Cisco and NHS work together on mental health
NHS East London and Cisco have been working together throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to overcome the many challenges of the “new normal”. As a team, the two companies have consistently delivered vital therapeutic care to those who need it throughout the UK. This partnership has been essential for preserving the wellbeing of UK citizens, particularly now, at a time where mental health issues are growing increasingly common.
The Trust’s Wellbeing Service provides a range of psychological services for depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The group also provides mindfulness therapies, psychiatry, and social support to tackle the isolation impact resulting from COVID-19. With more than 6,500 patients a year, the group needed a convenient way to ensure no-one would be excluded from the service.
Most of the services and support offered by the Trust before the pandemic were provided on a face-to-face basis. COVID-19 meant that within weeks, the services had to shift rapidly into a virtual environment, offered through video calls and telephone interactions. One in seven people in the environment does not have access to digital communication or laptop technology at home or in a private space where they can access the service alone.
To provide care that was inclusive for all patients, NHS East London and Cisco created digital pods on-site for those who needed to get away from the home and travel to the centre. In a COVID-safe space, patients can access a screen equipped with Webex video technology, to connect them to consultants in a separate room. With a stable connection and easy-to-use tech, the pods didn’t require any technical skills from the patients.
According to Lead Clinician and Consultant Psychiatrist for the Richmond Wellbeing Service, Professor Ben Wright, the priority was to create an environment suitable for therapeutic and clinical work. For the patients unable to access these services from home, the digital pods created with Cisco permitted services to continue moving forward.
According to Ben Wright, the group has always focused on delivering the best standard of care, and this is particularly crucial now, in a time of increased anxiety. With Cisco’s help, the Trust has maintained its ability to deliver service, and they’ve noticed an improvement in recovery rate, with up to 8% more patients making full recoveries.
Cisco has worked closely with the NHS trust to provide a reliable and consistent solution for patients. Cisco UK and Ireland Head of Collaboration, Justin Woolen said that the staff at the Richmond service do fantastic work and have been able to offer vital services consistently during these difficult circumstances. Together, the two companies were able to create a fantastic digital solution capable of supporting everyone.