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Pharma Times article – Healthcare at Home service levels back to normal

Service levels are now back to normal at UK homecare giant Healthcare at Home after last year’s move to outsource its drug distribution arrangements resulted in a stream of failed and late deliveries to patients.

Chief executive Natalie Douglas told PharmaTimes Media that 97.7% deliveries are now being made on time, leaving the group in a good position to focus on its plans for future improvement.

In June last year an inspection by the General Pharmaceutical Council found that Healthcare at Home had failed to adequately manage the risk of switching from an internal distribution system to an external one, nor the stream of subsequent complaints from patients who did not receive their medication as scheduled.

Brought in to take the reins during this crisis with a “fresh pair of eyes”, Douglas established a business recovery task force to put in place a plan that would see normal service delivery within just 12 weeks. Since then, she says the firm has been working on a “consolidation phase” that completes at end of March – seeking to develop a foundation to establish the new “gold standard” in home care patient management.

Making it better

“We’re taking what we’ve learnt and making it better for patients. We’re in a constant place now where we can focus on continued improvement,” she told PT.

Ultimately, the group’s vision is to become worldwide homecare provider, developing solutions for patients around the world. Closer to home, the aim is to raise the number of patients on its book from the current market-leading 150,000 to 2 million within five years.

But, for this to happen, there must be greater collaboration with both the pharma industry and the National Health Service, with dialogue centred around the value of home care and not its cost. “There’s a lot more we can do to broker a different conversation and drive a new agenda for home care, particularly when you look at the challenges that NHS and pharma have,” Douglas said.

To view the article online please click here.

Healthcare at Home continues to drive performance

Since last year, Healthcare at Home has been focusing on driving efficiency through all of our processes in order to raise our service standards and we are pleased to say service standards have improved a great deal over the past nine months.

Improvements include:

  • Call waiting times as low as nine seconds, with an average across all customer services teams of 31 seconds
  • 99.4% of all calls dealt with by our Customer and Patient Services teams without delay and abandonment from the caller; almost first time, every time
  • Our within-the-day tracking dashboard now enables us to understand exactly how many orders are at each stage of the dispensing, picking and dispatch processes at any point in the day, immediately highlighting any issues and enabling us to fix them in real-time.

We are pleased to say that we now receive 70% less complaints than at the peak of our difficulties and receive 40% fewer complaints than we did prior to that. We aim to acknowledge all complaints within 5 days and resolve them within 20 days.

We have also surveyed over 30,000 patients during the last 12 months with a 43% response rate. The feedback provided is positive and improving. Encouragingly, 91% of patients surveyed would recommend Healthcare at Home to their friends and family. At the same time, the constructive critical feedback is just as useful to ensure we can make the changes that our patients want.

We are engaging and communicating much more effectively with all our stakeholders to ensure they are not only informed but are able to contribute to the improvements we are making as a business.

There is still room for improvement but we are pleased that we are at a consistently good level and work is underway to ensure this continues and improves over 2015.

Healthcare at Home lifts service suspension

As you may be aware, last year Healthcare at Home suspended taking on new patients on a limited number of services in order to safely address operational issues. This meant that we stopped taking on new referrals for some services; patients already being treated on those services continued to receive their normal service.

Since 1 February 2015, Healthcare at Home has started to lift the service suspensions in a phased manner. This decision was made very carefully after testing the operational capability to remove suspensions for two NHS Trusts (the Royal Hallamshire and the Royal Brompton and Harefield). We are now confident that the right processes are in place to safely and effectively take on new patients.

This is good news for patients but we acknowledge that there is more work to be done to ensure Healthcare at Home delivers the high quality service patients and the NHS want.

Last year we successfully took 55,146 new patients onto homecare services. With the suspended services now operational again and a renewed sense of confidence in our operational capacity and capabilities, we aim to take on even more in 2015.

Thank you for your patience during this time.

Healthcare at Home Executive Leadership

Healthcare at Home today announced Natalie Douglas’s appointment as Interim Chief Executive Officer and Mike Gordon’s new role as Non-Executive Chairman.

Douglas has two decades experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector. She is the former Chief Executive of Idis, a UK-based healthcare service business she built into an internationally known brand servicing patients with unmet need in access to medicine.

Last year Healthcare at Home recognised that its operations and logistics capacity would limit its ability to deliver in the fast-growing homecare market. It therefore decided to transfer logistics and deliveries to Movianto, a specialist provider, who has the infrastructure and network to offer patients a more flexible delivery service on both evening and weekends. In the short-term this transition has caused serious challenges; in the long-term, it hopes this will deliver a stronger, more flexible and more patient-focused service.

Healthcare at Home believes that Douglas’s leadership provides the best opportunity to restore services to the normal high standard that the company and their patients expect.

DougIas commented: “I’ve known and respected Healthcare at Home for many years as an organisation making treatment in the comfort of people’s homes a reality for hundreds of thousands of people. It is an organisation with a truly important role to play in patients’ lives. I am pleased to have been given this opportunity and responsibility to lead the business at this time and, in particular, to rebuild the company’s operational capability. I look forward to establishing a positive relationship with patients and customers over the coming weeks.”

Healthcare at Home would like to thank Mike Gordon for his substantial contribution to establishing the company as a leading provider of home healthcare over 19 years of executive service.

New Telephone Numbers for Patients

Healthcare at Home wants to reduce costs for our patients wherever we can and so to better reflect the needs of our patients, who increasingly rely on mobile phones rather than landlines to call us, we have introduced 03 numbers to replace our 0870/0845 numbers.

03 numbers were recently introduced which are charged to the caller at the same rate as a landline call (01 and 02 numbers) irrespective of service provider, and including calls made from mobiles. Calls to 03 numbers must count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls. These rules apply to calls from any type of line including mobile, BT, other fixed line or payphone.

With a significant number of our patients now contact us using mobile phones, they may find using 03 numbers considerably more cost effective (depending on their tariff).

We have retained all existing 0800 freephone numbers for landline calls, and have introduced an alternative 03 number which can be used from other lines.

We recognise that it will take a while for all printed literature and other media to reflect this change and therefore all existing non-freephone numbers will remain in place for at least six months.

Please visit our Contact Us page for details of all new numbers.

New initiatives to accelerate service improvements announced

We have recently undertaken several new initiatives that are designed to accelerate our recovery and which will start with immediate effect. The recovery focuses on three key objectives:

To ensure all deliveries are made on time and in full
To reduce the number of failed deliveries
To improve the customer and patient experience

To help accelerate this we are working closely with our logistics provider Movianto who have put in place a new, dedicated senior leadership team relocated from the US head office, and a new senior project management team. This is effective immediately. Movianto has also increased operational support and has confirmed more telephone support to promptly answer drivers’ enquiries when they are on route or at a patient’s house. In addition, they continue to train all their drivers to the standards our patients require and have given more training across the fleet in patient communication and interaction.

