By Sophie Davis-Cooper on April 4, 2022
We are excited to announce we have launched a new mental health pathway, co-designed with Swansea Bay University Health Board, to identify deteriorating mental health amongst care home residents.
This will be a first-of-a-kind pilot for Wales, and a fantastic new opportunity for us to support patients’ mental health virtually, expanding our library of clinical pathways.
In collaboration with Swansea Bay University Health Board (SBUHB) and Life Sciences Hub Wales, we are deploying a six-month pilot across two Swansea-based care homes, Hengoed Park and Hengoed Court, using our remote patient monitoring platform CliniTouch Vie.
Our goal is to monitor care home residents with mental health concerns in familiar surroundings, whilst detecting early signs of deterioration to reduce emergency hospital admissions.
CliniTouch Vie will enable the mental health in-reach team to remotely monitor the patients on a regular basis and receive results, in real-time, to review. This can make a huge difference to the care delivered to residents living with mental health concerns, including dementia.
This pilot is funded by the Welsh Government’s Digital Solutions Fund, managed by Life Sciences Hub Wales through the Digital Health Ecosystem Wales (DHEW) programme.
“When the concept of this innovative project came to my attention, I seized the opportunity. The co-production between everyone involved has been astounding.
Closely monitoring our patients is something already done by our in-reach teams, but by digitising monitoring it allows us to identify the needs of patients in a more efficient way to be able to advise the best care for each individual. The benefits we hope to see from this include more regular and efficient monitoring, preventing unnecessary hospital admissions, and have the ability to flag potential issues earlier on.”
– Dawn Griffin, Directorate Manager for Older People’s Mental Health Services, Swansea Bay University Health Board
How does it work?
Via the platform, carers will log residents’ responses to pre-set questions and input vital sign readings, to then be digitally reviewed by the mental health in-reach team.
CliniTouch Vie’s unique algorithms will generate a red/amber/green-rated list to help the mental health in-reach team identify which patients are in need of care and where preventative measures may be required.
This streamlined process helps get clinical information back to the mental health in-reach team quicker and faster than they would do in a traditional setting, which allows them to rapidly assess a patient.
“Supporting residents in care homes with their mental health is a vital, but often complex, process. This project works to streamline the process of providing mental health support to residents of care homes, whilst ensuring the standard of care remains at the same high level. Through the use of remote digital technology, this initiative will not only support holistic care but will help identify patients with deteriorating mental health conditions more efficiently.”
– Delyth James, Programme Lead, Digital Health Ecosystem Wales
Why is this so important?
CliniTouch Vie empowers clinical teams to spot health trends and intervene sooner. As outlined in the Health Foundation report, 41% of emergency admissions from care homes are ‘potentially avoidable’1. Meanwhile, the Alzheimer’s Society stated that nearly two thirds (65%) of all emergency admissions of people with dementia were avoidable, in 20192. This reinforces the need to provide proactive, preventative care to residents, helping them to stay out of hospital and lead a better quality of life.
It is hoped that the pilot will demonstrate the power of remote monitoring to then be adopted further across Wales. We are looking forward to strengthening our relationship with Swansea Bay University Health Board and Life Sciences Hub Wales, and working collaboratively to develop the service to provide brilliant virtual care.
“At Spirit Health, we are excited to partner with the Welsh Government and Life Sciences Hub Wales to expand our technology pathways into a new area, with a clinical mental health pathway to assist care homes. We’re proud to play our part and introduce our digital solution, CliniTouch Vie, to help patients with mental health issues and provide them with the support and intervention they need, while reducing pressures on the health system.”
– Dr Noel O’Kelly, Clinical Director, Spirit Health
For more information about our mental health pathway, or to find out more about our project in Wales, please get in touch.
- Wolters A, Santos F, Lloyd T, Lilburne C, Steventon A (2019) Emergency admissions to hospital from care homes: how often and what for? Health Foundation, NHS England
- Alzheimer’s Society (2021) Emergency admissions from dementia care failures soaring, and worse to come warns charity, https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/news/2021-05-17/emergency-admissions-dementia-care-failures-soaring-and-worse-come-warns-charity