Blog: A reflection on our NHS partnership during the COVID-19 pandemic

As we approach the end of 2020, we have taken a moment to reflect on the last 12 months and recognise that despite the incredible challenges we have all faced, our partnership with the NHS has become even stronger and we have been able to deliver fantastic services to patients.

Very early on in the pandemic, InHealth re-orientated our entire organisation to support NHS England in responding to the challenge of COVID-19. As an independent healthcare provider with more than 25 years’ experience of working in partnership with the NHS, delivering services to more than 3 million NHS patients each year across a range of different areas, there was much that we could offer in terms of allocating available resources to fighting the pandemic.

Building on what was already a positive relationship with the NHS and due to InHealth staff and services being located across the country in hospital sites, community settings and through our mobile fleet, we not only repurposed some of our clinical services, but also redeployed staff and made them available to work locally wherever needed. Our ambition was to add as much capacity to the NHS as possible, through our team of 2,500 healthcare professionals.

By providing additional training and creating flexibility within our own workforce, more than 1,000 members of staff were ready to be redeployed into the NHS – from working on the COVID-19 frontline and supporting administrative roles, to being available in the Nightingale hospitals and COVID-19 testing centres – every available member of staff was on hand.

From a service perspective, InHealth dedicated equipment, facilities and resource to the pandemic, including:

  • CT scanning: our entire fleet of CT scanners was dedicated to the NHS
  • NHS 111 service: at the request of the London Ambulance Service (LAS), we repurposed our Patient Referral Centre in Rochdale to support handling COVID-19 calls
  • Reporting: we invested in purchasing and installing a number of reporting work stations to allow appropriately qualified Radiographers to remotely report plain-film x-rays from home
  • Booking COVID-19 tests: our booking team from Diabetic Eye Screening Programmes was made available to book COVID-19 tests for NHS staff across the south of the country

More than 2,500 InHealth staff focussed their total attention on supporting the NHS, on top of the equipment and resources made available.

InHealth was also able to continue providing patients with vital access to a number of services, despite the pandemic. Although our Breast Screening service in Surrey was temporarily suspended, we repurposed our screening centre to provide a diagnostic service for women in that region with breast cancer symptoms. This allowed the clinical pathway for those women to continue, whilst the symptomatic service remained unavailable at the local Trust due to COVID-19.

Feedback from staff has been incredibly positive, across our dedicated COVID-19 projects:

“Everyone has been so incredibly welcoming under such pressured circumstances. I have so far found the whole experience incredibly humbling and rewarding, and I am thankful for the opportunity to help out.”

“I volunteered on the CT scanning project; I have really enjoyed the opportunity to see another aspect of the company, I found it really interesting and nice to back within the patient care setting instead of my lounge! The people I have met over the shifts have been lovely, friendly and very patient considering this is completely different from my usual role.”

“I am extremely grateful that InHealth has supported my decision to work with the NHS on a COVID-19 ICU ward. To be able to help out in such challenging times on the frontline with such a dedicated and skilled team is a privilege”.

“To be able to help during this pandemic is very rewarding. NHS Trust staff have been amazing in supporting us and providing all the training required not to forget appropriate PPE.”

We are incredibly proud of all of our colleagues for their dedication, commitment and passion – without them, we would not have been able to support the NHS in this way.

We are incredibly proud of all of our colleagues for their dedication, commitment and passion – without them, we would not have been able to support the NHS in this way.

InHealth Reporting award celebrates academic excellence in clinical reporting

As part of the ongoing commitment to training and developing Radiographer Reporting, InHealth Reporting are proud to have recently presented the InHealth Award for Academic Excellence to James Nolan, MRI Reporting Radiographer from Tameside Hospital.

The award programme, which is approved by the College of Radiographers, was designed in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University and has been running for the last 3 years, recognises the hard work and dedication of students who are studying the Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Reporting.

The course involves an intensive year of study, both within the university and clinical departments, with successful students having to balance their ongoing full-time practice with their study and home lives, frequently studying in their own time.

Throughout the course, students have the invaluable support of both their clinical department and Radiologist colleagues in order to successfully complete their studies, which is reflected in the high success rate of students within this programme.

Most recently, the InHealth Award for Academic Excellence was presented to James Nolan, MRI Reporting Radiographer from Tameside Hospital, who said: “The MRI general investigation course at Canterbury Christ Church University was a fantastic opportunity for me to develop my skills and take on new challenges whilst also offering a solution to the increasing reporting demands within my department. It is great honour to receive this award – it is brilliant to see that Reporting Radiographers are valued for their role both within the NHS and wider the healthcare community.”

The award was presented by David Adams, Business Development Manager for InHealth Reporting, in the presence of Helen Johnson, Associate Directorate Manager Clinical Support Services at Tameside & Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and staff from the radiology department.

