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  1. Published on: 19/06/2017 07:46 AMReported by: rogerblaxall
    Report from Trish Ireland

    Debbie Parkinson, the Patient and Public Involvement Lead of the Academic Health Services' Innovation Agency, came and gave us a fascinating presentation, a real eye opener for all of us present!

    Debbie covers Lancashire, Cheshire and part of Cumbria, her office being in Warrington; The Innovation Agency is part of the NHS, and aims to develop and accelerate delivery of safer and better care.

    There is a Patient Panel, who decides which new technical ideas will be beneficial to NHS, with the remit of spreading innovation quickly, so these can then be trialled by clinicians. One example is the Get Active Device Tracker, a small tracker to count steps, costing £30 each - Sefton Community Nurses are trialling them at the moment; you set your own target and the Co-ordinator can see how you are doing.

    All sorts of new ideas are looked at for instance, the Hydrant, a simple but very effective help for people with less mobility who need access to fluid. It costs £14, or can be given free. It clips on the bed-head -and operates like a straw - one user got first decent sleep in five years, because this gave her independence. Other devices include the Arc Angel for patients with early stage dementia, a small device which can be used as a telephone, which connects to a local Call Centre. And another small device, like a torch, can detect Atrial Fibrillation in 60 seconds. The Alivcor, costing about £75 from Amazon, fits on a mobile phone and is very successful. A person can take their own ECG and program in their own medications. A highly portable device, and a very good indicator for GPs, only takes 30 seconds to give a result, so it is certainly within a normal appointment time. Also stores information, and information can be emailed to GP. and the patient can also see their own heart tracing; many GPs have them now.

    An App called 'How are you today?' is for COPD patients, and there is a similar one for Prostate Cancer Sufferers. This costs £50 or is free from one's GP; one needs to ask the GP for a user name and password. Amongst other things, it can tell the patient if he/she needs to start taking 'Rescue Medication', and can also name a trusted person who can help a patient in an emergency. Becoming a member of a Patient Participation Group at one's GP surgery is an excellent way of pushing for the implementation of such new technology, especially in the current environment of very difficult funding.

    Thank you, Debbie, for giving this excellent talk, leaving us with much food for thought. Today, our Public Meeting will be led by Pat Fairclough, the Specialist Respiratory Nurse based at Southport Hospital, and then on Monday 17th July, local Respiratory Consultant, Dr.Banerjee will be coming to speak to us. Our monthly meetings take place at the Guide HQ building in Green Lane, Ormskirk, L39 1ND, next door to the Rugby Club and start from 11 a.m. when light refreshments are served, and then the speaker will lead the meeting from approximately 11.30 am. Ample free parking is available nearby and all are welcome. The West Lancashire and Southport Breathe Easy Group is a local self-help branch of the British Lung Foundation, whose excellent publications are available free of charge to all, at our meetings.

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