Medical trailers are transforming patient care
The Health and Social Care bill for England finally became law in March 2012 and those implementing the reforms have a year to prepare for a new era in healthcare provision.
The new clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will take charge of finance and accountability, seeking new ways of providing cost effective community-based care. One of the challenges they face is the lack of suitable facilities.
Creating high quality, healthcare provision for patients via medical trailers is one solution being deployed and EMS-Healthcare has seen demand for this type of care soar as the benefits are realised across the country.
State-of-the-art medical trailers provide everything from temporary GP surgeries to mobile treatment wards. They can be quickly set up and moved around, providing a flexible solution for public and private providers who are seeking innovative ways of delivering healthcare services.
A dual-purpose temporary healthcare unit, which EMS-Healthcare installed just seven days after signing the contract, is now serving hundreds of patients in Newcastle, England, and is just one example of mobile care working in the community. Two medical trailers have been connected at the Blakelaw Clinic site to form a temporary, state-of-the-art GP and dental clinic, which is being deployed during the building of a new health centre delivered via the local LIFT Company for Newcastle Primary Care Trust.
Allowing GP and dental services to be delivered from the same site, the high-spec facilities span everything from consultation rooms to reception and kitchen areas with full air conditioning and disabled access, providing a clinical environment that ensures consistent patient care during the Trust’s vital renovation.
Similar benefits are being recognised in Yorkshire, England, where mobile accommodation is helping medical consultants save the sight of thousands of patients.
A medical trailer is being used as a base for ophthalmology specialists who treat up to 50 patients a day with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nvARMD), the cause of progressive sight loss. The unit allows patients to visit their local hospital site for treatment, saving them a trip of up to 84 miles.
Commissioned by The Eye Site Clinic Ltd, the trailer enables the delivery of an injectable drug treatment to patients who would otherwise go blind without it. The unit is being initially deployed at Bridlington hospital, eventually moving to other hospitals around the East Coast.
Richard Gale, consultant ophthalmologist at York Teaching Hospital and chairman of the Eye Site Clinic Ltd said: “There are an estimated 26,000 new cases of nvARMD a year, and the demand on ophthalmology units has become overwhelming. Eventually we hope to be able to offer this mobile service to hard pressed units throughout the country.”
Medical trailers are a proven accommodation solution and could prove an increasingly important choice in the armoury of CCGs as they find innovative ways of providing care closer to people’s homes in the restructured NHS.
EMS-Healthcare’s Liberty Quad, a mobile Renal Dialysis Unit:
Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”