In response to the Covid-19 pandemic we have seen how many parts of the NHS are utilising digital technology to relieve some of the pressures faced by front line services. To help support the GP community with this transition to remote practicing Trustmarque, part of Capita PLC, has worked in partnership with the NHS to design virtual desktops for health.
A new partnership empowering GPs to continue critical services safely from home
GPs in the UK are now able to run critical patient services from the security of home thanks to a new solution that gives healthcare workers remote access to familiar clinical applications.
Trustmarque’s Virtual Desktops for Health has been designed in partnership with Trustmarque, Microsoft and NHS partners in the Midlands and London to bring a speedy and sustainable solution to meet the requirements of remote working and ease the pressure on clinical teams.
Harnessing the power of Microsoft Azure, Virtual Desktops for Health gives registered healthcare professionals secure, instant access to familiar healthcare applications like EMIS, SystmONE, Adastra, AccuRx, iGPR and Docman.
With access to full patient records and all appointments across a Practice or Clinic, GPs can collaborate to manage appointments, issue e-prescriptions and manage referrals.
How does it work?
The virtual desktop can be launched anywhere and from any Smart device, including laptops, Macs, Notebooks and smartphones - providing there is a secure WiFi or 4G connection. Users simply download and launch the application hosted in Windows 10 Virtual Desktop. Access to clinical applications is then authenticated via physical or Isosec virtual smartcards.
It is a particularly safe option for colleagues who are vulnerable, self-isolating or recently returned to work, reducing the need for contact and PPE. It has been designed to provide primary care professionals with easy, secure and flexible access to work across practices and other primary care services including NHS111, Out of Hours and Urgent Care.
Dr Damian Williams, a Birmingham based GP who has been involved in the project, made a short video explaining the solution. Watch his 2 minute overview on YouTube.
Current users and next steps
The initial project team includes a select group of GPs in Nottingham, as well as Ciaron Hoye, Programme Director for the East Midlands Local Health and Care Record, who have been working on the development and rollout to early adopters. There are currently over 1000 professionals who are provisioned to use the solution across Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, East England and London. However, it is hoped the solution will be extended to other GPs in the near future.
While designed as a rapid response to the Covid-19 challenges, Virtual Desktops for Health is not a temporary solution. Leveraging Trustmarque’s unique expertise in the healthcare sector and their long-standing relationship with Microsoft, the solution aims to bring lasting benefits and efficiencies, including up to 30% saving over a standard infrastructure lifecycle.
Find out more
We are working to support contractors, who continue to provide essential services for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, we will be making the payments NHS England. These contractors will receive a monthly payment based on the average monthly reimbursement to the practice generated from GOS fees during the period March 2019 to February 2020.
Submitting GOS Claims
You should submit GOS claims as normal – cut-off dates haven’t changed. NHS England has advised during the COVID-19 period, claims can be submitted without a patient signature, as long as you enter ‘COVID-19’ in the patient signature box.
Your Open Exeter statement will contain details of the paper claims processed and will show the value of the positive payment adjustment, where applicable.
If you have submitted any electronic claims during the period, the details of these will be contained in your PCSE Online statement. In this scenario, the payment you receive will be the sum of the amounts on both your Open Exeter and PCSE Online statements.
If you have any queries relating to COVID-19 payments, please contact your NHS England regional office. Find contact details here.
Register for PCSE Online
During the COVID-19 situation, use PCSE Online to submit your GOS claims electronically, with zero contact, maximising safety for staff involved, enabling all parts of the system to adhere to the government's social distancing recommendations.
The PCSE Online system is free of charge and very easy to use. It provides you with a quicker and easier method of submitting GOS claims, together with a host of other benefits including:.
The set up process is simple, so if you haven’t already registered please contact the ophthalmic engagement team at firstname.lastname@example.org who will help you get online and start using the system.
For more information on the payments for optical practices providing essential eye care, visit AOP Coronavirus Updates.