BEST COVID-19 RESPONSE IN HEALTHCARE (OVER 15M TURNOVER)
18 Week Support – Re-establishing Diagnostic Endoscopy during Covid-19 for Patients with Suspected Cancer
The significant challenge presented by Covid-19, and the surge in demand for NHS resources, have required a transformation of the way care is delivered. After several weeks of working around the clock to increase capacity, optimise infection control procedures and develop new care pathways as infections rose, and clear and considered public health messaging, the system prevented itself from being overwhelmed. Thanks to these efforts, routine services are beginning to restart and a ‘new normal’ is being established. The NHS could not have mobilised such a rapid and effective response without the support of the private and not-for-profit sectors, so this award celebrates the partnerships behind the transformation seen in the infancy of the pandemic, and those enabling the reset, restoration or recovery of services now the peak has been passed.
In March 2020, with the Covid crisis deepening, Aspen Healthcare along with the independent healthcare sector signed an historic agreement with the NHS, committing its full resources to the health service. Before this agreement was even signed, Aspen had transformed its operations into full Covid crisis mode, with a new command structure, home working for non-frontline staff & MS Teams for virtual meetings. In addition, Aspen rolled out new e-learning to replace classroom-based training, including a new Covid safety e-learning programme. Over the course of the next 12 months, Aspen provided essential support to some of the country’s largest NHS Trusts, striking up working arrangements and providing urgent care for patients. This included 63,000 NHS patient interactions including time-critical surgery, outpatient appointments and diagnostics, 39,000 outpatient appointments and the delivery of 75 life-saving ventilators sent to the NHS, as well as the continuation of cancer care & screenings for patients through new Covid-safe pathways. In addition, Aspen expanded its services, delivered a new health and wellbeing strategy and through its staff survey found huge support for its work in helping the NHS. A remarkable feat, Aspen’s healthcare heroes delivered high-quality patient care during a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic.
InHealth Group – Reorientating Services to Support Patients and the NHS
Very early on in the pandemic, InHealth decided to re-orientate our entire organisation to support NHS England in responding to the challenge of COVID-19. Since March 2020, InHealth has supported and delivered multiple projects and initiatives across England to assist the NHS in the response, ultimately supporting patients to continue receiving much needed healthcare services. 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 an existing, 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. 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.
Portman Dental Care
At the beginning of the pandemic, all our dental surgeries were shut with immediate effect. Portman dental put the patients, colleagues and clinicians front and centre in their response. Telephone and video triaging systems were set up, phone calls, letters and social media were used to communicate updates and information with our patients. Colleagues and clinicians were offered professional webinars (some also made available to the wider dental community) and continuous support from the Portman Team. Some of this, such as trained mental health first aiders, are innovations we will be taking on into the future with us.
Transform Hospital Group – Supporting the NHS at a Time of Crisis through Collaboration and Innovation
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Transform Hospital Group has completely overhauled its service offering and business model, transitioning from a business which was 100% funded by self-pay cosmetic and bariatric elective surgery and medical aesthetic treatments, to a well-rounded provider of general health and wellbeing services. Pivoting within just seven days as the UK’s first national lockdown was announced, THGL very quickly adapted its two hospitals in Manchester and Bromsgrove, to support the NHS in its time of crisis. Thanks to the incredible efforts of its workforce, significant investment in training, and a rapid response, THGL was able to forge relationships and partnerships with multiple NHS Trusts in order to treat patients in need. To date, over 2,500 NHS patients have been treated at THGL’s facilities, including cancer patients whose treatments would otherwise have been postponed indefinitely. The response has changed THGL’s long-term business strategy, and NHS collaboration is now set to make up a key part of the organisation’s future model. CEO Tony Veverka said: “New ways of working have been established, and there is no going back from this. Our ambition is to keep supporting the NHS and other private healthcare providers.”
Vita Health Group – Overcoming the Challenges arising from the Covid-19 Pandemic
Through a commitment to agile working, investment in innovation and additional workforce health and wellbeing initiatives, we have successfully overcome the challenges arising from the COVID pandemic. We quickly transitioned our mental and physical healthcare service-users to remote care delivery, and our workforce to remote working, supported through additional investment in IT provision. We adapted to remote working to successfully mobilise four primary care mental health services during national lockdown. We launched a range of innovations to support our service-users through the pandemic including a new orthopaedic pathway, online classes to support physical and mental wellbeing, virtual home workstation assessments, and a digital triage chatbot to enhance accessibility to primary care mental health services during a time of increased demand due to furlough, bereavement, job losses and social isolation. We also successfully piloted virtual reality technology as a therapy-aid to support treatment of service-users with anxiety-related needle-stick phobia, with eight service-users successfully receiving their COVID vaccine to date. Finally, we have enriched our staff health and wellbeing initiatives to support our workforce through the pandemic and beyond, including launching an electronic Wellbeing Hub, Staff Diversity Networks to drive change, remote social opportunities, and access to online classes and wellbeing modules.