further information about how Physio Med works with clients visit www.physiomed.co.uk
Manchester, UK, has been transformed over the past 20 years to become a leading European city for digital technologies. Mancunians have embraced the concept of the ‘smart city’, seeing the internet integrate with digitally enabled systems across the board and bringing everything into a well-oiled system of activity and communication. The concept of open data is essential to this ambition. Access to information is not only valuable to the individual but also on a city-to-city basis, where it can provide the foundations for commerce, dialogue and new initiatives. Adrian Slatcher, Senior Digital Development Officer at the Manchester Digital Development Agency, joins us to highlight the big areas of progress being made to our world…
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P.S. Don’t forget if Adrian Slatcher is speaking at the Smart Data for Government Event taking place in London between 23-24 September 2014. If you work in Central or Local Government / NHS / Police then subject to our approval you could be attending the event free of charge. Simply enquire at 020 7368 9737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line: FREE PASS REQUEST SMART DATA FOR GOVERNMENT
From left to right: Mark Byrne, Head of Corporate, Education & Public Sector, Toshiba; Nick Offin, Head of Channel , Toshiba; Bordan Tkachuk, CEO, Viglen; Neil Bramley, Sales Director Northern Europe, Toshiba
Viglen, a British IT company, has been awarded Toshiba UK’s Platinum Partner of the Year and Education Platinum Partner of the Year, in recognition of its all-round performance and commitment to excellence within its Toshiba partnership and also its specialism within the Education market.
Achieving Platinum partner status is recognition by Toshiba of a level of excellence at reselling Toshiba products and consistently adding value to the relationship. The award winners were judged by Toshiba as demonstrating a level of excellence at not just reselling Toshiba products, but consistently adding value to the relationship through product knowledge, support, aftersales and integration services to enhance the Toshiba customer experience.
Viglen has grown its partnership with Toshiba from scratch over less than a decade to become one of the largest Toshiba resellers in the UK. As a result Viglen customers are benefitting from enhanced levels of support, expertise and resources, reducing the cost and simplifying the process of ICT procurement.
Commenting on the award, Viglen chief executive Bordan Tkachuk said; “As a PC manufacturer, Viglen benefits from a very close level of partnership with Toshiba. By pioneering a range of unique support and value-add services, Viglen is able to offer a level of bespoke service to enhance Toshiba’s already strong product portfolio, ensuring that together we offer one of the strongest mobile computing propositions available with justified performance, flexibility and value.
“This has undoubtedly helped in consolidating our position as a leading ICT supplier to the UK Education and Public Sector.”
Ofsted has awarded CACI a contract to deliver new Social Care inspection IT system
CACI has won a major contract to supply a new inspection solution for Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, to be used in its 4,600 plus inspections of social care providers each year.
Ofsted inspect and regulate all services involving care for children and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages throughout England, working with providers to promote their improvement, monitor their progress and share best practice.
The new contract with CACI covers Ofsted’s social care remit and is part of their vision to use technology for the better safeguarding of children. The CACI inspection software, OfficeBase, will be used to integrate and manage the core areas of Ofsted’s social care processes, covering areas such as registration, scheduling, inspection and enforcement, with accurate, timely and quick-to-access management information as a key outcome. OfficeBase will be a key enabler to the efficient and effective delivery of Ofsted’s social care business, and will be used by more than 200 staff involved in over 4,600 inspections of social care providers each year.
Commenting on the contract, Ollie Watson, Business Development Director at CACI said;
“Following a rigorous procurement process, we are delighted to have been awarded this significant contract by Ofsted. The partnership is both strategic and high profile and demands the highest levels of collaborative working. We’re also proud to be playing a part in ultimately supporting professionals to make the very best decisions for safeguarding our children.”
Central to Ofsted’s decision to implement OfficeBase was its ability to securely capture, share and access safeguarding information. Through an extensive implementation programme, where OfficeBase is required to interface with a range of other IT systems, the launch of the new solution will help Ofsted streamline processes in this area and drive efficiency across a broad remit.
Concluding Tom Zebedee, Head of IS at Ofsted commented, “We are pleased to be working with CACI on this implementation and are looking forward to using OfficeBase to support our core inspection and regulatory work.”
Nuance Communications Inc, has announced the availability of “Five Reasons To Speech Enable The EHR”, a free whitepaper published to address the current contradiction of the potential benefits of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems being undermined by the time it takes to use them. Studies have shown navigating an EHR can add up to 90 minutes to a medical professional’s day. With EHRs due in force in the NHS by 2018, the availability of the whitepaper and its recommendations could help ease the transition to the broader uptake of EHRs and save doctors’ time when using them.
