NHS ‘using Skype to connect with employees and patients’

NHS 'using Skype to connect with employees and patients'

January 7, 2016

It began as a familiar problem: an organisation looking to unleash the power of its people.

Comms chiefs at the South West London & St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust simply wanted its employees to talk to one another, sharing best practice and ideas.

So they trialled Skype for Business for internal communication. And the results have been remarkable.

Ranjeet Kaile, the trust’s head of communications and engagement, explained to CBR Online: “When I started at the organisation, I considered how we could get our staff to talk to each other internally.”

The trial began with 200 NHS employees taking part. Within a year, it had been rolled out to the trust’s entire 2,200 workforce after becoming a mainstay of the organisation’s internal communication strategy.

Enthused by its success, the trust opted to roll the same approach to patients too. Again, the pilot project began with one team and received positive feedback across the board.

Ranjeet continued: “What we found is that there has been a fantastic take-up with our staff and clinicians, who no longer have to spend an hour commuting to somewhere, coming through traffic, having a meeting for an hour and then having to come back for an hour.

“The patient can see their clinician, can develop that relationship and not have to commute across London or, if using national services, have to travel long distances.

“If you’ve got a half an hour consultation you can do that during a break, in a private room or a private space.

“It is a really good way for people who are in work to have the support and the consultation they need without having to take the time off work and arrange their life around the appointment.”

Despite the success of Skype, Ranjeet is keen to stress Skype will not be replacing the traditional face-to-face appointment.

He added: “This is in addition to patient consultations that are face-to-face.

“We’re giving people the option and only if they’re able to use it will we go down that route.

“All the telephone consultations and face-to-face consultations will continue. This is really about trying to help people that are already there with using technology.”

To read the full story, visit the CBR Online article here….