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18 October 2017
A team from University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service, supported by Wessex AHSN, has been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent charity, to be part of a £3.5 million improvement programme.The Scaling-Up Improvement programme supports seven projects in the UK to take their proven health care interventions and approaches and make them work at larger scale to have a positive impact on patient outcomes.The initiative from the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service will roll out successful telemedicine tools for adults with cochlear implants across the UK.At Wessex AHSN, we supported the application for the funding, and have been appointed to provide an independent evaluation of this programme.We will be assessing the spread of the remote care programme, including the number of people who benefit, and the impact of this innovation on the experience of people with a cochlear implant. We will also be helping the project team to understand what factors help or hinder the adoption of this innovation.We will be using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods of evaluation that we have tried and tested in several evaluations of New Care Models in Wessex, including the use of patient and staff-reported outcome measures (R-Outcomes).Helen Cullington, Clinical Scientist at the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service and Project Lead said, “People with cochlear implants need lifelong follow-up at one of only 18 centres in the UK. We are going to scale up a successful remote care pathway, and offer the improvement to all centres across the UK. Patients can choose to use a personalised online support tool, home hearing test and support to adjust devices. We hope to see more empowered and confident patients, better access to care, stable hearing and a more efficient clinic.”Philippa Darnton, evaluation lead at Wessex AHSN, commented: “This is an exciting opportunity for the AHSN to be involved in understanding how an innovation spreads and its impact when delivered at scale. We look forward to working with an expert project team who are committed to using the findings from the evaluation to inform the future scaling up of this innovation.”The programme will run for two and a half years and each project will receive up to £0.5 million of funding to put their project into practice and evaluate it.Sarah Henderson, Associate Director from the Health Foundation said: “We are very excited to support seven outstanding project teams who have been selected because of their expertise in scaling complex improvement projects, and their ambition to achieve impact by improving care for patients.Working together, as part of the Scaling Up programme, we aim to make sustained improvements to health care by testing out proven interventions at a scale. We hope to see the interventions being widely adopted across the UK."The University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service will lead the telemedicine project and will work in partnership with a wide range of organisations to deliver the project, including the AHSN, University of Nottingham, Newcastle University, The Ear Foundation and the National Cochlear Implant Users Association.
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