The role of the Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Team has altered rapidly to support changes to the Trust’s working practices.

Innovative technology solutions have been introduced at short notice to support a workforce at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19.

Here’s a summary of what the team has achieved since the pandemic began:

  • Enabled control centre staff to work from home:
    • For the first time, clinicians have been able to answer and assess 999 calls from home with the ability for video consultations with patients. This has enabled clinicians who have been self-isolating, shielding or vulnerable to continue working.
    • Increased capacity of the NHS 111 service by providing an extra homeworkers kits for clinicians to work from home
    • Provided home worker capability for PTS staff to allow them to take calls from home
  • Infrastructure to support the movement of 220 desks to accommodate social distancing guidelines in 999/111/PTS and create 59 additional seats in the 999 and NHS 111 call centres.
  • Mobilised 1,200 corporate staff to work from home including taking calls for support services
  • Hundreds of items of new kit, including laptops, monitors, docking stations, keyboards, mice, cameras, headphones and phones delivered to YAS staff.
  • Deployed new technology such as Microsoft Teams to ensure staff remain connected while being physically distanced and provide virtual meetings and electronic training .
  • Live Microsoft Teams events enabling the Executive Team to communicate key organisational messages to staff, including an interactive question and answer session.
  • Accelerated roll-out of Getac computers to provide frontline staff with the new rugged electronic device to complete electronic patient records and access other apps.

Ola Zahran, Head of ICT, said: “One particular reflection is the ‘can do’ attitude from everybody within ICT and the Trust, embracing new ways of working and new technologies.  We understand that change is difficult, and the change under pressure can be daunting, but the Trust has responded in the most positive way.

“Everyone has risen to the various opportunities with teams commenting on the satisfaction they have at the end of the day from seeing what they have done that has made a difference.”

Linda Cottrell is one of our Senior Clinical Advisors who has been working from home, assessing patients over the phone and using video consultations to improve outcomes.

The feedback from our clinical staff has been overwhelmingly positive with the enhancement of video consultations allowing them to visually assess their patients in the same way that they would when they arrive on scene which has improved remote decision making.