#NewResearch published on route to supporting #NHS staff in distress

This month I have had 2 pieces of  published with 2 of my favorite co-authors…@WendyClyne1 (Senior Research Fellow; Research Development Lead; Coventry University, Coventry · Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research) &  (Medical Doctor; King’s College London, London · Department of Primary Care and Public Health Sciences).

New Research word cloud

Wendy and I asked an expert panel what should be prioritised in the development of an online intervention designed to support midwives in work-related psychological distress. We did this via the Delphi methodology, and you can see the published protocol for this research here. Overall, participants agreed that in order to effectively support midwives in work-related psychological distress, online interventions should make confidentiality and anonymity a high priority, along with 24-hour mobile access, effective moderation, an online discussion forum, and additional legal, educational, and therapeutic components. It was also agreed that midwives should be offered a simple user assessment to identify those people deemed to be at risk of either causing harm to others or experiencing harm themselves, and direct them to appropriate support. You can read this full results paper here.

As this group of experts agreed that midwives would need both confidentiality and anonymity online in order to seek and engage with effective support, Wendy, Clare and I decided to explore the ethical issues associated with these provisions. We did this by conducting a Realist Synthesis Review. You can read our full review here.

We largely argue that..

In supporting midwives online, the principles of anonymity, confidentiality and amnesty may evoke some resistance on ethical grounds. However, without offering identity protection, it may not be possible to create effective online support services for midwives. The authors of this article argue that the principles of confidentiality, anonymity and amnesty should be upheld in the pursuit of the greatest benefit for the greatest number of people.

We now call upon the wider health and social care communities to join us in a further dialogue in relation to this in pursuit of robust ethical stability…Care to join us in this?

– Comment below or make contact via this contact form:

The findings of this research will inform the development of an online intervention designed to support midwives in work-related psychological distress, and we sincerely wish to express our gratitude to all of the participants who have contributed to this project so far.

Ongoing plans include the scaling up of this project to support other health care populations to enhance the well being of staff, patients and the NHS as a whole.

The best is yet to come. Until then, take care of yourselves and each other.


Round up summary blog of the Digital Health and Care Congress at @TheKingsFund #kfdigital16

#KFdigital16 Sally Pezaro

What does digital future look like?  I have spent this last week at @TheKingsFund enjoying the Digital health and Care Congress or

Presentations from (5/6 July) at available here

Twitter transcript here

Presentations available here

This was a detailed and busy conference, and probably the one I have enjoyed most so far! Everyone was really friendly and engaging…I also enjoyed the best audience I have seen in a while…It was too detailed and complex to outline everything within this blog post, so I will just highlight a few of my favourite moments below.

I was enamored by the work being done at Guy’s and St Thomas’ (@GSTTnhs) with the DrDoctor app…Guy’s and St Thomas’ had a challenge around DNA rates and patient engagement. They worked with DrDoctor to deliver improved clinic efficiency and better patient experience in outpatients, dropping DNA rates by 40% and saving hundreds of thousands of pounds in a matter of months. This really is exciting when you think of the implications for other acute areas.

DrDoctor (@DrDoctorApp)

DrDoctor helps patients talk to the NHS. Manage care online. Better outcomes and productivity for hospitals, better experience for patients. See the video below to see how they do this…

Thinking of my own project in developing an online intervention, I was also really interested to see the work of  The online mindfulness course. These guys really did have some impressive outcomes to share, which was great learning for me as I look to harness the best components of online support.

Stats below:

Also, thinking about my own midwifery work, it was great to see new online connections being made in the world of safeguarding and child protection with CP-IS services  allow multiple alerts to come up in acute areas of hospital trusts when a child enters the services who is deemed to be ‘at risk’. This means that clinicians over a wide geographical area can work together and save every child before they fall through the net.

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Also in relation to my midwifery work, it was wonderful to see that one of the top 10 priorities of the Kings Fund is to provide integrated support for perinatal health. Doing this digitally will make this process so much more effective I’m sure…

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I also very much enjoyed speaking to the iaptus team, who have created a patient management and reporting solution for psychological therapists providing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other related treatments. Great that this service can now move towards the digital age…

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I also wanted to introduce you all to ClinTouch: A mobile support technology for people with psychosis


ClinTouch: Is a mobile support technology for people with psychosis

University of Manchester • clintouch.com

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As we introduce new technology to patients, clinical staff often have preconceived ideas of how new interventions will impact upon the patient. This is what found in practice..This really highlights the what we perceive to be true as health professionals often is not the reality of the situations. Our patients can surprise us everyday, and we must always remain open to finding new ways to support them to use technology in health care as it emerges.

Lastly, we were introduced to the Caldicott review, and the national data guardian’s data security standards by Dame Fiona Caldicott ( National Data Guardian) …

Following this review.. an Independent patient data task force was announced The new task force will build on the work of the Caldicott review. It will be really interesting to see how this work develops…

Research into public attitudes towards commercial organisations accessing health data showed that people tended to accept others accessing their health data when it was clear that there was a public benefit. It also mattered who the organisation was, what kind of data was used and how it was being protected from misuse.

As the ‘NHS to scrap single database of patients’ medical details’ – We need to look at new ways to keep data secure and use it wisely and ethically…But what resources will be provided to help clinicians and staff have the difficult conversion with patients about the opt-out/opt-in options?? – A challenge awaits…

Fiona Caldicott kfdigital16

You can hear Dame Fiona Caldicott ( National Data Guardian) in the video below speaking about the Caldicott review….

Chris Ham

I also wanted to thank Chris Ham (@profchrisham) for announcing me as the winner of this fabuolus Fortnum and Masons hamper (devoured over this weekend). Apparently I was the most engaged with the conference app. This is what you get for being a social media geek ☺


The most poignant phrase put forward at this conference for me was that “People often have a warmer relationship with their smartphone than their psychiatrist” – This was said by Prof Shone Lewis at 

And lastly, for anyone who is too busy, or reluctant to change and embrace new technology in health care…remember….You may be standing in the way of vital improvements to make your working lives easier and your patients experience of care much better….

Let’s make sure we are all life long learners who are never too busy to improve..

Until next time – Take care of yourselves and each other…