New technology supports staff in mobile working

Posted on 9th February, 2015

Community staff across the Trust are working smarter, thanks to the delivery of mobile devices purchased with funds secured from the Government’s Nursing Technology Fund. The first bid financed the purchase of iPads for use by the learning disability teams, who are giving very positive feedback about their effectiveness in improving communication and reducing anxiety and stress in people with learning disabilities. According to Vanessa Hurley, Clinical Nurse Specialist, staff have been using the devices as multi-functional communication tools: “The iPads give us more time to work alongside people, because they enhance communication and they’re instant, rather than having to take notes away, get them typed up and bring them back. The iPads have also allowed staff to make videos to present at conferences. "Music is very important to a lot of people who use the service: “It’s just brilliant,” says Vanessa. “You can go onto the internet and find anything. One gentleman I support loves Mario Lanza, and thinks the iPad is magic because we can find songs on YouTube and information about Mario Lanza online!” There are also a number of Windows Tablets being rolled out across the Trust, with a particular focus on the Depression and Anxiety Services, allowing staff to work in a more mobile way.  These devices also double up as a fully equipped Laptop.  And this is before we even get to the hundreds of Samsung Tablets that have been issued to staff as part of the SMART Recovery programme! Nick Hopkinson, Associate Director IM&T, explains: “Our IT strategy is focussed on delivering more flexible and tailored technology and systems to our clinicians to enable them to work in a more agile and mobile way with the people who use our services. The SMART Recovery programme is designing new ways of working to reduce the amount of unproductive time that nurses spend travelling and also to offer more options to the people who use our services.” Remote ‘face to face’ video conferencing is something that both clinicians and people who use the service have been requesting. This safe clinical practice would aid nurses in their work with clients and families who may need a higher frequency of contact to support their treatment and recovery.  It would also enable nursing care and support to be offered to people in remote and isolated situations. In order to deal with SMART Recovery and the growing emphasis on IT within the organisation, the IM&T department has taken on additional staff to help support this new technology.  Further changes are planned for 2015 as the recommendations of the recent review of IM&T services are put into place, re-designing the way in which IM&T is provided and supported to enhance our new patterns of working.