Digital health company Zesty has announced a partnership with the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) in England’s West Midlands to introduce a patient portal as part of a push for the use of digital.
The news comes a little over a month after the NHS organisation revealed that it would also be working with London-headquartered Babylon to launch a model of ‘digital-first integrated care’.
The portal will be launched later this year across all outpatient services, helping patients play “a more active role” in their care, according to Zesty.
“Patient portal is one of the key projects I have tasked my team to deliver in 2020 as part of our ongoing efforts to meet the NHS Long Term Plan priorities,” said RWT chief executive David Loughton.
“We are partnering with the leading UK digital health companies to offer our patients the very best solutions, Babylon for integrated care, Zesty for digital outpatients to name a few. Making digital health services part of our care provision and reducing face-to-face outpatient appointments by up to a third over the next five years are both strategic objectives the Zesty patient portal can play a major role in.”
WHY IT MATTERS
RWT is one of the largest acute and community providers in the West Midlands, providing services for around 450,000 people, as well as the largest employer - with over 9,400 staff.
In January, it unveiled plans to work with Babylon to help patients in Wolverhampton and neighbouring areas, with one app connecting primary and secondary care, book consultations, access personal records and more. The first services are expected to become available later this year.
THE LARGER TREND
While RWT is taking steps to advance its use of digital technology, the NHS as a whole is said to be lagging behind.
A quarter of providers have no electronic patient record, according to a document released this week by NHSX, the unit for digital, data and technology, while a third of social care organisations are still running on paper.
Two new appointments are expected to help drive NHSX’ work. Natasha Phillips, chief nursing information officer at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, will be joining the unit in the same role later this year, along with David Turner, chief technology officer for betting company William Hill, who will replace acting CTO Hadley Beeman.
ON THE RECORD
“We are excited to work with David and his team to provide our patient portal as part of their ambitions digital plans,” said Zesty CEO James Balmain. “RWT recognise the patients and communities they serve want to interact with them in many ways and that technology has an important role to play in meeting this need.”