Govroam for health and social care in Wakefield!

Introduction

Wakefield CCG, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Wakefield Council are 3 of 59 public sector organisations supported by the Yorkshire and Humberside Public Services Network (YHPSN). The YHPSN is rolling out public sector WiFi roaming across its organisations using Govroam.

Aims & Objectives

The ability for multidisciplinary teams to work effectively across the district is a key element of the district’s vision of “connecting care” and the development of a multi-speciality community provider model for health and social care outside acute services. The ability to connect seamlessly in all locations is a key enabler for the transformation of health and care services.

Method

Building on the successful experience of using the YHPSN network in Wakefield our teams knew that we needed to progress beyond the basic public sector network to develop an enabling service for our teams to work in an agile manner across Health and Social Care.

We were confident that the implementation of a secure shared WiFi service was a strategic enabler for change. The opportunity presented by Govroam WiFi was immediately seen as meeting this need. Being simple to implement and use whilst retaining the element of control of devices authenticated to use the service was essential to ensure uptake and address the need to ensure secure connection.

Results

An example benefit:

Wakefield Council has been working with the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust for several years, assisting with the discharge needs of patients needing some support in order to be able to return home.

Initially the Council installed a communications link into a single office within Pinderfields Hospital so that a social worker could access the council’s social care system. However this involved much walking to and from the office, wasting productive time. Furthermore there was only space for a single social worker. Later the accommodation was expanded through relocation, but the connection was lost.

Now with Govroam the social worker based in Pinderfields Hospital is able to connect to the council’s systems wherever she is in the Hospital, making contact much simpler, her working time more productive, increasing the number of discharges she handles, and releasing beds for more patients. It has increased her morale and she received a small prize from the hospital for the increase in productivity!

With Govroam the Council can now more readily deploy the full team of social workers not only to any ward as required but also to other neighbouring hospitals in Pontefract, Dewsbury, Huddersfield, Halifax and Leeds, with more joining the service very soon.

As well as providing these operational benefits, managers from the Council have also benefited when working with their partners at hospital or CCG premises, as they can readily and securely access their information on the Council network. Similarly for NHS staff attending Council locations.

Conclusions

The benefits of the implementation in Wakefield have been immediately apparent to our STP partners in West Yorkshire and Harrogate and neighbouring STP areas. Linked with other initiatives such as the NHS implementation of WiFi to hospitals and GPs, this service will directly support the aims of the STP to achieve greater alignment and delivery of Health and Social Care services at both STP level and in place based services. The Govroam model is manageable on a sustainable basis, giving confidence for partners to invest.

With many thanks to Richard Main, Informatics Integration Lead at Wakefield CCG for this contribution. It also draws on a press release by Wakefield Council.

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