Aug 25, 2020

NHS names new partner to reduce COVID-19 strain on staff

Leila Hawkins
2 min
  NHS names new partner to reduce COVID-19 strain on staff
Connect Health will work with the NHS to meet patient demand...

A healthcare provider that specialises in musculoskeletal disorders has been named as a partner by the UK's National Health Service (NHS) to help reduce the burden on frontline workers. 

Connect Health has been appointed as a partner in two areas of the NHS: the Outsourced Clinical Services Framework (OCS) and the Health Systems Support Framework, with the aim of reducing waiting times and achieving better outcomes for patients. 

Musculoskeletal problems affect 1 in 4 of the UK's adult population and account for 30 per cent of doctor consultations. COVID-19 has added pressure to frontline staff and key workers, with many staff finding themselves working long hours under very difficult conditions to meet patient demand. 

Connect Health’s services include orthopaedics, pain management, rheumatology, and physiotherapy, with the provider recently making significant investments in the latest robotics and AI to make sure interactions between patients and clinicians, such as appointment bookings, reminders, diagnosis coordination and patient discharge, are managed effectively.

The partnership isn’t new as Connect Health has been working with the NHS for 30 years. Its accreditation on the NHS England’s Health Systems Support Framework (HSSF) is in the “Patient Empowerment and Activation” and “Transformation and Change” categories. This means services are focused on the patient experience and what really makes a difference to them, as they state: “being seen in the right place, at the right time, by the right clinician.” 

The HSSF includes infrastructure and digitalisation, analytics, and impact and intervention, where Connect Health’s services lie. This includes managing demand, capacity planning and medicines management. 

Phil Davies, Director of Procurement at NHS Shared Business Services, said: “NHS organisations routinely acquire extra clinical capacity to deal with spikes in demand and to keep waiting lists down for patients. The recent extreme pressure on NHS services means that additional clinical support is likely to be needed now more than ever. We have worked with a number of NHS trusts to put a framework in place that enables any NHS provider to access high-quality clinical services quickly – in a cost-effective and compliant manner.” 

Mike Turner, Chief Operating Officer of Connect Health said: “Transformation through data and culture change is fundamental to really understanding the right interventions for patients and delivering sustainable pathways. Working with NHS partners to transform care, our expertise in this area has seen the organisation mobilise and transform over 15 community services in the last few years.

“We have invested over £3m to develop capability and infrastructure with an exclusive focus on the delivery of high-quality, responsive integrated services with the aim of optimising the experience for patients, taxpayers and colleagues.”

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Jun 16, 2021

NHS opens 8 clinical trial sites to assess cancer treatment

2 min
NHS and OncoHost to launch clinical trials analysing cancer patients response to immunotherapy

The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is opening eight clinical trial sites to assess patients' responses to personalised cancer therapy. 

The trials will analyse how patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer respond to immunotherapy, to help predict their response to treatment.  They will be hosted at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust facilities. 

Immunotherapy helps the body's own immune system fight cancer, but while it has achieved good results for some cancer patients, it is not successful for everyone. Finding ways to predict which people will respond to the treatment is a major area of research.

OncoHost, an oncology startup,  will provide advanced machine learning technology to develop personalised strategies aiming to improve the success rate of the cancer therapy. The trials will contribute to OncoHost’s ongoing PROPHETIC study, which uses the company’s host response profiling platform, PROphet®

“Immunotherapy has achieved excellent results in certain situations for several cancers, allowing patients to achieve longer control of their cancer with maintained quality of life and longer survival,” said Dr David Farrugia, Consultant Medical Oncologist at NHS, and chief investigator of all eight NHS clinical trial sites.

“However, success with immunotherapy is not guaranteed in every patient, so this PROPHETIC study is seeking to identify changes in proteins circulating in the blood which may help doctors to choose the best treatment for each patient." 

"I am excited that Gloucestershire Oncology Centre and its research department have this opportunity to contribute to this growing field of research and I am determined that our centre will make a leading national contribution in patient recruitment.”

Previous studies in the US and Israel have shown that PROphet® has high accuracy in predicting how patients with cancer will respond to various therapies.

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