We are thrilled to announce the winner of the HETT Unexpected Innovation Award, Team Award.

Many congratulations to Princess Alexandra Hospital Harlow NHS Trust for 'The Message to a Loved One'.

The Message to a Loved One team comprises six volunteers; physician associates (Bruno and Nirali) and IT experts (Kevin, Tony, Paul and Jeff). It is headed by Phillipa and completes several important tasks that improve the care experience of patients, using available technology to link patients with their families.

Supported by the likes of Bournemouth and former Spurs footballer Adam Smith, the team facilitates Virtual Visit video calls, a service available seven days a week. This is done through the NHS video conferencing platform Attend Anywhere®, which is familiar to many local residents.

There is no need to download an app or sign up for anything. Simply click the provided link at the agreed time and the two parties are brought together virtually.

Using multiple modes of technology, any phone calls are sent to a cloud-based telephony system and emails are sent via their hospital NHS address. Using these solutions, the Message to a Loved One team can deliver care and connectivity across the front line, presented efficiently within a cyber-secure environment. 

The service is proving successful. In the first year, over 1000 messages and virtual visits were delivered with these numbers continuing to rise. Before this, people were cut off from their loved ones due to restrictions, but people can speak to their loved ones again through the right identification of a connectivity solution.

The team believes having a digital culture is integral to the development of healthcare, building on the core value of having the patient at heart. In the future, they hope to:

  • Deliver world-class care with the principle of moving to cloud-based services.
  • Continue increasing the delivery of remote healthcare using telemedicine and monitoring platforms.
  • Champion interoperability across care providers.
  • Introduce tablet devices personalised at each bedside. 

The service the Message to a Loved One team delivers is seen as ‘exceptional’ and ‘greater than could ever have been expected'. The team delivers an efficient and emotionally impactful service, with one family member describing the service as an “absolute godsend.”

“It’s tough in the middle, but it’s also giving us the ability to see the proof that this service is critical in the lives of those around us,” revealed their team leader, Phillipa. “Even speaking to those who need to ‘say goodbye’, ‘I’m sorry I’m not with you’, ‘we’re with you all the way’ ‘keep fighting’, ‘can you put your teeth in’ allows us the privilege to be part of a family’s fight to be where they belong.”

  • 'The Message to a Loved One' - Princess Alexandra Hospital Harlow NHS Trust

  • 'Emergency Access Coordination Hub integration programme' - London Ambulance Service and Barts Health Trust

  • 'NGH Automation Accelerator Programme' - Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

To find out which of these inspiring teams will take home the first-ever HETT Unexpected Innovation 'Team Award', register for your free conference pass to HETT and join us on 28 September at the ExCeL London

Join the Community
Get the latest healthtech and digital health news, reports, webinars and offers direct to your inbox.