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Using remote communication technology in a mental health setting

The Partner

Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust is based in South East London and Kent, and provides general and specialist mental health services to these areas as well as community care.

"As an organisation, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust prides itself on delivering evidenced based practice, and seeking innovation and new ways of working. When considering how Video Conferencing could be utilised to support clinical practice but also demonstrate the efficiencies that is now demanded of the public sector, the KTP frame work supported these aims.   As we enter the final quarter of a two year project the quality and financial benefits of the project are beginning to be realised. As a result the Trust has already extended the financial support for the project to accelerated the roll out. In addition the interest of the media has been positively stimulated enhancing the organisations profile as a quality provider"
John Enser,
Director of Forensic and Prison Services
The challenge

Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust is consistently at the forefront of innovative solutions to improve patient care in mental health services. It was identified that there was an opportunity to develop a new way to enable service users and staff to communicate across five geographically dispersed locations more effectively through video conferencing. As a result staff communications and patient care would be improved, reducing the number of admissions and length of stay in hospital, with resultant cost savings for the Trust.

How we are helping

Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust joined the University in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership. A graduate has worked with them to develop effective video conferencing practices and procedures, founded on research evidence. A thorough evaluation of clinicians, service users and mangers perceptions of video conferencing was undertaken, and the findings were used in conjunction with a systematic literature review to guide the introduction of the video conferencing technology in the Trust and the methods of evaluating its introduction. This has delivered real reductions in time spent travelling for staff, in attendance at meetings and in the speeding up of clinical decision making. The Trust is introducing the scheme to eleven more sites.

  • A dedicated member of staff leading the project
  • Additional support from university experts in mental health care
  • Knowledge of the latest research and development within the field
  • Recommendations on what information tools to use to collect data
  • Advice on evaluating the intervention techniques
  • Access to government funding
Who is involved?
  • Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust : John Enser, Director of Forensic and Prison Services, and Stephen Francis, Business Manager
  • Knowledge Base Supervisor: Dr Fergal Jones, Senior Lecturer/Clinical Psychologist
  • Lead Academic: Dr Doug MacInnes, Reader in Mental Health
  • Academic Support: Prof. Tony Lavender, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research and Knowegde Exchange)
Want to know more?

Find out how we can help you access funding and support to develop your organisation. Read more about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.|