Context

Last year, having listened to and talked to our patients, we learnt that patients wanted a more flexible delivery service from us: deliveries every day, everywhere, any time evening or weekend. Recognising the constraints of our own delivery capabilities, we decided to transfer our logistics and deliveries to a specialist provider, Movianto, who have the set-up to deliver the flexibility our patients need.
In the short term this transition has caused problems and it has been painful, but in the long-term, this extension will mean a stronger, more flexible and more patient-centric homecare service.
Healthcare at Home has built up an excellent reputation over the past 20 years, helping improve the quality of lives for thousands of people by supporting patients to lead normal, active lives.
We remain convinced that once we have resolved these issues, more people will have medication delivered at a time and place that suits them. We will continue to work tirelessly until our patients receive the high-quality service they should expect, and we apologise to any patient who has been affected by the disruption as we go through this transition.

New patient support website now live

We have launched a new patient support website (www.hahsupport.co.uk) today to give patients up-to-date information and FAQs while we experience high-call volumes and continued disruption to some of our services.

The new site includes up-to-date information on what we’re doing to improve deliveries and call queuing times. It also has a frequently asked question section to answer the most commonly asked questions we are receiving from patients at this time.

The service disruption, due to an IT issue with our logistics provider, affected some of our delivery scheduling and has led to an increased number of calls to our Customer Service team.

To put this into numbers we normally receive around 3,000 calls each day but recently this has trebled to around 9,000. This has meant that patients have been waiting a long time in call queues or have found the Customer Service number engaged.

We hope the patient support site will provide you with the information you need as we get the service back to normal.

Please visit www.hahsupport.co.uk for more information.

We thank you for your patience during this time and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Update on Recent Service Issues

As you may be aware, Healthcare at Home has experienced a disruption in some deliveries over the past few weeks due to our logistics partner having IT issues. As a result, some deliveries have been made late and our online delivery tracker for patients has not been working. Whilst this has only affected a small proportion of our patients, we have received a surge of incoming calls from patients requesting delivery time updates. At times this has meant that patients have been waiting a long time in call queues and occasionally found the call centre numbers engaged.

Although we have now resolved the original IT issue, there remains the possibility that some deliveries over the coming weeks may be affected as we resolve some residual issues. In the meantime, we have brought in extra resource so that we can resume a normal delivery service as soon as possible. We have also expanded our call centre to manage more calls with our patients and have a team dedicated to responding to emails.

The vast majority of patients are receiving their deliveries on time and are unaffected by any disruption. Patients do not need to do anything at this time, as we are contacting all our patients as normal to organise their deliveries.

If you have an urgent need to speak to the team please contact your normal customer support team or email us at hahenquiries@hah.co.uk.

We aspire to provide an efficient and caring service and we very much regret that we have not been able to provide some deliveries.

Paxman Coolers partners Healthcare at Home

Paxman Coolers has teamed up with Healthcare at Home to provide mobile scalp cooling equipment for thousands of cancer patients.

The service can help to save a patient’s hair, but also significantly improve their self-esteem and confidence – while sparing them the discomfort and stress of having to traveling to and from hospital to undergo chemotherapy.

Healthcare at Home’s team of highly experienced, trained nurses provide specialist care, medication and support to cancer patients in the comfort of their own home at a time and place of the patients’ choosing.

Scalp cooling – or cold cap treatment as it is more commonly known – works by lowering the temperature of the scalp immediately before, during and after the administration of chemo. This can prevent or minimise the damage caused to hair follicles, meaning that hair loss is not inevitable.

Since the partnership between Paxman and Healthcare at Home, the number of patient referrals for the Paxman scalp cooling system has risen rapidly, especially in the Midlands and Yorkshire regions, which together have 44 users.

Isobel Heaton, a Healthcare at Home patient, said: “Paxman and Healthcare at Home are a marriage made in heaven and provide ‘angels’ just at a time when a person needs as many angels on their side as possible.”

She said: “Scientific research and the medical profession are on the case with treatment and how a patient is treated as a person and the impact on self-esteem is fundamental, which is where the ‘angels’ from Paxman and Healthcare at Home step in.”

Ruth Poole. group commercial director at Healthcare at Home, said: “Healthcare at Home prides itself on being able to offer patients the choice of continuing their care in the comfort of their own home.

“Our partnership with Paxman means that we can, and will, provide the highest standard of care to cancer patients.”

Claire Paxman, sales and training manager at Paxman, said: “We are delighted to be working with Healthcare at Home, the opportunity not only allows Paxman to help more chemotherapy patients retain their hair, but will ultimately raise awareness of scalp cooling amongst cancer patients, giving more patients the option to undergo the treatment.

“We appreciate that not everyone is comfortable within hospital environments so the option to receive scalp cooling at home offers both flexibility and comfort which is great.”

Read the article in the Huddersfield Daily Examiner

Delivery of Enbrel 50mg pre-filled MyCLIC pens continue for HaH patients

Healthcare at Home have worked closely with the Department of Health and Pfizer, the manufacturer of Enbrel, throughout the recent disruption in the supply of the Enbrel 50mg MyCLIC pens, and can at this point assure Healthcare at Home’s MyCLIC patients that they will continue to receive supply of the 50mg MyCLIC pens.

Pfizer is continuing to deal with a Europe-wide intermittent disruption in the supply of 50mg pre-filled Enbrel MyCLIC pens. In response, Healthcare at Home has maintained contingency measures that are designed to minimise disruption to our patients.

Enbrel patients do not need to do anything at this time as we will contact anyone who may be affected by telephone.

If however, you have any questions or concerns about your Enbrel delivery or stock supply, we have set up a dedicated support team for Enbrel patients on 0330 123 0273 or via email on enbrel50@hah.co.uk.

Healthcare at Home wins major NHS innovation competition

Healthcare at Homes Ltd’s innovative partnership with the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, “Recovery at Home”, was selected by the independent panel of judges as it demonstrated improved quality of care for patients and financial savings for the NHS through innovation.

David Hare, Chief Executive of the NHS Partners Network, said: “The outstanding quality of the entries we received clearly demonstrates both the quality and breadth of innovation taking place across the independent healthcare sector. The result was extremely close, however we are pleased to announce that Healthcare at Home is our winner.

“Their innovative partnership with the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is a fantastic example of how the public and independent sectors can work together for the benefit of patients.”

The Recovery at Home service was launched in November 2012 at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield to provide clinical care at home for patients meaning they can leave hospital earlier but still receive similar levels of treatment. The primary aim of the service is to deliver improved patient care by enabling safe, early discharge from hospital, while delivering cost savings through the reduction of inappropriate readmissions and length of stay.

