Innovative work carried out in Letham Health and Wellbeing Centre has been shortlisted in the “Innovative Remote and Rural Services” category of the Annual Scottish Digital Health and Care Awards.
The award recognises the achievements of those individuals and teams working in the health and social care sector whose creativity and innovation continues to put Scotland at the forefront of the digital revolution in healthcare and improves the life chances and quality of patients across the country and beyond.
A bit of background to the Letham project……
Letham village has a population of approximately 3100 and a high percentage are elderly. There is no GP surgery and people are registered with 8 different surgeries. The nearest surgery is 6 miles away with poor transport links. Letham Community Council proposed a new surgery be established in the village. NHS Tayside confirmed this was not viable, but would work with the community to support alternative models of care.
The Letham Health and Wellbeing Centre was not being used to its full potential or capacity. The nurse led clinics at the Centre have been further developed, with a cardiac clinic, podiatry clinic and anticoagulation clinic now established. The local Community Pharmacy reviews people for minor illness, reducing the need for people to attend their GP surgery.
Improvements have been made on how people book appointments with nurses at the clinic. Receptionists at every participating GP practice in the area can schedule appointments for the clinics in Letham.
As a result, access to healthcare services have now improved because people can now visit the local Centre in their village instead of travelling to see their GP. Those less able can be picked up from their home and brought to the clinic by one of our volunteer drivers.
Installation of a Surgery Pod has enabled people to measure their own vital signs and answer clinical questionnaires via the touch screen device. Measurements are sent electronically to the GP practice where a person is registered, the first development of its kind in Scotland.
Between 2015 and 2017 there has been a 400% increase in activity at the clinic in Letham. Fewer home visits are needed so the nurses are seeing less people at home and avoiding unnecessary travel time, whilst releasing time for care.
Feedback from people indicate that they enjoy attending the Centre as an opportunity to meet others and get out of the house.
The Digital Health and Care Awards ceremony takes place on 20th February. Jeane Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health & Sport will be giving an opening speech and presenting the awards to Digital Leader and Digital Impact winners.