Devon Health Visitors ‘excited’ at new tech which frees them from desks

Virgin Care has launched a mobile-working system to increase the time Health Visitors can spend with families in Devon, as the organisation continues to transform the Integrated Children’s Services it has run since 2013 to help families feel the difference.

Health Visitors in their Devon Integrated Children’s Services have been given iPads with special secure software meaning they have access to patient notes, emails and best practice information without unnecessary trips to office bases dotted around the county.

When Virgin Care took on the service in 2013 it was reliant on paper records and old IT systems which were only accessible from fixed locations. The new system means health visitors can spend more time with families and have easier access to records and information when they’re in families’ homes. Built into the system is an improved scheduler which helps gives children and young people and their families consistent care, as it schedules future appointments with the same Health Visitor automatically.

The team, which is spread across 39 ‘bases’, support more than 38,000 children and young people in Devon. The technology has been rolled out after extensive trials, starting during mid-2016.

Virgin Care provided extensive training to the health visitors so that they could be fully ready to use the new system and understand the technology before it went live. Their training included a full day of iPad training and a period of using the iPads alongside traditional ways of working, to allow them to get familiar with the system, find and fix minor issues and ask questions.

The Health Visitors using the system have given it a four-out-of-five after only one month of full use, and have said they are “excited” about the new system. Early stats have shown a reduction in the time teams spend completing forms, allowing them to spend time working directly with children, young people and families.

Amir Qureshy, Virgin Care’s Head of Operations for Devon Integrated Children’s Services, said: “By eliminating the need for paperwork and giving our colleagues more time we have improved the service we provide for children and young people in Devon. Now our Health Visitors have more face-to-face time with the children and young people they care for and their families.

“Almost 100% of work is now recorded using the iPads so it’s clear that Health Visitors have really taken the new system in their stride.

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