The Recovery at Home service started as a 26 bed ‘virtual ward’ and has now expanded to 36 beds covering most care pathways. Since its launch, almost 1,000 patients have benefitted from the service, 10,988 bed nights have been saved, cancelled elective operations have been reduced by 43 per cent, the length of stay for medical patients has dropped from 10.8 to 8.6 days, and patient satisfaction with the care they receive is over 97 per cent.

Ruth Poole, Group Clinical Director, Healthcare at Home, said: “We are delighted that our partnership with Good Hope Hospital has been recognised for its innovative approach to delivering the highest quality patient care.

“The service is hugely popular with patients and is leading the way in designing innovative out-of-hospital models of care. The results have been very positive for the hospital and its patients, and we look forward to continuing the partnership.”

Dr Mark Newbold, Chief Executive, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, added: “This is a great example of how an NHS hospital can improve the care of patients by bringing in external expertise through collaboration. Our work with Healthcare at Home is leading to shortened hospital stays, and improved outcomes for patients, and we look forward to developing our partnership further as we plan for the future.”

We will be showcasing our winning example of innovation during an Exhibitor Showcase session at the NHS Confederation’s annual conference and exhibition 2014, which is taking place from 4-6 June at the ACC Liverpool.

HaH partnership with Paxman coolers prevents unnecessary hair loss

Healthcare at Home has partnered with Paxman to provide mobile scalp cooling equipment and treatment to its cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The service can not only help to save a patient’s hair, but also significantly improve their self-esteem and confidence.

The Paxman scalp cooler is the world leading hair loss prevention system for chemotherapy patients. Healthcare at Home has partnered with Paxman to provide mobile scalp cooling equipment and treatment to its cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The service can not only help to save a patient’s hair, but also significantly improve their self-esteem and confidence.

It can often be an uncomfortable and stressful ordeal having to traveling to and from hospital to undergo chemotherapy. Healthcare at Home’s team of highly experienced, trained nurses provide specialist care, medication and support to cancer patients in the comfort of their own home at a time and place of the patients choosing.

Hair loss is a well documented side effect of many chemo regimes. It is often devastating and the fear of hair loss has been known to cause patients to refuse treatment.

Scalp cooling (or cold cap treatment as it is more commonly known) systems work by lowering the temperature of the scalp immediately before, during and after the administration of chemo. This can prevent or minimise the damage caused to hair follicles, meaning that hair loss is not inevitable.

Since the partnership begun between Paxman and Healthcare at Home the number of patient referrals for the Paxman scalp cooling system has risen rapidly, especially amongst the Midland and Yorkshire regions, with 44 new users combined.

Healthcare at Home patient, Isobel Heaton, said: “Paxman and Healthcare at Home are a marriage made in Heaven and provide ‘Angels’ just at a time when a person needs as many Angels on their side as possible.

From personal experience, twice in the last nine years, I understand the shock of being told you have cancer and then the moments of digging deep to access the resolve and positive focus that helps get through it.

Scientific research and the medical profession are on the case with treatment and how a patient is treated as a person and the impact on self esteem is fundamental, which is where the ‘Angels’ from Paxman and HCAH step in.

To be taken through chemo in the comfort of your own home, in the hands of a team of dedicated specialist nurses, who really get to know you, is priceless at a time when you are not your best. Along with the nurses comes the Paxman scalp cooler. Easy to use, causing very little discomfort, it has enabled me to get to the end of my chemo treatment twice, with 80% of my hair. This is also such a wonderful gift. Instead of waiting months for the visible signs of hair loss to disappear treatment finishes and treasured normality can return.

There are many Angels in the world of cancer care but the Paxman/HCAH Angels are Archangels indeed.”

Ruth Poole. Group Commercial Director at Healthcare at Home, said: “Healthcare at Home prides itself on being able to offer patients the choice of continuing their care in the comfort of their own home. Our partnership with Paxman means that we can, and will, provide the highest standard of care to cancer patients”.

Claire Paxman, Sales and Training Manager at Paxman, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Healthcare at Home, the opportunity not only allows Paxman to help more chemotherapy patients retain their hair, but will ultimately raise awareness of scalp cooling amongst cancer patients, giving more patients the option to undergo the treatment. We appreciate that not everyone is comfortable within hospital environments so the option to receive scalp cooling at home offers both flexibility and comfort which is great.”

Paxman

Paxman is the leading global manufacturer and supplier of scalp cooling equipment, for the prevention of hair loss during chemotherapy. Hair loss is a well documented side effect of many chemotherapy regimes. It is often devastating and the fear of hair loss has even been known to cause patients to refuse treatment. The revolutionary Paxman hair loss prevention system is responsible for helping thousands of people worldwide keep their hair and their dignity.

For more information visit the website

e-prescribing couldn’t be easier with iQemo

Healthcare at Home has partnered with Knowledge Medical Systems to supply iQemo as their chosen electronic prescribing system.

Over the next six months iQemo will be made available to over 100 doctors who work with Healthcare at Home from all across the UK.

The roll out of iQemo has already started and in the last couple of months has seen around 40 doctors start using the system. Thanks to the latest web and mobile technologies iQemo is built upon, it is possible to roll out iQemo very quickly to such a large number of doctors over such a wide geographic area.

By using iQemo, Healthcare at Home has been able to simplify the way chemotherapy prescriptions are received at their compounding unit and it helps streamline the chemotherapy ordering process. Since its been rolled out, a number of doctors have commented on how beneficial iQemo is to their daily working practices, particularly the way iQemo automatically sends prescription reminders and the ability to be able to prescribe using mobile devices.

“Since I’ve started using iQemo I’m suddenly able to see and work more clearly. I can update prescriptions from anywhere on the planet on a computer or tablet”.

Dr Rubin Soomal, Consultant Oncologist at the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust

For more information, get in touch with the Private Patient Services teamhere or visit the iQemo website here

Update on the supply of 50mg pre-filled Enbrel pens

Late last week Pfizer, the manufacturer of Enbrel, confirmed that there is a Europe-wide intermittent disruption in the supply of the 50mg MyCLIC pre-filled Enbrel pens. Healthcare at Home is working with Pfizer, the Department of Health and the NHS to manage supply levels to their patients during this shortage.

This currently only affects the supply of the 50mg pen. All other Enbrel patients will be unaffected.

Mike Gordon, Chief Executive of Healthcare at Home has said: “We fully understand how critical it is for our patients to receive a regular supply of their medication. Until Pfizer, the manufacturer of Enbrel, has resumed normal levels of supply, we have agreed a plan with the Department of Health and Pfizer and will be contacting all affected patients by phone to discuss their delivery schedule”.

Patients don’t need to do anything at this time as we will be in contact with those affected before their next delivery.

We have set up a dedicated support team for Enbrel 50mg MyCLIC patients who can contact us on 0330 123 0273 or via email at enbrel50@hah.co.uk. We will also be providing regular updates on our website.

