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AIM Project Update

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AIM Project Update

It’s only six weeks since the application deadline and we are now entering the first week of our national AIM project rollout which sees the “commissioning” of this nhsnetworks site and the start of phase one of the project. So I thought it timely to summarise where we are.

It’s been a hectic and exciting time for us.  We’ve been taken aback with the level of support volunteered for the project from NHS and commercial organisations as well as the health press, academia, colleges and institutions too.   We were hoping for 25 CCGs to take part in the AIM project, but had many more enthusiastic applications prior to the cut-off. So we’ve re-grouped and hope to accommodate well over 30 CCGs as active participants in the project with each CCG pledging to recruit a significant number of patients.

Until now, the project has been largely run by Dr Ruth Chambers and myself in our “spare” time, over and above the usual day jobs.  Those of you in the NHS who are reading this will be familiar with this scenario. However as of February 1st, our full time project manager Jane Willetts joined the team along with people to support her, and we also now have significant full time support from Bosch Healthcare who volunteered to assist the project free of charge ( thanks Bosch ! ).  So we are now geared up and ready to roll!

Whats going to happen now?

Right now we are arranging visits to CCGs all over England with places as far apart as Devon, Cumbria, London, Northumberland and  lots in-between.

In each locality, we are running a workshop and discussing clinical protocols, finding the right patients, how to use Florence and how to roll out to practices in the CCG. At each workshop there will be live demonstrations and plenty of chance to chat to Dr Chambers, myself and the team. To help each CCG we will also be working with a part-time facilitator, who is most likely a local clinician or Flo expert.

What happens after the workshop

Those with healthy scepticism might point out that many “telehealth” projects have ended with brand new expensive kits on sat the shelves, so how are we going to ensure that this project is rolled out successfully?

Firstly, we have infectious energy and enthusiasm from many clinical leads for this  “telehealth”/“telemedicine” project. Feedback suggests that this maybe due to “the fit of telehealth to clinical practice and not having to fit clinical practice to telehealth”.

Secondly, each CCG has already pledged to recruit significant numbers of patients and after each workshop the project, along with our volunteer partner Bosch Healthcare, will provide a helping hand to each CCG, assisting with the sustainable attainment of better and faster clinical outcomes.

So in summary, we will provide some assistance to CCGs, but the real test of success will be each CCG engaging in a low-cost sustainable method of helping patients to help themselves in support of the ambitions of 3millionlives.

12 Feb, Phil O'Connell