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.
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