GP telephone service wins award
By Gareth Iacobucci
A new service allowing patients with bi-polar disorder to alert their GP to their condition via text-message was among the winners of this year's national Health and Social Care Awards (HSCAs).
The innovation, which scooped the NHS Live Award, allows patients to keep their GP up-to-date with how they are feeling in a more flexible way than paper systems.
The tool was developed by Oxford University's Department of Psychiatry in partnership with Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.
It allows the mental health team to automatically send patients weekly text messages or emails, which they respond to with their own rating of where they are on a scale for both depression and manic symptoms.
The specially-designed system captures data for each patient and emails it each week to their psychiatrist in numerical and graphical form, including a visual rating of the severity of individual symptoms. This is then copied to the GP and the patient.
The project, developed with the help of patients, has since been adopted by clinicians in other cities. It is estimated that around 150 patients with bipolar disorder now self-monitor their mood in this way.
The awards, hosted jointly by the NHS Institute for Innovation and the Department of Health, rewarded ideas that were thought to be ‘innovative, promised genuine improvement, and could be copied in other settings'.
Bernard Crump, CEO, NHS Institute for Innovation & Improvement, said: ‘Falling as they do on the eve of the NHS's 60th birthday, these awards paint a very positive picture of the direction the health service will take in the next 60 years.
‘We're seeing breakthrough ideas from the people who understand the service the most - those who deliver it on the front line. It's essential we continue to identify and support these individuals so everyone can benefit'.