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Essex Covid-related projects shortlisted for national awards

Vaccination Hub

Two Covid-related projects that have been helping staff and patients throughout the pandemic in Essex have been shortlisted for prestigious national awards. 

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust is in the final of the Health Service Journal Value Awards for two innovation projects.

The Trust’s Covid-19 testing and vaccination service, using the Shift Partner web app, has been shortlisted for the IT and Digital Innovation Award. The app is being used to book appointments, document clinical information and receive results and notifications by 40,000 keyworker staff and their families across 45 organisations throughout mid and south Essex.

The single, easy to use system has proved invaluable in speeding up the return of Covid-negative staff to work, along with rapid isolation of Covid-positive staff, by reducing delays in arranging testing, testing itself and getting results. It’s been a crucial, important tool in the fight against the impact of Covid.

Another life-changing app has been shortlisted in the category of Post-Covid Sustainable Transformation Award. Over 200 patients across Essex have had their lives improved by an ingenious app, IBDoc, which allows patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) to self-test and monitor their condition from the comfort of their home.

National Covd-19 shielding meant there was an urgent need to help patients self-manage and monitor their long-term conditions from home. Those with IBD were identified as a priority high-risk group to help reduce the risk of unnecessary hospital visits. 

The app transforms a patients’ smartphone into a test reader, so they check their own samples. Before Covid, patients had to come to hospital for sample collection and it could take between four and six weeks for processing of samples and clinical decisions, all of which caused staff frustration and increased patient anxiety. Now it takes just a matter of days.

Clare Panniker, chief executive for the Trust, said: “It’s fantastic to be shortlisted for these projects, both of which have had a hugely positive impact on staff, their families and patients throughout our fight against Covid. 

“Shift Partner has allowed us as to keep as many staff in work, and as many services as possible running, by speeding up the Covid testing and vaccination service, whilst IBDoc has helped us keep patients safe, speeding up their results and putting them in control of their care.

“These projects have been made possible thanks to our innovation and transformation team, encouraging and supporting the development of new ideas and advance improvements in care for our patients, communities and staff. Both of these shortlisted projects absolutely do that.”

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