Please note that this only affects users of the Enbrel 50mg MyCLIC pen and that all other Enbrel and Healthcare at Home patients will be unaffected.

High hopes for new staffordshire nursing programme

The Sentinel published a positive article this week announcing Healthcare at Home’s new Recovery at Home scheme in partnership with University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust.

The service helps to get patients better quicker by getting them out of hospital and back into their own home. 41 beds will be freed up as a result of the scheme.

Read more

UHNS bed scheme goes live

Patients in North Staffordshire are being discharged from hospital earlier as a result of a new partnership between Healthcare at Home and The University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust. Under the Recovery at Home scheme patients who are medically fit to leave hospital are able to continue their care at home. During this time the patient remains under the care of their consultant.

Read more

Important contact information for patients – please read

We are experiencing a very high volume of calls to the main customer services number 0870 600 1540 and as a result, some of our patients have been experiencing long waits. We are very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused and we are working around the clock to fix the problem.

If your enquiry relates to a specific condition or treatment we ask that you contact us on one of the following telephone numbers:

Cimzia: 0800 917 6853
Enbrel: 0845 601 2816
Fertility treatment: 0800 328 5323
Forsteo: 0800 783 2943
Growth hormones: 0870 333 2833
HIV: 0800 783 0211
Haemophilia: 0870 241 6135
Humira: 0870 333 2834
Mental Health: 0800 587 0807
Methotrexate or Metoject: 0845 303 2336
Multiple sclerosis treatment: 0800 096 4573
Oral oncology: 0870 366 4640
Private treatment: 0870 366 4640
Pulmonary Hypertension: 0800 088 4412
Self-funded treatment: 0870 366 4640
Transplant: 0800 917 9665
Vitaflo: 0800 756 7590

If your enquiry relates to none of the above please contact the customer care team on 0870 600 1540 or email us at hahenquiries@hah.co.uk

If you are telephoning for the estimated time of arrival for your delivery, these are published at 8pm the night before delivery on our website at www.hah.co.uk/treatment-tracker

Thank you for your patience at this busy time. Please be assured that we are doing everything we can to clear the backlog of calls and we will respond to you as soon as we can.

Update on Call Volumes

Leading up to the holiday period we experienced extremely high levels of calls to our call centre as we worked with patients to ensure they received the support they needed resulting in some calls not getting through, or having to wait for long periods. We are pleased to report that following our extensive efforts to increase our resources this has been vastly reduced.

We can still experience from time to time very high levels of calls and regret that some calls may suffer long waits as a result.

If telephoning for the estimated time of arrival for your delivery, these are published at 8pm the night before delivery on our website at www.hah.co.uk/treatment-tracker, and if preferred you can leave a message via e-mail at the address hahenquiries@hah.co.uk and we will contact you as a priority.

Thank you for your patience at these busy times and please be assured our continued excellent service to our customers and patients is our priority.

High Call Volumes

We are currently experiencing a very high level of calls to our call centre as we work with patients to get ready for the Christmas and New Year holiday period ensuring they receive the support they need.

We will ensure we deal with every call in sufficient time for the holiday period but regret that some calls are experiencing long waits and in some cases not getting through at this time.

If telephoning for the estimated time of arrival for your delivery, these are published at 8pm the night before delivery on our website at www.hah.co.uk/eta, and if preferred you can leave a message via e-mail at the address hahenquiries@hah.co.uk.

Thank you for your patience at this busy time and please be assured our continued excellent service to our customers and patients is our priority.

Operational evolution

As we continue to build a strong, patient-focused business, Healthcare at Home today announces a number of operational enhancements. These changes will set new standards in patient care and customer service, driving better patient outcomes and supporting them to lead better lives. Patient focus and the highest standard of patient care remains our number one priority.

Transport and warehousing

We intend to transfer our transport and warehousing operations to the specialist healthcare logistics provider, Movianto UK. Movianto has extensive experience, providing delivery coverage across the whole of the UK and most of mainland Europe. We are confident they will provide the high level of services we, our customers, and most importantly our patients expect.

Our transport and warehousing staff will transfer to Movianto under TUPE regulations meaning that, in many cases, patients will continue to see the same driver that have come to trust and rely on. Movianto will continue to use unmarked vehicles and packaging for Healthcare at Home patient deliveries as well as training any additional drivers, ensuring they maintain the discretion our patients have come to expect.

We anticipate that this transfer will take place in late January 2014.

Responding to customer and patient needs

To provide greater flexibility in managing and scheduling the treatment to patients we are realigning our Customer Services and Pharmacy and Dispensary operations. To better meet the needs of our customers and patients, we are introducing new working hours of 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am to 5pm Saturday, Sunday and selected Bank Holidays.

Centralising core operations

As the business continues to grow, consolidating operations at our headquarters in Burton upon Trent means we can continue to focus and invest in continually enhancing patient care and customer service. We have therefore confirmed our intention to close the Featherstone operation before end of April 2014. All workload will be transferred to our main head office in Burton upon Trent by the date of closing with no adverse effect for our customers or patients, who will continue to receive their usual service or medication.
We are now in a period of consultation on these proposals with colleagues who are impacted by these changes. In the meantime our current operation will continue as normal.

For further media enquiries, please visit our Media Centre at http://www.hah.co.uk/media-centre.

We’ve launched our new online consultant directory

The online directory allows patients to search for a consultant by name, region or speciality at the click of a button.

Ruth Poole, Healthcare at Home’s Group Commercial Director commented, “We’ve come so far as a business in being able to offer patients more choice of how and where they receive their care. The directory is testament to the breath of services that we offer, enabling patients to be better informed about their options. We couldn’t do it without the support of the consultants and private medical insurers that we work closely with”

Come and visit us at the Fertility Show next month

Attended by over 3,500 visitors last year, the Fertility show offers a chance for women to gain information and support on all things fertility. Throughout the two days, visitors can take part in seminars given by fertility specialists on various topics. Topics include understanding unexplained infertility, what to do to boost your fertility and exploring treatment options.

Healthcare at Home is a leading provider of home fertility services, working with most UK clinics and managing nearly 40,000 fertility medication prescriptions each year.

Come and visit us at our stand, we are number 82. We look forward to seeing you there!

Healthcare at Home welcomes government pledge to tackle the hospital capacity problem

Healthcare at Home welcomes the Government’s pledge to tackle the growing capacity problem in hospitals and increased pressures on A&E wards amid winter pressures and fully supports local initiatives to roll out recovery at home type services whereby patients are discharged earlier, freeing up hospital beds and preventing unnecessary hospital admissions.

