Optimising digital interactions to improve patient outcomes and workforce benefits

The South West AHSN is working with health and care partners in the South West region to improve the effectiveness of workforce teams in primary and secondary care settings. Commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement, this workforce focused programme supports the implementation of digital tools in the optimisation of workforce design, pathway transformation, and patient experience.

In response to the challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, health and care systems have rapidly implemented digital technology enabling care to continue to be delivered. In the South West, the use of digital tools in care pathways has grown significantly and there is still potential to optimise how technology is used; improving access to digital care for patients, enhancing the patient experience, and creating more effective interactions between patients and clinicians.

The South West AHSN supports health and care partners to improve patient and staff experience through the implementation of technology in workforce and pathway changes.

Working closely with partners, we aim to learn from experience on the ground in order to rapidly spread best digital practice and learning across the region to improve patient outcomes.


Currently, we are delivering these key work streams:

  • Remote monitoring
    • Covid Oximetry @Home: Supporting the implementation of oximeters to help clinicians to monitor patient blood oxygen levels. This supports patients in the community or in care homes to remain within their homes by enabling monitoring and early detection of deterioration owning to Covid-19, both in the community and in care homes.
    • Virtual Wards: Supporting the implementation of virtual wards to support monitoring and healthcare provision in the patients’ home, replacing hospital stays.
  • eRD: Supporting our local systems to increase use of electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD), making it easier for GP surgeries to issue, and for patients to request, repeat prescriptions, saving GPs significant amounts of time.
  • Remote Consultation: Research into the barriers and opportunities in remote consultations in secondary care, focusing on ophthalmology and digital inclusion, identifying and sharing insight to aid the spread of video consultations.
  • Domiciliary Care: Supporting domiciliary care workforce teams by running an innovation challenge to find solutions that are ready for adoption (or adaptation) and spread. This project is delivered in partnership with West of England AHSN and Health Education England South West.