The whitepaper, which is available here , focuses on five EHR-related areas that would benefit from being speech-enabled. It explains how a speech-interface – which facilitates the creation and maintenance of accurate, detailed and up-to-date patient records that are easy to navigate – can help to improve doctors’ and nurses’ satisfaction at work, by enabling them to spend more time with their patients and less time on administration.
It also explains how a speech-enabled EHR helps to put the patient back at the centre of care, in part by enabling them to see the creation of their own file or record in real-time. It also gives them the reassurance of knowing their consultation and the next course of action have been captured correctly, in their presence together with their doctor.
“Five Reasons to speech enable the EHR” explains how speech recognition increases healthcare institution’s return on EHR investment and further exploit their potential; this is because speech removes the biggest barrier to broad EHR adoption and use – that of having to learn another administration task.
The whitepaper outlines how speech also helps resolve the challenge of structured and unstructured data. Thanks to speech using normal, natural, language, it captures more – and higher quality – data then that achieved when typing or taking notes. This more comprehensive data provides medical institutions and professionals with access to richer and more detailed data for analysis, to facilitate better decision making in the future.
Through the creation of more accurate clinical documents, the level of patient safety and care is raised, as documents can be shared quickly, reducing the chance of life-threatening errors being made along the patient’s care pathway. It can also reduce or clear patient report backlogs, which is another cause of patients’ conditions worsening in advance of a diagnosis being documented and treated.
Nuance is deeply invested in a new generation of sophisticated and powerful applications, underpinned by voice and clinical language understanding (CLU), that reinvent the way doctors and patients experience healthcare, providing direct access to the healthcare information that matters most. Already, more than 750 global developers are utilising Nuance technology to humanise healthcare and pursuing the promise of virtual assistants in medicine.
Nuance’s speech recognition solutions for healthcare are available to NHS Trusts nationwide through an NHS Framework Agreement. In the UK, Nuance has already partnered with suppliers to install speech recognition-based solutions at Trusts across the country, including London’s Great Ormond Street, NHS Northumbria, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and more.
Connect with Nuance on social media through the healthcare blog, What’s next, Twitter and Facebook.
Nuance Communications, Inc. is a leading provider of voice and language solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with devices and systems. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications. For more information, please visit www.nuance.co.uk
Jamie Smith-Thompson – managing director of Portal Financial
In a Ministerial Statement issued today the Government announced that it will prevent public sector workers from transferring their unfunded final salary pension to a private pension, in order to protect the Exchequer and taxpayers, leaving millions of people trapped in a scheme that may be inappropriate for their circumstances in the future.
The last Budget introduced unprecedented flexibility over pension funds, and was widely welcomed. Those with unfunded state-backed final salary schemes are now being excluded from these new freedoms, and will never have control of their fund. Although many final salary pensions provide a generous index-linked retirement income, there are those who choose to transfer the cash value to a private pension prior to retirement in order to take advantage of benefits such as 25% tax-free cash, flexibility on withdrawals and the option to leave the money to named beneficiaries.
Public sector workers affected by this change may well be asking the obvious question – why are the Government doing this now? Certainly it brings greater control back within the Treasury, but it isn’t as if there was a great glut of people already transferring public sector pensions away before this point in time. Yes, it suited some people very well, but the majority were quite happy where they were.
Do the Treasury believe that this year’s budget would see more people taking up this option if they did nothing to stop it? Maybe. Or is it a case of the Treasury closing the exit door on these schemes before they start to reduce the benefits they provide in real terms as part of a long term plan to make them affordable to maintain. Only time will tell.
The restrictions being put in place are, of course, fine as long as the benefits on offer suit you, and as long as you trust successive Governments to make good on their promise to deliver them. So that’s the key question for those affected to ask – do you trust the Government not to make unilateral decisions on public sector pensions in the future?
If you think you may be better off transferring out, or if you can’t quite bring yourself to trust the Government to do the right thing by you, then getting advice on your options early is crucial. It’s likely that an awful lot of your colleagues will be thinking the same thing…
Jamie Smith-Thompson, managing director of pensions specialist Portal Financial, comments: “We expect to see many people now choosing to transfer while they still have that option, and our experience is to act now, because it can take a while to transfer funds into a private pension and any outstanding applications that are not completed by the deadline will remain as they are.”
Patrick Crawford, CEO, Charity Bank
The value of loans approved by Charity Bank for charities and other social sector organisations almost doubled in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period last year.
Over the first six months of this year, Charity Bank approved loans worth £11 million compared to £6 million in the first half of 2013, an increase of 83%. During the same period in 2012, the Bank approved £5 million in loans.
Patrick Crawford, Chief Executive of Charity Bank, says, “Our experience is that charities and other social sector organisations are starting to regain confidence about the economy, and becoming more ready to borrow in order to grow their activities where it is prudent to do so.