The BBC in a recent article, used the example of the Royal Free Hospital’s post-acute care enablement (PACE) scheme in which case finders, appointed by community health trusts, identify patients who are ready to be discharged from hospital to continue their care at home. These are patients with acute medical conditions but who are medically stable. The scheme has resulted in a ward of 24 beds being freed up for patients requiring vascular and specialist cancer treatment.

Recovery at home programmes provide complex clinical support to patients in their own home, enabling them to leave hospital earlier than might otherwise have been the case. The patient remains under the care of the hospital consultant in what is known as a virtual ward.

Healthcare at Home’s report, ‘Addressing the hospital capacity problem – The Recovery at Home solution’ examined the potential impact of recovery at home services in light of the rise in emergency admissions and increased pressure in hospital capacity. The report revealed that a typical acute hospital trust could release around 40 beds if more patients were given the option to recover from an operation or treatment at home. The report also demonstrated a 98 per cent satisfaction rate amongst patients and lower rates of readmission after discharge from the homecare service.

BBC Radio 4’s Today programme which aired on Monday 19th August, also made reference to the key findings in the report.

University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust, in partnership with Healthcare at Home, was one such trust that successfully implemented a recovery at home service in 2009. In commenting on the partnership, Ruth Poole, Group Clinical Director at Healthcare at Home said, “It hasn’t been an easy journey, we’ve had to convince doctors and patients one by one that this was a good idea, A great deal of time was invested in co-designing the service, establishing and understanding clinical protocols and ensuring clinical governance was in place”.

In talking about the recovery at home service more broadly, Ruth commented, “The challenge that the NHS is faced with is how do you continue to provide a high standard and delivery of care to patients in the wake of hospital capacity pressures and growing numbers of hospital admissions? By working closely with primary, community and social care services, we are able to help patients navigate their way through a complex system, discharging patients earlier, and providing the best possible care that we can in the comfort of the patients home”

To listen to commentary by the Today Programme click here
To read the BBC article click here

Let’s talk fertility! Healthcare at Home’s Bev Kimminau launches her new blog

Healthcare at Home’s Bev Kimminau has launched her very own blog where she shares information and advice to women and couples that have gone through cycles of IVF and/or have suffered from recurrent miscarriages.

In her current role as a fertility nurse consultant, at Healthcare at Home, Bev works closely with fertility clinics nationwide to support them with their home delivery prescription service and home administration of fertility IV infusions.

You can read Bev’s blog, ‘Diary of a fertility nurse’ here.

Healthcare at Home offers fertility treatment for IVF patients at its Bristol Clinic

Healthcare at Home, at its Bristol Clinic, is now offering a safe and affordable treatment that can improve the likelihood of pregnancy following IVF treatment and recurrent miscarriage.

Intralipid Infusion Therapy works by lowering the activity of Natural Killer (NK) cells (cells in the immune system) which can cause the body to react abnormally to an implanting embryo, treating it as an invading cell and signalling for the body to attack it.

Made up of a 20% fat emulsion including soybean oil, egg yolk phospholipids and glycerine, Intralipids enable the embryo to implant on the uterine wall and grow normally.

The Bristol Clinic, which runs clinics for this infusion on a Monday and Friday, is situated on Whiteladies Road in Clifton. The clinic is run by a dedicated team of highly qualified specialist IV nurses. Patients can choose to have their treatment in the clinic or at home. Prior to having the treatment the patient will receive a full consultation with the nurse who will explain the treatment and potential side effects.

The consultant responsible for the patient’s care can refer patients to the clinic by contacting Healthcare at Home’s Fertility expert Bev Kimminau. Consultants will receive clear clinical feedback following the patient’s infusion. The Consultant will remain clinically responsible for the patient.

The price of the treatment including medication and administration is:

• £170 per infusion in the clinic
• £270 per infusion at home

Bev Kimminau who is responsible for overseeing the fertility business at Healthcare at Home commented, “Studies have also shown that Intralipid infusion is a much safer and less expensive form of treatment when compared with alternative therapies, including blood products. We are delighted to be able to offer patients a choice of how their care is administered whether in the clinic or at home”.

If you would like more information on the Intralipid Infusion Therapy service provided by Healthcare at Home please contact Bev Kimminau onbev.kimminau@hah.co.uk.

Notes for Editors

About the Bristol Clinic:

Situated at 1-5 Whiteladies Road in Clifton, the Healthcare at Home Clinic at Bristol is a highly impressive consulting and treatment facility. The building houses a large infusion suite capable of accommodating a number of patients, along with five well-equipped and comfortable consulting rooms.
The Healthcare at Home clinic is run by highly experienced medical professionals who deliver exceptional care to patients including Chemotherapy Infusions, Monoclonal Antibody infusions, Blood product transfusions, Venesections, Phlebotomy, IVAB, Picc line care and replacement, Bisphosphonate infusions, IV hydration and Ultrasound facilities.
Other facilities available at the Healthcare at Home clinic include a pathology service which ensures a fast turnaround of blood tests that may be required, as well as offering screening services for a range of conditions.

The Clinic is registered with the CQC.

Parking is available on site.

Healthcare at Home ranks in the Sunday Times BDO Top Track 100

Healthcare at Home have ranked in the Sunday Times BDO Top Track 100 for the fourth year running, moving from number 49 in 2012 to number 43 in 2013.

The Top Track 100 ranks Britain’s largest privates companies by their sales, hence the higher ranking shows Healthcare at Home’s success in sales growth this year.

To see the full Top Track 100 click here.

The Guardian covers Healthcare at Home’s launch of their report on Recovery at Home

The NHS is being urged to relieve the pressure on hard-pressed hospitals by treating thousands of patients in “virtual wards” – at home, with regular visits from health staff replacing long stays on wards.

The service could create 5,800 “virtual beds” in people’s homes to help hospitals cope with bed shortages and overcrowded A&E units deal with patients arriving as emergencies, a new report says.

A few hospitals have begun treating certain types of patients this way in an effort to provide a patient-friendly response to growing demand at a time when NHS budgets are tight. In some places up to 35 patients a week, whom doctors agree do not need to be kept in hospital, are being cared for this way.

Patients who agree to have their treatment in a virtual ward can avoid anything more than a few hours of treatment at hospital before being discharged to such care.

Advocates of virtual wards claim that patient satisfaction with such arrangements is very high and recovery is hastened by being at home. Hospitals save money as virtual wards are cheaper to provide than the typical £250-a-night cost to the NHS of an overnight stay.

The new report is by NHS specialist consultant Alex Kafetz of ZPB Associates in conjunction with the NHS Confederation and some trusts which already operate virtual wards on behalf of private healthcare firm Healthcare at Home. It urges NHS chiefs to dramatically expand the currently patchy provision of such care.

