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Creating localised services that meet real needs

Blue Latitude Health|20th March 2014

Paul Midgley from Rushcliffe CCG & East Midlands Mental Health Commissioning Network will be leading a panel session discussing: The payer’s view of customer centricity: How to create localised services based on real needs at Blue Latitude Health’s customer engagement event on the 7th April 2014. Kate from CreateHealth, our event partners, managed to grab a quick coffee with Paul and ask him a few questions on how he had lead the implementation of NHS Flo, a telehealth tool, in Rushcliffe and his thoughts on whether pharma has a place in supporting and engaging patients and developing healthcare services.

Kate: Paul, have I got this right? Flo is a ‘simple telehealth tool’, where users receive personalised medication tips and reminders. Would it be fair to say it’s a text messaging service that helps people remember to do things? If so, there are a lot of reminder and education apps out there - why has this one stuck?

Paul: It is a texting service, and that data goes to a web-based app. The aim of Flo was always to be really simple and cheap. One of the main success factors is the fact users can input their data on any mobile, not just smart phones. It empowers patients to take their own vital signs, allowing for self-monitoring; secondly, it informs their HCP about their current state of health. It’s a fantastic device that helps to spot early warning signs and intervene if necessary, which can help reduce unplanned admissions. There are a lot of great products similar to this out there, but I think this excels due to its simplicity and HCP adoption.

How did it come about? Did the NHS develop this based on patient need?

We adopted this because a neighbouring CCG had successfully piloted the service. It appeared to work, was inexpensive compared to other systems on the market, and it was beautifully simple for users. The patient research and feedback has been written up in all the pilot areas, most notably Staffordshire where Flo was born from within their local NHS.

The pharma industry is working on tools and services that have the same goals as Flo. Is there an opportunity for pharma to support Flo in the UK?

It’s tough to answer that simply. For example, in our CCG, Flo has been used in some patient groups and on our community ward. Some of these areas are also involved in initiatives springing out of pharma joint working, such as work on our heart failure pathway. However, Flo is not linked to the partnership working explicitly. I see it as another strand in the web of techniques used to help people manage conditions more effectively. I'm sure there are areas open to wider roll-out or support that pharma can offer.

Moving on from Flo, what advice would you give pharma companies planning to approach you about partnerships and developing value-added services?

Understand my issues, and present relevant and innovative solutions that improve quality of care to patients, whilst reducing the cost of the WHOLE pathway of care where their drug is to be used. Value-added services wrapped around the product are great, but please, bring data to prove the value. I see the future of healthcare to be integrated, where we (NHS) contract with prime providers to share the risk. And subcontractors deliver high quality services at lower price per transaction.

How do you approach / calculate reimbursement for stand-alone services?

It’s hard to answer, as it’ll always be case by case. But we are now starting to look at whole pathway costs across multiple providers and plan to commission through prime providers, but its early days.

 

For more on innovative patient services, read the article from Will Taylor below.

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