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The Customer

Healthy Wirral Partners are part of the Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care System (ICS), a community of individuals and organisations aiming to improve health care and well-being in their area. Key organisations within Healthy Wirral Partners include but are not limited to, Wirral University Teaching Hospital Wirral Health and Care Commissioning (part of the Integrated Care Board), Wirral Council, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and all the GP practices and Primary Care Networks in Wirral. Healthy Wirral Partners recognise the struggles of the NHS in the current climate and continuously strives to adapt in a way that enables a more connected healthcare model, bringing together healthcare and patient data from different organisations.

Healthy Wirral Partners are continually improving their approach to enhancing care and have recently implemented a ‘Place-Based Care’ system to tailor care services effectively. This system has split the Wirral into neighbourhoods, which allows for a more in-depth data analysis of the health care and services needed across the neighbourhoods.

The Challenges

Healthy Wirral Partners already had a shared medical data record, however the main challenge was the real time management of pathways of care for patients. This issue was particularly prominent in cases involving urgent care from ambulance to A&E to wards and the subsequent aftercare that was provided in hospital. This resulted in blockages throughout the system and patient support being delayed as there were no real time interlinking data sources to present a full image of the flow of patients nor the capacity of the system to meet their requirements.

Care providers were spending extensive periods of time bringing together all this data about capacity and demand for the health and care staff and operational managers. This would cause some patients to be in hospital for long periods of time, despite them having received their medical care and being eligible to leave, due to lack of visibility of supporting care packages being in place. One example may be a patient needing a stair lift fitted into their social housing so that they can live independently – if this action is not completed, they cannot move back home. Paul Charnley, Digital Lead at Healthy Wirral Partners, stated he knows first-hand the difficulty the NHS is faced with the current bed capacity issue and would love to be able to help both the patients and staff affected.

The Solution

Healthy Wirral Partners chose Hitachi Solutions to develop a platform to provide near real-time, 360-degree views of their patients, giving full visibility of the care that is taking place across different areas, by different organisations. All taking place whilst protecting confidential medical data and giving the patients the right care.

Hitachi Solutions worked to create a Minimum Viable Product involving an Azure-based Modern Data Platform with Power BI dashboards, developing the full platform in the space of six weeks. The first consideration for Hitachi Solutions when working with Healthy Wirral Partners was to safeguard the medical data. To achieve this, a secure methodology was prioritised to ensure the safety of medical data wasn’t compromised.

The aim was to take data from the different partners, GPs and hospitals and bring them together in near real-time, across Wirral. David Vaughton, Data and Analytics Solution Director at Hitachi Solutions stated that the Modern Data Platform allowed for primary and secondary data from different organisations to have one permanent home, enabling clear patient journeys to develop and providing insights into the process. It also meant that admissions and discharges became easier for staff to access and track, preventing the accumulation of patients staying unnecessarily in the hospital.

While this solution meant Healthy Wirral Partners could now have all their data in one place, they also wanted to implement Power BI dashboards to analyse the data. The ability to examine the data via visually rich dashboards meant that Healthy Wirral Partners could determine patterns and further develop their ‘Place-Based Care’ system. It can determine the needs and demographic of areas within the Wirral but now, with the Power BI dashboards and Modern Data Platform, they can begin to predict and take proactive steps to avoid patient build-up in hospitals.

Modern Data Platform allows us to simplify flows of data that we share between organisations and to analyse dashboards that represent a single source of truth.

Paul Charnley
Digital Lead, Healthy Wirral Partners

The Future

The stakeholders of Healthy Wirral Partners have been discussing the best place to extend and take the design, exploring whether can this be extended to NHS Trusts within the ICS. It has ultimately shown them a way to predict the needs of care and services in near real-time while helping them achieve their aspirations of ‘place-based care’. Paul Charnley claimed that this partnership has empowered them to utilise the data themselves, further stating he would love to see this solution adapted on a larger scale.

Healthy Wirral Partner’s next steps are to improve the maturity of the digital systems to enable real time feeds to the coordination centres. They will be working with the ICS team to see how the design provided by Hitachi Solutions can be incorporated into Cheshire and Merseyside plans and potentially as a ‘use case’ for the national Federated Data Platform as that develops.