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust began looking after small numbers of patients who had undergone surgery such as a hip or knee replacements in virtual wards in 2010. Around 120 mainly elderly patients every month now stay at home, where they receive up to three visits a day from a nurse to change a dressing, give them an injection or check their blood pressure and up to several visits a week from a physiotherapist who helps them regain their mobility through intensive mobilisation.

Jane Hayward, the trust’s chief operating officer, said: “Only 2% of patients on the scheme end up back in hospital again compared to the average, which is 7%.

“We started this because we are a big, busy trust and didn’t have anywhere else physically to expand into and so needed to think how to do differently.”

So far the trust has looked after 2,366 patients this way and saved 14,228 bed days through what it calls “enhanced supported discharge” or “healthcare at home”. In a survey 98% of such patients said being at home had benefitted their wellbeing, while 90% were very satisfied with the home care they received.

The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust offers a similar service but plans to add video consultations – where the patient can speak directly to their consultant while at home – to the package of care they offer. “Patients absolutely love this service. It’s optional. They can choose to stay in or go home, but pretty much all of them go home”, said Katie Donlevy, the trusts’s director of integrated care. “Medically the care is better than being in hospital because the patient cane recover more quickly at home, especially complex elderly patients, who may otherwise be stuck in a bed in hospital.”

A spokeswoman for NHS England said virtual wards were an excellent idea which typified the sort of innovation the NHS needed to embrace in order to meet the growing challenges it is facing.

Further coverage of the launch of the report, Addressing the hospital capacity problem: The Recovery at Home solution, was published by;

New research finds the NHS could create 5,800 virtual beds by using Recovery at Home

The report, Addressing the hospital capacity problem: The Recovery at Home solution, published today, examines the potential impact of Recovery at Home services in light of the rise in emergency admissions and increased pressure on hospital capacity and bed occupancy.

Recovery at Home programmes provide complex clinical support to patients in their own home, enabling them to leave hospital earlier than might otherwise be the case while remaining under the care of the NHS trust where they had their treatment or surgery.

The key benefits of Recovery at Home services as highlighted in the report include the creation of 5,800 virtual beds and release of around 40 beds in a typical acute trust, a 98 per cent patient satisfaction rate, improved patient outcomes and low rates of readmission after discharge from the homecare service.

Ruth Poole, Group Clinical Director, Healthcare at Home said: “Recovery at Home is as much about advocating on behalf of patients as it is about productivity and releasing capacity. Beyond our ability to deliver safe and clinically effective treatment at home, the real value of what we do is often found in our ability to negotiate a path for patients through an array of post-­‐discharge services often with obscure eligibility requirements.”

A group of senior clinicians, executives and opinion-formers from the NHS, community and social care sector contributed to the report, and shared their experiences of Recovery at Home services. Mike Farrar, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation said: “Recovery at Home services are a great example of the system working together, often with private providers, to produce more productive pathways that yield a better experience for patients”.

Examples of NHS trusts who have successfully implemented Recovery at Home services at scale include University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and Good Hope Hospital in Birmingham.

Since launching the service in 2012, Good Hope Hospital’s Managing Director Sue Moore said: “We’ve seen a 43 per cent reduction in the number of cancelled operations this year, and we are doing far better at managing medical outliers. There are a variety of reasons behind this, but Recovery at Home is certainly one”.

Jane Hayward, Chief Operating Officer at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust said: “We set out to convince people doctor by doctor and patient by patient. Investing time in co-designing the service, establishing and understanding clinical protocols, and ensuring strong clinical governance was essential”.

Healthcare At Home’s Graeme Duncan to speak at leading event on pharmaceutics in homecare

The workshop, which is organised by trade journal PharmaTimes and is taking place at the King’s Fund, will look at how the homecare market can work collaboratively with the pharmaceutical industry to deliver tangible outcomes financially and beneficially for patients. With homecare high on the agenda for NHS policy makers and payers, the sector is seeing increasing co-working opportunities with the pharmaceutical industry.

Speaking at the workshop, Graeme Duncan will cover key areas such as market dynamics and what’s on offer, the impact of new technologies on the homecare market and what makes a great pharma-sponsored homecare package and what doesn’t.

There will be an interactive session where delegates will be invited to design their own homecare strategy.

To view the agenda, click here.

To book your place at the event, click here.

For more information, please contact Alice Osborne on 0207 018 1124 or by email at alice@zpb-associates.com.

Alternatively please contact Gill Chalk on 0208 487 9114 or by email atgillc@pharmatimes.com.

If you’d like to know more about PharmaTimes Magazine, please click here.

Ruth Poole speaks at high profile healthcare innovation conference

Speaking to a room of almost 100 strong, Ruth Poole explained how clinical homecare was analogous with giant tech company Apple in displaying persuasive and tenacious leadership and a relentless focus on how people live and what people care about.

When asked whether they thought innovation was born out of clever technology, challenging the status quo or changing the way something works, the majority of the audience voted for the latter two.

During her session, Ruth went on to talk about creating services around the way people live and what they care about, and the belief that people should be able to concentrate on their lives, not on their illness.

One phrase that certainly resonated in our minds after leaving the room was ‘people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it’.

Healthcare at Home commended at the Patient Experience Network Awards

February 2013

The Recovery at Home service began two years ago as a partnership between Healthcare at Home and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. The service supports getting patients out of hospital quicker in order to continue their care at home. The service has since expanded across the UK, after Southampton successfully saw over 2,000 patients referred onto the Recovery at Home service.

The category was fiercely contested, with stiff competition from the likes of Dental Care, who meet the needs of looked after children, and the Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust.

In talking about her own personal experience of using the service, cystic fibrosis patient Deborah Parker commented that “Healthcare at Home provides that extra support which allows you to live independently and have as normal a life as possible.”

For more information please click here.

HaH and Zita West Clinic offer new treatment for IVF patients

What’s the treatment for?

An overactive immune system is sometimes the biggest obstacle to achieving or maintaining a pregnancy and can be a primary cause of repeated miscarriages.

Natural Killer (NK) cells in women can cause the body to react abnormally to an implanting embryo, treating it as an invading cell and signaling for the body to attack it.

Intralipids, however, have been shown to lower the activity of the NK cells component in the immune system. Made up of a 20% fat emulsion including soybean oil, egg yolk phospholipids and glycerine, Intralipids enable the embryo to implant on the uterine wall and grow normally.

Clinical studies have demonstrated that Intralipid infusion therapy can result in improved pregnancy and live birth rates, even in the case of recurrent embryo implantation failure after IVF and recurrent miscarriage. Studies have also shown that Intralipid infusion is a much safer and less expensive from of treatment when compared with alternative therapies including blood products.

Where does the treatment take place?

Self-funding patients will be treated by a fertility specialist in the relaxed and comfortable surroundings of the Zita West Clinic, located in central London. The Intralipid infusion is administered by a Healthcare at Home nurse and will take up to an hour and half. Heading up the fertility team is Dr George Ndukwe, a renowned leader in the investigation and treatment of IVF failure. Dr Ndukwe is known for pioneering new modes of treatment for recurrent embryo implantation failure.

