With tens of thousands of NHS staff currently off sick or self-isolating due to COVID-19, the race is on to vaccinate front-line employees and get them back to work so they can support patients through the winter months.
To meet this need, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) has teamed up with trusted partner Netcall, a leading provider of low-code and customer engagement solutions, to create and deploy a secure digital vaccine consent and reminder solution.
With the rates of illness at their highest during the winter months, speed has truly been of the essence. The skilled UHS Digital team knew it needed to roll out a solution fast and began by developing a digital-first vaccination planning and tracking system to support urgent vaccination appointments. However, the solution also needed secure communication capabilities – an extra demand on already stretched resources. To support this need, UHS called upon Netcall and utilised its Liberty Create platform, a low-code software solution for business users and developers, to rapidly build a digital vaccine consent and reminder solution fit for purpose.
Due to the flexible and agile nature of low-code, the application took just five days to complete – from design to creation. The easy integration of low-code also meant that the application could be combined with UHS Digital’s own creation. The complete end-to-end application now allows members of staff to easily provide consent to receiving the vaccine treatment and to share data with NHS England. And, with the vaccination requiring two doses, 21 days apart, each member of staff now receives a reminder for each appointment, to ensure that treatment is successfully completed.
Ian Brewer, Head of Information Technology at UHS, commented, “Thanks to the ease of use and agility of Netcall’s Liberty Create platform, we have been able to supercharge the speed of change, getting staff protected and back at work. Without the use of low-code and our partnership with Netcall, communicating with and reminding staff about vaccinations would have relied on error-prone, paper-based or manual processes. Real-time reporting would be difficult. And, ensuring everyone attended the second vaccination would take considerable effort.”
Following its work with UHS, and in continued support of the public sector, Netcall is developing an end-to-end version that will be made available to all NHS bodies. This will allow trusts to effectively manage the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines by providing the following functionality:
- The ability for trusts to create the number of appointment slots they need, including parallel time slots for several vaccinators working at the same time across many locations.
- The ability for NHS staff to access the app and manage their vaccination on any device.
- Staff can be easily booked in for two vaccinations, 21 days apart, by their line manager. The appointment details are then sent to them along with the consent to the vaccination.
- Automated reminders are sent to staff ahead of each of the two appointments. On the vaccination date, the person will be marked as attended, or DNA.
- Centralised real-time reporting keeps management updated with a complete picture of the vaccination programme.
Richard Farrell, Chief Innovation Officer at Netcall commented, “Our ongoing investment in the public sector includes sharing solutions with customers. Vaccinations are an urgent national concern, and we are aware that many NHS Trusts won’t have the deep technical specialist capabilities of UHS Digital. This app will allow Trusts to plan and manage the urgent task of rolling out COVID vaccines. We all have a part to play in the fight against the virus and in supporting our front-line workers, and facilitating their efficient return to work is something we are proud to have been a part of. In doing so, NHS workers can get back to doing what they do best – helping to support patients and keep the nation healthy.”