The Informatics Centre works with a variety of business types from small one-man-band business right through to large, national organisations. One such organisation is the National Health Service (NHS) and the Centre has been engaged in several projects specifically for the NHS.
We are currently engaged in our second consultancy project with the NHS, our first project was NHS Wirral, we have now progressed into NHS West Cheshire CCG to advise on improvements to the patient engagement system. If a GP surgery has a patient participation group (basically, a group that represent the views of the patients) then they receive some additional funds from NHS England, somewhere in the region of ÃÂ£1.10 per patient. The Centre is trying to help establish these groups and also enhance the input they have. To date, we have established a web-blog which aims to aid communication information between the NHS and the patient groups who can then disseminate that to patients. The second phase of the project is to establish an online forum community consisting of NHS professionals, practitioners from the Informatics Centre and of course PPG members. The idea here is share best practice amongst each other whilst also having access to a specialist community to discuss issues specific to practices as well as issues that are common across the board to bring this to the attention of the CCG or NHS England.
The Centre has also just completed developing a prototype mobile app for the Countess of Chester hospital which aims to help with the recovery of stroke victims. The app asks users to complete a short questionnaire each week which will help determine whether the patient is on track with their recovery targets and whether the patient needs any urgent, or alterations to their care. It is hoped that the app can help save money in the long run whilst improving patient care. The Informatics Centre is currently writing a joint-bid with the Countess of Chester to seek funding for a national trial. The app was developed for the Android platform as this was the most cost-effective solution. Due to a recent change in the Computer Science course, introducing Android development, students were able to work on this project, and will continue to do so if the bid for funding is approved
The Centre is currently in negotiation with a number of other NHS projects and hopes to continue to expand its portfolio of projects with healthcare. It certainly is a feel-good feeling for the Centre staff knowing their hard work is helping shape the healthcare industry.