David said: “We are extremely proud to be part of this incredible initiative, which acknowledges not only the hard work that goes into the course, but achieving the highest academic score in their year group. Congratulations to James and I wish him the best of luck in his MRI reporting career.”

Helen said: “Due to the continuing pressure to provide radiological services of an increasingly complex nature and to provide faster diagnosis, the challenge ahead of Radiology is one of difficulty if we do not embrace and invest in the talents that are inherent within our teams. James is an excellent Radiographer, a fantastic role model and a true ambassador for our profession and it was my pleasure to celebrate his achievements”.

Martin Mitchell, Lecturer for Diagnostic Radiography at Canterbury Christ Church University said: “I am delighted that James was awarded this prize, he has shown himself to be a dedicated student who demonstrated excellent level 7 (post graduate) analytical and reporting skills throughout his programme of study. I wish James and his cohort of fellow reporters every success for their future reporting careers”.

Partnership working improves referral to scan times for prostate cancer patients

This ‘Movember’, InHealth are raising awareness of how important it is for men to receive prostate scans as quickly as they can after being referred by their clinician. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, with more than 47,500 men diagnosed every year – recognising symptoms and making a GP appointment as quickly as possible is crucial in the road to treatment and recovery.

Across all of InHealth’s NHS acute hospital based MRI facilities, our average referral to scan time is just 5 days; meaning that patients are scanned within a week of being referred by their GP or Consultant. Some of our sites also offer walk-in appointments and others consistently deliver scans within 48 hours of referral.

In the UK, the average time for a patient to be scanned after referral is around 28 days, which highlights the fantastic work taking place between InHealth and our NHS partners to deliver services to patients across the country, which ultimately help men receive effective support and treatment quickly.

At Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, where InHealth are currently building a brand new MRI facility while using our mobile and

relocatable units to maintain service provision, together with the Trust’s radiology department, we are routinely delivering the MRI scan and providing a report to the referring clinician within 5 days.

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust

Our strong partnership is integral to this achievement and the collaborative approach is testament to the importance we collectively place on making sure patients are seen as quickly as possible.

Mr Shahid Khan, Consultant Urologist at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said:

“This is amazing work and is a great measure of our combined success and only one example of why we have such positive feedback from our many patients! There have been fantastic improvements in our care pathway; driven by hard work, positive attitudes and innovative approaches. Producing such outstanding results, against a 28 day pathway, in the midst of a global pandemic, represents a real success”.

Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide. The Movember Foundation runs the Movember charity event – more information here: www.Movember.com.

Thrilled to be announced as finalists in the 2020 HSJ Awards!

We are thrilled to be announced as finalists in the HSJ Awards for our partnership with Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust!

Our nomination is for the HSJ Partnership Award, which aims to highlight partnerships with the NHS and the benefits that working with independent sector organisations can bring to patients and the NHS.

Following the most testing period for the sector in recent history, this year’s awards will ensure that the essential role these organisations play in strengthening our healthcare system, remains in focus.

Our collaborative approach to improving access to diagnostic services in the North East won at the HSJ Partnership Awards in 2019. Let’s see what this year brings!

Leading the way in Endoscopy – Olympus seminar participation

Last week, the team at Olympus hosted a virtual learning event on the topic of Transnasal Endoscopy and invited our very own Nurse Endoscopist, Lois Penketh-King, to facilitate part of the seminar.

As a JAG accredited Nurse Endoscopist, Lois is part of the faculty for Olympus and specialises in this field, so was very happy to take part and host a session on patient nasal anatomy and patient preparation.

It is evident that Lois is incredibly passionate about her role and delivering a positive patient experience – she received fantastic feedback after the event!

InHealth has been providing high-quality endoscopy services for over 10 years from both mobile and static clinics across the UK. We are the only provider in the UK to provide fully staffed, equipped, JAG accredited and CQC registered mobile units and we see more than 40,000 patients each year.

When it comes to transnasal endoscopy, we use Olympus 290 series equipment, which minimises the need for patients to have sedation and, as a result, will often see more procedures successfully completed vs. the traditional method of the oral route.

 

A new generation of Radiographers celebrate graduation

Last week, at a virtual celebration event, graduates from the Diagnostic Radiography and Medical Imaging course at the University of Portsmouth finally celebrated their success.

Organised by the university, the event recognised the achievements of the students who have just finished their studies, as well as those who won prizes. These included graduate Bethany Wiltshire and current students Holly Byrne and Ravshan Zakirov, who all won InHealth Clinical Excellence awards.

The awards recognise the hard work and dedication of students who are studying the Undergraduate BSc in Diagnostic Radiography and are part of the ongoing commitment we place on the training and development of radiographers.

