WSDAN events update

Mike Clark 

First major WSDAN event attracts 110 people to London

The first major WSDAN event in a series of eight was held in London on 22 January 2009. A set of presentation slides is now available.

Professor Stanton Newman from University College, London opened the event by providing background data around the numbers of people in England with long-term conditions and explaining why it was important to build the evidence base for the use of technological solutions as part of providing integrated health and social care services. He covered the outline structure of the Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) evaluation including the five main themes and summarised some of the challenges of gaining ethical consent for a complex trial involving 6000 participants over three sites.

Tim Ellis (DH WSD Programme Manager) and Martin Scarfe (Newham WSD Programme Director) explained the WSD trial process in more detail from how GP practices are involved through to installation and follow-up of service users, patients and carers. They covered a number of areas where new challenges had arisen (Expecting the unexpected - issues influencing the roll-out of telehealth and telecare in the WSD Pilots).  

Three workshop sessions covered: the Assisted Living Innovation Platform; the NHS PASA telecare national framework: and the work being carried out by NHS Connecting for Health on capturing data and interoperability of devices.

The importance of world class commissioning and predictive modelling

Nigel Walker from the Department of Health provided a valuable update on progress in world class commissioning with reference to telecare and telehealth, and Geraint Lewis from the Nuffield Trust looked at the exciting area of predictive modelling for health and its potential (as well as possible limitations) for social care.

Your feedback is important

Feedback from the audience on areas of most importance at this time (on a 1-5 scale) was as follows:

  1. Integrated working, pooled funds
  2. Having the right level of evidence to make a business case
  3. Identifying people who would most benefit
  4. Handling data and records
  5. Workforce issues and caseload management
  6. Working within future financial constraints
  7. Working at scale with telehealth
  8. Aligning telecare and telehealth with performance indicators, local area agreement
  9. Engaging stakeholders
  10. Knowing who benefits most
  11. Commissioning arrangements
  12. Types of technology and services available
  13. Governance and responsibilities
  14. Eligibility for services
  15. Procurement for larger programmes
  16. Ethical and consent issues
  17. Replacing human contact with technology
  18. Improving design and usability of technology with people who will use it (added to list by one person)

Do the priorities line up with what is happening in your area or do other factors come into play? Are you surprised at what came out top or bottom of the list? and tell us what you think based on your experience.

Upcoming events

The next WSDAN event is in Birmingham on 12 March and booking has now closed (although we sometimes have a reserve place if people cancel, so do check). The workshops will be similar to those at the London event, but this time we expect to be joined by West Midlands Medilink, Birmingham OwnHealth and a representative from the Kent Demonstrator site. Nick Goodwin will be explaining more about the activities of the Whole System Demonstrator Action Network.

Following Birmingham, our plans are to be in Leeds for June and Bristol for September. Register to keep up to date with announcements for dates and booking arrangements. 

Mike Clark is Co-project lead for WSDAN