Bury service trials video conferencing with patients

A health service in Bury has been testing innovative video conferencing software to help improve the experience of patients and also save time and money.

Bury Stroke Team, part of Pennine Care, has been using the software known as OmniJoin with a select number of patients to provide consultations over the internet via a webcam.

OmniJoin, by technology services provider Brother UK, is a secure web conferencing tool which allows video and audio calls to be made online.

Initial feedback from patients has been positive, and the time saved from travelling means four service users can be seen per session instead of three.

The reduced travel has also saved the service money in expenses, with one staff member saving £10.60 in mileage in one session through using video consultations.

There is also a saving to service users, who often have to travel to Townside Primary Care Centre – which costs mileage plus added parking charges. Now some will be able to be seen in the comfort of their own home.

The software is also used for meetings and conferences between staff to help reduce the need for travel.

Jenni Ying is a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist with Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, who has used OmniJoin within Bury Stroke Service. She said: “OmniJoin has helped the way we deliver some services, conduct meetings and hold patient consultations.

“It’s not intended as a replacement for face-to-face meetings, but the technology offers an alternative for patients who wish to use it, where appropriate.

“Through reducing the travel time and cost for both ourselves and patients, we’ve been able to work in a more productive and efficient way, without compromising the quality, effectiveness or safety of the care we provide.

“Patients who have had a consultation through the software have also told us it’s convenient and easy to use.”

Andy Ostler, Head of Business Unit OmniJoin at Brother UK, said: “We worked in close partnership with the Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust to tailor our web conferencing solution to meet the needs of the organisation and its patients.

“Their priority was to ensure the web conferencing, not only provided a more cost and time efficient way of working, but offered military-grade security and an excellent patient experience. Thankfully, we’ve been able to deliver on all fronts.”