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Local people supported to live well at home using digital technologies as part of innovative partnership project

2nd October 2019

About the Lancashire and Cumbria Innovation Alliance Test Bed programme

Digital technology is enabling people to manage their health conditions at homeThe Lancashire and Cumbria Innovation Alliance (LCIA) Test Bed programme was a collaborative study which tested a combination of innovative technologies and practices to determine if they could improve services and patient experiences.

The project was funded by NHS England and hosted by Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (previously Lancashire Care). Wave 1 of the project ran for two years, with each person participating receiving a telehealth solution for a six month period. It was aimed at supporting people aged 55 and over living with long term conditions (such as heart failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and / or dementia) to remain well in the community, avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions where possible.

We worked with several approved technology innovators to make a range of equipment available to trial in a patient's home. For example, a blood pressure recorder, an oxygen monitoring finger probe and a computer tablet. The technology was designed to help measure vital signs at home, which were monitored remotely by clinicians. This helped healthcare teams understand how they may be able to support patients manage their condition from home with the re-assurance to a patient that they were still being monitored by a healthcare professional.

The Test Bed Expansion 1.5 project continued the good work achieved within the original Test Bed project. The overall aim of the project was to expand the offer of telehealth solutions outside of the original constraints imposed in Test Bed wave 1. Test Bed wave 1 required patients to be over 55, have a significant risk of admission and to receive the service for six months, lifting these constraints would provide more evidence for commissioners to make decisions around supporting the longer term commissioning of telehealth services in local communities driven by your clinical need.

Wave 1.5 continued to be delivered in the same format as wave 1 in that, if suitable to participate, patients were given a telehealth solution to trial at home with monitoring from clinical teams. The telehealth solutions that were used were again provided by a number of technology innovators such as Docobo Limited.

The learning from the NHS England Test Bed programme has proved to be invaluable, and is now being used to support the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System with the delivery of a Digital Discharge project and the Technology Enabled Care at Scale programme.

Key findings from the Test Bed project 

  • Hospital admissions have reduced by 27% for patients in the programme: before the interventions took place, hospital admissions were at a rate of 1.64 per patient, due to the intervention, this declined by 0.44: to 1.2 per patient.
  • 82.6% of patients on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) care plans and 88% of patients on a generic care plan felt more able to manage condition to reduce the need to see a doctor or nurse.
  • The average Patient Activation Measure (PAM) score of the Test Bed population (74 patients) who started at activation level 1 increased from 43.08 to 46.05 (mean difference 2.97). This is a 1.74 mean difference increase from phase 1 of Test Bed. Each point increase in PAM score correlates to a 2% decrease in hospitalisation and 2% increase in patients taking medication correctly.

Download the Lancashire and Cumbria Innovation Alliance Test Bed 1.5 service review

We are delighted to share the Lancashire and Cumbria Innovation Alliance Test Bed service Review for the extended wave 1.5 programme.

The review compliments the Final Evaluation Report for a Targeted Supported Self-Care Programme from Wave 1 and is based on business as usual model of delivery.

Download a copy of the Lancashire and Cumbria Innovation Alliance Test Bed Service Review (PDF) 

Our Digital Future

Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria launched Our Digital Future, the digital health strategy for Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria, in June 2018. This strategy sets out how digital tools, services and new ways of working will support the future improvement and transformation of health and care services across the region. At the heart of this is the goal to empower local people to live longer, healthier lives. A core feature of the digital strategy centres around engaging people, patients, voluntary, community and faith organisations - as well as health and care services themselves - in making decisions about how digital technology can be used to improve the health and care of local people.

To find out more about our digital health work, visit the Our Digital Future section of our website.

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