We are pleased to announce that InHealth and the Northumbria team won the ‘Partnering for the Future’ award alongside the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust at this years’ HSJ Partnership Awards.
The HSJ Partnership Awards celebrate the most effective partnerships with the NHS and highlight the benefits which working with the private and third sectors can bring to patients and NHS organisations. This award is true testament to showing how a fantastic relationship between the NHS and the independent sector really can work!
The judges felt that this partnership was brilliantly simple and simply brilliant. There was a really good use of data and clearly articulated benefits for patients and for the NHS provider. This powerful service showcases excellent customer service and national and global learning.
InHealth have worked with Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust for more than 15 years, helping it deliver the MRI services needed to meet the needs of its local population of more than 500,000. During that time, three new MRI scanners have been installed in the trust’s hospitals and a mobile service introduced.
In 2004, the trust and InHealth worked together to deliver an MRI at North Tyneside Hospital. With many different departments, specialties and teams involved, the first wide-bore scanner in the north east was installed, with InHealth’s radiographers and the trust’s consultant radiologists working together.
In 2008 a second scanner was introduced at the Wansbeck Hospital, to cope with demand, and in 2015 a third one was installed to provide emergency MRIs at the trust’s newly built specialist emergency care hospital. InHealth now provides 30,000 scans a year from the trust’s static scanners and through a mobile service. This has meant the trust is able to offer patients a timely service with waiting times from referral reducing from 4.5 weeks to under 2 weeks over the last 12 months and very high patient satisfaction rates.
The trust and InHealth are currently working together to introduce an improved service at Hexham General Hospital through an MRI department with a static scanner to replace the existing mobile service. Planning this has required working closely with staff – InHealth has invited radiology staff to an open forum to discuss concerns and this has led to adjustments to the planned work to ensure best use is made of limited space and patient flow is helped.
This long-term relationship is marked by a commitment to innovation, and a willingness to engage with patients and staff. InHealth’s involvement with the patient experience network has led to many changes in the way the service is provided – the trust and InHealth have introduced changes to how dementia patients are cared for and how anxiety is managed. Currently, InHealth is working on reducing “did not attends.”
InHealth has also worked with other trusts with learning from all its contracts informing how it works with others. At Kingston Hospital, it worked on the refurbishment of the trauma and orthopaedics department and the introduction of new scanners. In Cumbria, it is working on cardiology services. All this work – and that at Hexham – has required close working with the trusts’ staff to minimise disruption and ensure requirements for met.
Trust staff have also visited the patient referral centre run by InHealth In Rochdale which deals with 33,000 appointments a year: the trust wants to improve its administrative systems, and this has provided insights into a different model.
To have all our hard work recognised is a wonderful achievement. Thank you and congratulations to our fantastic Northumbria team – both InHealth and NHS – what a fantastic start to 2020!
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