The collaboration between Healthcare at Home and Zita West means patients are offered the highest level of support not only from a team of fertility specialists, but also from fully qualified IV specialist nurses. The teams from both organisations will be working together to deliver a caring, expert service for patients, both in the clinic and at home.

Zita West, Director of the Zita West Clinic, welcomed the collaboration with Healthcare at Home:

“We are delighted to be offering a service which we feel gives women a positive experience at a difficult time, setting them emotionally, physically and financially at ease. By sharing our services, the specialist teams at Zita West and Healthcare at Home can, and will, provide the highest standard of care to fertility patients.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Ruth Poole, Group Clinical Director for Healthcare at Home said:

“Healthcare at Home’s nurses have been administering this service to patients in their home for eight years. We are really pleased to partner with Zita West to offer this service to patients in the clinic and the home setting. Through our joint expertise, we are able to offer patients greater reassurance in their treatment plan and provide a seamless journey between the clinic and their home.”

Find out more

Healthcare at Home has been the leading provider of home delivery services for fertility patients for over ten years, managing over 30,000 prescription deliveries each year. We provide two core services for patients who are undergoing fertility treatment: these services include the administration of infusion therapy and the home delivery of fertility medications.

The Zita West Clinic has years of experience in helping couples who are finding it difficult to get pregnant to conceive successfully, both naturally and through assisted means, as well as in coaching women who are already pregnant in how to have the best possible pregnancy for themselves and their baby.

For more information about Healthcare at Home’s fertility services please contact Bev Kimminau by email: bev.kimminau@hah.co.uk.

For more information about the Zita West Clinic please contact Terri Morgan-Collins by email:
Terri@zitawest.com

Healthcare at Home Progress Newsletter now available

Paperless progress

This week we launched a brand new edition of our Progress Newsletter. It comes in the form of a specially designed email and includes updates on a wide range of our treatments and services.

The top story this month is about making patient referrals simpler through digitalisation. Our new online portal helps avoid the pitfalls of paper-heavy record systems and can make collating invoicing information faster and more accurate. It also contributes to a greener, more environmentally friendly system.

We also highlight our advancements in cancer treatment, subcutaneous Haematology programmes and our early discharge services.

Want to find out more?

Each month our newsletter charts the latest developments for our existing services, as well as giving direct feedback from our patients. If you would like to have a read of this month’s newsletter, or subscribe for future updates, you can sign up here.

The Guardian features Ruth Poole’s speech at major European Innovation Day

The difficulty with innovation in the health sector is that the NHS isn’t always aware of what’s happening outside the organisation. Many health entrepreneurs remain “under the radar”.

That’s the view of Nina Nashif, founder and chief executive of Healthbox, a business accelerator programme that supports healthcare entrepreneurs. “If a chief executive of a foundation trust googles ‘innovation’, they don’t hear about the companies we work with,” she says.

Founded by a US venture capital firm, Healthbox aims to bring early-stage health technology innovations to a wider audience by building a network of innovators, investors, private and public providers, health professionals, business experts and government representatives.

Earlier this month it held a Dragons’ Den-style event in Canary Wharf, London, where seven healthcare technology startups pitched their products before an audience of around 300 people including investors, healthcare businesses, clinicians, NHS trust chief executives and staff from the Department of Health.

The innovations ranged from video games that help patients do physiotherapy exercises correctly, to software measuring wellbeing.

Nashif says it can be difficult for health technology companies to get a foot in the door: “The health sector is traditionally a closed industry. There’s lots of bureaucracy and it’s more insular. It takes longer to get the first sale. It’s a hard industry to get a meeting.”

Although Healthbox has held events in Chicago and Boston, this was its first Innovation Day conference in Europe. The seven startups were selected from more than 140 applicants to take part in a three-month programme, based in London. Each received seed capital, advice from mentors from the public and private healthcare sector and guidance from Healthbox.

“All have secured pilots or customer relationships within the NHS which is fantastic,” says Nashif.

The scheme culminated in the showcase, when each team gave a slick eight-minute pitch. The inventions offered solutions to a range of problems. One, Medopad, aims to reduced the time wasted when doctors wait for patient data. The software, viewed on a small tablet, gives them access to real-time lab results or images, clinical notes and primary care data.

Dan Vahdat, co-founder and chief technology officer of Medopad, says the Healthbox scheme has offered access to more clients. He says: “The main barrier is, as a tiny company, big organisations need to rely on you and it’s hard for them to rely on you if you don’t have a record.”

The company has formed partnerships with InterSystems, Vodafone and Healthcare Gateway, and is to be piloted in a hospital. The team asked for £3m of investment.

Another startup, HomeTouch, is a digital service that aims to keep elderly people independent in their own homes by feeding back information to family and carers. SOMA Analytics, whose inventors are from Germany, aims to tackle the issue of stress by monitoring people’s day-to-day activities such as typing, speech and sleep. Employers can access a dashboard with analysis of the data, and use it to maintain staff health.

“In five years’ time we see ourselves as having improved the wellbeing of millions of employees,” says Johann Huber, co-founder and chief executive.

The conference also featured a panel discussion with Luke Johnson, chairman of Risk Capital Partners and former chairman for Channel 4, Ruth Poole group clinical director of Healthcare at Home and Thomas Van Every, founder of online health service Dr Thom. They discussed the problems innovators face and how to overcome them.

On the difficulty of selling into the NHS, Van Every says: “They want data, evidences. There are huge commissioning barriers. There’s a long runway to get there.”

However Poole believes: “The good news about selling into the NHS is that they are quite desperate. Desperate for cost savings and solutions they just can’t solve for themselves. People are starting to take small risks and getting their cheque books out.”

She advises entrepreneurs to be tenacious and to get the right investor who will take a long-term view of the company.

She continues: “If it’s [a product] not going to save some money people won’t buy it. You need good evidence that it makes a difference to patients.”

After hearing all the presentations, the audience was asked to vote for the startup they wanted to receive £10,000. The winner was the MIRA Rehab team, from Romania, who created video games to make physiotherapy exercises fun.

“We know the challenges in healthcare are universal,” Nashif told delegates. “And we believe these entrepreneurs are going to be solving these challenges.”

Health Service Journal highlights Ruth Poole as Mentor for healthcare entrepreneurs

Published in the Health Service Journal on January 23 | Pam Garside

I have been working for over a year with Nina Nashif, Jake Arnold-Forster and other colleagues to help to establish Healthbox in the UK, which has launched seven health tech start-ups to market.

Last week was “Innovation Day”, which introduced the companies to UK investors and the wider health community. It was a big day for the young entrepreneurs. They each presented their companies to a crowd of 250 investors, healthcare leaders from the NHS and the private sector and other entrepreneurs.