“Social sector organisations can benefit if they diversify their sources of revenue and embrace mixed funding, including borrowing. By doing so they can strengthen their organisations, grow their revenues, unlock other funds and expand their impacts.
“The increase in demand for our loans has also been prompted by the effect of cuts in public sector spending on the social sector, compounded by the lack of finance for smaller charities from large commercial banks.”
Vehicle tracking specialist Ctrack has launched a new multi-comms solution to enable emergency services organisations in the UK to seamlessly switch between communication channels to meet precise operational requirements while minimising data transfer costs.
This solution takes advantage of the most appropriate mobile, TETRA or WiFi network to achieve the most cost effective real-time tracking and reporting, while ensuring complete connectivity due to the resilience provided by multiple communication networks.
This latest tracking solution will enable emergency services organisations to select alternative communication channels for data transfer to support and complement the standard use (Private APN) of the mobile network. As a result, the tracking unit can intelligently select TETRA mode when a vehicle is in an area with no mobile signal coverage, or alternatively an authorised WiFi or even Iridium Satellite network when available.
Ctrack Multi-comms will automatically selects the most appropriate channel to exchange data, helping to ensure maximum connectivity whilst potentially reducing communication costs. Meanwhile, a least-cost routing algorithm can provide users with the ability to prioritise information based on their exact needs to minimise data transfer expenditure further should this be required. This includes switching to WiFi when available to transfer low priority data not yet sent via more expensive channels.
This innovative telematics hardware supports multiple digital and analogue inputs which can easily be configured to monitor the status of on-board systems such as blue lights, seat belts, seat occupation, roller shutters and doors. It also supports the extraction of CANBus data from engine management systems supporting many types of vehicle providing metrics such as Fuel Consumption, RPM and subject to the vehicle compatibility, Odometer, MIL Lamp Indications / DTC codes.
In the event of an incident the rolling buffer provides in depth analysis of the last 12 hours of vehicle data with speed at one second intervals and g forces in three axis @ 250ms. Meanwhile the accident buffer can store 10 x events – 90sec before and 30sec after an event with Speed / RPM at one second intervals and 10 seconds before and after incident utilising the three axis accelerometer to provide 200ms data for incident reconstruction and analysis.
John Wisdom, Managing Director of Ctrack commented: “This latest functionality enables seamless and least cost data transfer providing emergency services organisations with even higher level of efficiency, reliability and security for their fleets and assets. Ctrack Multi-comms puts them in control to meet precise operational needs, gain added visibility and minimise overheads wherever possible.”
Student service availability and social media support key to new business wins and highlights increased focus on customer service as universities compete for paying students
Service Management Software company, Sunrise Software, today announced that three leading UK universities have selected its Service Desk platform, Sostenuto, in recent months. Plymouth University, York St John University and one other are all implementing Sunrise’s Service Desk platform across departments including IT, libraries and estate management, with extended deployments planned in areas including social media support.
“Increasingly, universities are thinking and behaving as service oriented businesses as they need to compete and attract fee paying students to their campuses,” says Geoff Rees, Sales Director at Sunrise Software. “Whilst initial deployments underpin the needs of IT, libraries and estate management, utilising the ‘platform’ capability of the software means that the universities can, and are, extending their student service offering across many of the university faculties – from registration management to catering, accommodation, resource management, health & safety and more.”
Developed using the latest HTML 5 technology, the software’s attractive and easy-to-use interface, combined with its’ ability to work on multiple devices, are two of the key attractions for universities that seek the latest in contemporary systems to demonstrate the commitment to student services. In addition, Sunrise’s capability for social media interaction will enable universities to provide support via channels such as Twitter and Facebook, which are rapidly becoming the communication channel of choice for students.
“For many students Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have replaced more traditional methods of communication such as email and telephone.” Says Geoff Rees, “our platform, Sostenuto, allows universities to embrace this shift in the use of technology, extending the Service Desk to achieve greater reach and adoption of services. For example, on average students have four different devices with which they may connect to the network. They expect to be able to ask for support from any of those devices and Service Desks need to be able to provide it.”
Sunrise allows Service Desks to proactively listen to social media channels, such as Twitter, for comments based on #hashtags, keywords, phrases or public messages sent from, or between specific users. Such automated searches provide important early warnings of potential customer service issues, even before they are communicated formally to the Service Desk.
At any point in the processing of a Service Request or Incident, the Service Desk can automatically send messages via their favoured social media channels informing the customer of progress so far. Service teams can then proactively broadcast the status of specific identified problems via social media channels.
Sunrise is in discussion with a number of other universities that are seeking to raise their standards of student support and join up their support and communication processes.