BJSS is the leading technology and engineering consultancy for business. The team delivers world-class tech solutions to world-leading companies, and for Health Month we wanted to shine a light on the work BJSS has completed for the NHS.

Digital appointment system

The NHS wants to address the user needs for a seamless electronic system. It has a clear mission to deliver a fully operational any-to-any booking, referral and appointment management ecosystem for health and social care that is efficient, effective and scalable.

The process of booking, referrals and appointment management (BRAM) is a routine activity across the NHS, with over 120 million appointments made in England each year. However, the mix of BRAM tools, standards, architecture and functions in place across the NHS and social care created significant challenges for those delivering and receiving services. 

After a strategic review was commissioned, several recommendations were made, one of which was to better understand users’ needs across the system. To address this, a small NHSX/NHSD team was stood up to carry out a pre-discovery and discovery into the existing digital ecosystem and understand future needs as the NHS sought to transform BRAM across primary, community, secondary, and tertiary care.

BJSS was asked by NHSX/NHSD to provide research, design and technical expertise to this multi-disciplinary team of clinical, technical, design and delivery experts.

Taking a GDS, user-centred design approach, the discovery was focused on: 

  1. Identifying common patterns and themes found in different care pathways and settings where common national digital solutions – services, standards or guidance – could be applicable. 
  2. Understanding user needs and the digital capabilities necessary to support the transformation of outpatient, primary and community care anticipated by the NHS Long Term Plan, as well as how to meaningfully empower patients throughout the process.

Through mapping the problems experienced by patients, staff and the wider healthcare system, and identifying their root causes, the team were able to develop a strategic model for referrals and appointment booking aligned to the vision of the NHS Long Term Plan.

The initial discovery has led to BJSS working with NHSD/X to deliver a strategic suite of programmes and capabilities, providing the building blocks for delivering on the national vision for booking, referrals and appointment management.  

Martin O’Neil, e-RS Programme Director at NHSX tells us, “The BJSS team have not only helped us to develop a compelling strategy for one of the NHS’ largest technology platforms but throughout have ensured we remain user-centric, impact-focused and clear on the practical ways to deliver technology-enabled transformation.” 

Supported by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, BJSS’ ongoing work is enabling the testing of national models in areas such as post-Covid elective care recovery, ambulance services and mental health care. This ongoing work is transforming not just the digital services of the NHS, but the way modern NHS services are delivered.

Developing apps to aid paramedics

Over several months, a combined NHS Digital (NHSD) and BJSS team rapidly developed two mobile applications for a regional ambulance service, which allows paramedics to securely access Summary Care Records (SCRs) when out in the field.

This was launched for 76 Ambulance crews in April 2019 and is the first time NHS frontline paramedic staff have had secure and remote access to patient’s summary care records, helping them see their patients’ medical history, key personal information and any current illnesses.

“You’ve then got access to all the patient records that we never had access to on the road, so that’s transformational. Our staff absolutely love the fact that it’s really easy – it’s not another password and another thing to remember. It’s access to the basic information they need about a patient to deliver better care on-scene.”

This access means medics have the information they need to hand so they can deliver the best possible care for their patients, whether that’s treating them on the scene, taking them to a hospital or referring them to care in their community.

Additionally, BJSS worked with the NHS Identity team to create a new cloud-based Identity app. This involves the input of user fingerprints into the mobile app. By using Touch ID on the iPad, the NHS Identity app eradicates the need for a smartcard or being on the HSCN. So far, 4,500 iPads have been issued to staff.

The engagement has demonstrated an ability to reduce the need for patients to be admitted to A&E as paramedics can deliver informed treatment at the scene of the emergency. As the solution develops, it is anticipated to reduce the burden on the region’s A&Es further and provide emergency care faster than ever before.