Dr Ruth Chambers, Clinical Lead for Long term conditions at WMAHSN - as well as chair of NHS Stoke-on -Trent Clinical Commissioning Group - has, along with Marc Schmid, director of Redmoor Health Limited, had a piece published in the GP magazine Pulse.
In the article, Ruth and Marc discuss the "quiet revolution taking place across North Staffordshire" as part of a programme to develop a 'digital eco-system' to enhance the services provided to patients. The digital programme is tasked with increasing the number of patients who are accessing GP services online, as well as improving the skills and knowledge among staff and patients with long term conditions to manage their condition digitally.
The programme aims to increase uptake and demand for digital delivery of care from those patients who use their GP services most. In northern Staffordshire, more than 60 practices out of 81 are regularly using social media to engage with patients, with new practices coming on stream all the time. The programme is driving the use of telehealth and apps to help patients manage a number of long term conditions, as well as closed Facebook groups, moderated and supported regularly by clinicians, and a programme of Skype consultations.
Reflecting on their experiences, Ruth and Marc said: "We believe by adopting this approach, we will be ahead of the curve when it comes to getting more of our patients online. We are also developing a ‘kite mark’ through our digital health academy which practices and clinicians can aspire to with the ambition to create a network of ‘digital practices’ underpinned by a health economy-wide ‘digital eco-system’."