Fodi Kyriakos, Head of InHealth Reporting, who virtually presented the awards, said: “We are extremely proud to be part of this incredible initiative, which acknowledges the hard work that goes into the course and ultimately welcomes qualified diagnostic radiographers into the profession. Congratulations to Bethany, Holly and Ravshan.”

Hydroxychloroquine Retinopathy Monitoring Service – go live

We are delighted to announce that the InHealth Intelligence Team have gone live with a new contract to provide a Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) Retinopathy Monitoring Service for people in Southampton.

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is an anti-malarial/anti-inflamatory drug that can be used in the treatment of a variety of autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. The risk of retinal toxicity from HCQ has been recognised for many years and it can be irreversible, leading to significant visual impairment and sight loss. However, HCQ is considered a useful drug with fewer side-effects than many of the alternatives.

This service will offer a baseline assessment for people starting on HCQ, and annual screening for those who have been on HCQ for five or more years, and one or more years if they have additional risk factors.

 

 

InHealth selects OcuMel as our nominated charity for 2020/21

Every year, at InHealth we choose a nominated charity as the focus for our fundraising activity. This year we are very happy to announce that our nominated charity for 2020/21 is OcuMelUK.

OcuMel UK is a registered charity run by eye cancer patients and family members. They provide support for anyone affected by eye cancer and aim to give clear and accurate information to help those who suffer, make the life choices that are right for them. Their friendly staff and volunteers understand how isolating it can be when patients or loved ones are diagnosed with a rare cancer, so they support people wherever they are in their eye cancer journey. OcuMel raise awareness of eye cancer amongst the public and work with medical professionals to increase their knowledge.

As a people-focussed organisation, we are delighted to support this charity which was nominated by a member of our team who has a friend that is receiving ongoing treatment for Ocular Melanoma.

Over the next 12 months we will be hosting various fundraising activities to support OcuMel

Find out more about the charity here: https://www.ocumeluk.org/.

Watch the video here to find out more about what they do.

InHealth 2020 Staff Survey results show incredible staff engagement

We are delighted to announce that InHealth’s 2020 Staff Survey shows an overall engagement score of 74%

  • 96% believe patient safety is a top priority – 1% increase from last year
  • 92% feel that InHealth is focused on improving patient care – 3% increase from last year
  • 92% believe Equality and Diversity are valued at InHealth – the same as last year
  • 91% have the information to do their job properly – 4% increase from last year
  • 89% have the equipment to do their job properly – 5% increase from last year
  • 88% believe they have the opportunity to do their best every day – 4% increase from last year
  • 88% believe someone at work cares about them as a person – 4% increase from last year
  • 85% believe that InHealth encourages innovative ideas to improve efficiency and patient care – 5% increase from last year
  • 84% of people describe InHealth as an organisation that care for its people – new question
  • 79% have had opportunities to learn and grow – increase from last year
  • 77% of people think that working at InHealth makes them want to do the best work they can – 1% lower than last year
  • 78% believe that performance is actively managed – increase from last year
  • 67% have received praise or thanks for their work in the last 7 days – 7%increase from last year
  • 66% believe that high performance is recognised – 3% increase from last year

The latest results show that since last year’s survey, the time we have spent focusing on the areas that scored less positively, has paid off, because we have seen improvements in almost every area. For the coming year, our areas of focus include further improving on reward and recognition initiatives, as well as exploring different ways to recognise high performance.

As a people-focussed organisation, we are delighted by these results and they reflect the focus we have on our staff and the continued work to improve on key areas that are important to them. Our annual Staff Survey highlights our strength and development areas and over the next 12 months, we will continue our focus on excellent staff engagement and work on the improvements identified.

InHealth Reporting announces new Clinical Advisor Dr Rizwan Malik

InHealth Reporting is delighted to announce Dr Rizwan Malik as our new Clinical Advisor, providing medical advisory and support for our Radiographer Reporting Team.

Dr Malik is a consultant radiologist at Royal Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, where he is Divisional Medical Director and Associate CCIO. Prior to this he was the Trust PACS and Imaging Lead, Divisional Clinical Governance Lead, as well as Clinical Lead for Radiology. He is also the Clinical Lead for the Greater Manchester Collaborative Imaging Procurement Project.

Dr Malik’s role for InHealth Reporting will form a critical part of our governance process and support our QSI accreditation, which will in turn, provide our NHS customers with the assurance that our service is backed up by a highly experienced Consultant Radiologist.

Fodi Kyriakos, Head of Reporting at InHealth, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Dr Malik has joined InHealth in the key role of Radiology Clinical Advisor. Dr Malik will be working very closely with myself and our Clinical Governance Team to advise on Quality Assurance, Service Improvement and development of new and existing service lines. He is a thought leader and visionary within Radiology and his clinical expertise will enable InHealth Reporting to enhance its offering to the NHS”.