Health Innovation Kent Surrey Sussex (Health Innovation KSS) has supported the implementation of the Whzan Blue Box in care homes in Surrey since 2018. The aim of the Blue Box project is to improve patient care through regular National Early Warning Score (NEWS) checks giving a baseline, from which any potential decline can be assessed. The system has been proven to reduce hospital admissions, 999 calls and ambulance conveyances, and unplanned GP visits.

Whzan Blue Box

The Whzan Blue Box contains diagnostic equipment to help care home staff take key measures on patients, to provide a NEWS score. This enables all staff to understand the patient’s base line and ensure that changes to the base line are dealt with appropriately. Each box contains equipment for monitoring residents’ vital signs, including body temperature, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, consciousness, and respiratory rates. One box can be used to measure vital signs for 30 residents. Previously if staff had concerns about a patient’s health measurements, they might call an ambulance even if the measurement was normal for the patient.

Implementation in Surrey

A small pilot of the Blue Box scheme was originally started in primary care in 2018, with a view to reducing unnecessary calls to urgent care services and emergency GP visits to homes. It was also designed to upskill nonclinical care home staff to manage the health of residents confidently and appropriately, and help to avoid missing signs of deterioration by recording each patient’s base line.

63 care home staff were trained to use the Whzan Blue Box and early indications showed that there has been a positive impact on monitoring the health of care home residents as well as increased confidence in care home staff. This pilot scheme was interrupted due to Covid-19 before it had been fully trialed.

In March 2022, 120 more Blue Boxes were purchased using the Digitising Social Care fund from the NHS Transformation Directorate. In October 2023, 60 of these boxes had been set up in 40 homes, with 400 NEWS2 assessments submitted each month. A small team at Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Board (ICB) support the roll out and staff training.

Health Innovation KSS support

Whzan has been supported by several health innovation networks. Health Innovation KSS have supported the company for around five years which has included helping them refine their remote monitoring offer and value proposition during the pandemic, supporting adoption within multiple sites in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, and in-depth support in deployment and evaluation work in Surrey since 2022.

They have also contributed to the project group which consisted of ICP representatives, Care Home representatives, Health Innovation KSS RESTORE2/Patient Safety leads and Whzan.

Health Innovation KSS has also worked with Whzan on other use-cases of their products regarding the co-design pilot and evaluation of a new app to support children’s continence services in a Sussex community setting.

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