Tech firm appointed to help keep prisoners out of hospital

A Yorkshire software firm has been appointed by HMP Wandsworth to cut hospital waiting times by keeping inmates out of hospital.

The prison – the second biggest in England with over 1,500 prisoners – is using GP referral technology created by Kinesis Advice and Guidance (A&G) based in North Ferriby.

Kinesis A&G allows GPs, nurses and other healthcare professionals working within HMP Wandsworth to request information directly from NHS consultants.

Expert advice is received within 48 hours compared to record-long hospital waiting times and can be viewed on any device, anywhere.

In most cases treatment will be delivered by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust’s prison-based clinical team reducing the need for hospital treatment.

HMP Wandsworth is the first prison in the UK to use the specialist GP referral software to ease pressure and disruption on hospitals.

Kinesis A&G is already routinely used by 2,960 GPs and 850 consultants across the UK. So far it has prevented far it 47,500 unnecessary hospital appointments saving the NHS £8m in direct referrals and over £20m when all costs are included.

Director of Kinesis A&G, Simon Hudson, said: “The traditional system of GPs referring patients to hospitals is unnecessarily costing the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds annually.

“It can be drastically reduced simply by GPs being able to communicate directly with consultants.

“This online platform gives them a clear, fast route and also improves their skills to help future patients.

“It is incredibly easy to use, GPs grasp it after 15 minutes of training and the benefits are enormous.

“GPs can treat patients quicker and more directly which is what they want while consultants see a higher proportion of really important cases that genuinely need their specialist help.

“More crucially than ever considering the effects of Covid-19, it reduces the strain on NHS hospital resources.”

Clinical Lead for Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust at HMP Wandsworth, Dr Alex Bunn, said: “Kinesis A&G brings great benefits to the prison population, has potential to reduce waiting lists and provides continuous professional development.

“As a service, healthcare teams are keen to innovate and make better use of technology to cope with the diverse and complex medical cases prison clinicians face daily. Advice and guidance improves clinical certainty.

“We can give patients the right advice from the right person immediately and if they do need hospital treatment, they are referred to the most appropriate department first time.”

Kinesis A&G’s other clients include a range of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that organise the delivery of NHS services across England.