‘The best innovative ideas for the health service are likely to come from “the periphery” of the system’

That’s not an easy gig for anyone, but one of the entrepreneurs was just 23. The result was astonishing after three months in essentially an entrepreneurs’ boot camp. The creativity and drive they showed was truly remarkable.

Healthbox is Europe’s first business accelerator focused exclusively on supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in healthcare. It was developed by Chicago-based Sandbox Industries, which is the exclusive fund manager of the BlueCross BlueShield Venture Fund. Healthbox UK was funded by BUPA , Bayer, Guy’s and Thomas’ Charity and Serco.

Seven companies were chosen from 140 applications from 21 different countries and they have completed an intensive 12-week programme with a range of resources to promote rapid development.

Each team was awarded £50,000 in seed capital in return for a percentage of equity. The teams were given three months in a collaborative workspace designed for tech start-ups.

 

Fast moving train

A wide range of mentors, including senior NHS and private sector executives, visited the hub and spent time with the teams, forging lasting mentor relationships, including Chris Brinsmead, the government adviser on life sciences; Ruth Poole, group commercial director for Healthcare at Home; and Sir Cyril Chantler, chair of University College London Partners.

Of the seven teams, four have relocated to London from bases in Ireland, Romania and Germany. One of the teams, SOMA Analytics from Germany, said completing the accelerator programme was like stepping on to a fast moving train, they had achieved so much in such little time.

The NHS has so much to benefit from these and other new technologies. The best innovative ideas that will transform the health service are likely to come from “the periphery” of the system, which is why we should be doing all we can to support and nurture entrepreneurs.

 

‘These types of start-up companies need an ecosystem in which to thrive’

And what did I think of the teams? There was Portable Medical Technology, developed by a young Irish team, who’s product ONCOassist enables oncologists to access the complex calculations and prognostic tools that they need at the point of care on their mobile phones.

Like many of the best ideas it is simple − one that does away with specialist equipment and could transform information support at the point of care.

Tomorrow’s world

Less simple but no less exciting is Desktop Genetics, founded by a team of Cambridge graduates, which is developing a robust and rapid in-house gene assembly system that will provide researchers with 100-fold greater sequence accuracy than that achieved with today’s techniques.

The gene assembly robot being developed combines the company’s software with proven biochemistry into an automated bench top solution. They are tackling the primary sources of gene assembly error: poor gene design, operational error and the use of error prone starting materials.

The Desktop Genetics’ product is targeted at biotechnology R&D labs across industry and academia, where global sales of synthetic genes were estimated at £650m in 2011. By offering state of the art gene assembly accuracy at a disruptively low cost, Desktop Genetics will increase productivity in pharmaceutical research and development, advance drug discovery and make tomorrow’s life science breakthroughs possible.

But the team voted by the audience as the best on the day was MIRA Rehab. Led by 23-year-old Romanian Cosmin Mihaiu, who picked up the £10,000 prize, MIRA designs and develops software to enhance the delivery of physical therapy by “gamifying” home exercises which patients are required to do as part of their treatment plan.

Adherence to prescribed home exercises is low, despite professional agreement that compliance with treatment plans can shorten recovery time and reduce costs for the health sector.

 

Thriving ecosystem

The Medical Interactive Recovery Assistant (MIRA) contains a series of specialised video games designed with physiotherapists to make exercises fun and convenient for patients recovering from surgery or injury.

‘It might be time for the NHS to help its own and look to others for the solutions to its problems’

The solution can be delivered inexpensively using a generic PC and Microsoft’s Kinect software, which tracks the patient’s movements to determine they are performing the prescribed exercises correctly.

Data about their performance is collected and available via a dashboard for therapists to monitor the progress of their patient’s recovery and tailor the treatment plan.

These types of start-up companies need an ecosystem in which to thrive. It is tough to sell into healthcare as an industry sector.

We are in a time where the venture capital industry is a shadow of what it used to be and early-stage companies need to attract new sources of investment via programmes like this.

Equally, in the week that the secretary of state called for the NHS to become paperless by 2018 − and as he suggested, could adopt IT to “help it deliver services sustainably” − it might just be time for the NHS to both help its own and look to others for the solutions to its problems.

Healthcare at Home’s Ruth Poole addresses business leaders at major European health conference

This week’s event, which will take place on the 17th of January in London, will showcase innovative new technology solutions being developed by entrepreuneurs in the healthcare sector. Hosted by Healthbox, Europe’s first business accelerator focused exclusively on healthcare innovation, the event – Healthbox Europe Innovation Day – has attracted over 300 industry experts and healthcare leaders.

 

Healthcare at Home’s Ruth Poole will discuss the importance of local, national and international businesses in nurturing entrepreneurial talent. When asked to speak at the conference, Ruth commented:

‘When we started up in Burton, we were a small business with big ideas about how we could transform healthcare services for patients. As an organisation that is now growing rapidly on the international stage, Healthcare at Home are constantly looking for innovative new ways to provide a better service to patients. This means embracing change and being open to investment in new and exciting areas in healthcare. I am fully supportive of what Healthbox is doing in stimulating investment and innovation.’

Ruth will be joined on the panel by leading business owners and entrepreneurs drawn from different backgrounds and sectors including Luke Johnson (former Chairman of Channel 4 and Pizza Express) and Dr Thom Van Every (founder of Dr Thom).

NOTES TO EDITORS:

About Healthcare at Home

Caring for over 150, 000 NHS and private patients throughout the UK, our vision was – and remains today – to enhance the way in which clinical and pharmaceutical services are provided for patients, their families and carers. Healthcare at Home strives to improve clinical outcomes for patients by allowing them to receive treatment in the comfort of their own home.

Healthcare at Home’s 550 strong team of highly skilled clinicians provide treatments and services to patients 24/7, 365 days a year. This includes end of life care, chemotherapy at home, enhanced supported discharge as well as medication management and optimisation. We treat a broader range of conditions than any other homecare provider.

We reduce the amount of time and money spent visiting the hospital by providing treatment in the comfort of the home, workplace, or even at a holiday location.

For more information about Healthcare at Home, please contact Alice Osborne on 020 7018 1124 or alternatively via email alice@zpb-associates.com.

About Healthbox

Healthbox (www.healthbox.com) is a platform to stimulate early-stage innovation, enabling entrepreneurial success while creating a collaborative, global ecosystem to attract positive change in the healthcare industry. Healthbox’s three-month accelerator program finds great companies and passionate healthcare entrepreneurs and helps them grow their businesses by providing seed capital, access to a broad and diverse network of mentors, topical forums, strategic guidance and an organised Innovation Day.

For more information, please contact Gita Mendis on gita@zpb-associates.comor call 07803 024 032.