Feature: how healthcare providers have responded

In this three-part feature series, we asked healthcare providers and suppliers how they have responded to support the coronavirus pandemic.

EMIS supports GPs with video consultations

EMIS has rolled out its video consultation tool to practices for free.

Suzy Foster, CEO of EMIS Health, said “EMIS Health quickly recognised that we were able to make a positive difference supporting vital public services at this time of crisis.”

“We rapidly rolled out our existing video consultation software – free of charge for 12 weeks – to our 4,000 plus GP practices in England, and provided all EMIS GPs and pharmacists with access to our online consultation tool, which will help filter patients requesting appointment by need.”

“We also created a new coronavirus hub and a clinically-authored symptom checker to signpost people to help relieve pressure on primary care services, and partnered with the Nuffield Department of Primary Care at the University of Oxford and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to support a major new research initiative into COVID-19.” 

“Researchers will collect data – under strict governance guidelines – directly from EMIS Health GP practices in order to better understand the spread and impact of the virus.”

Elsevier publishes new information centre

Elsevier has curated information from the research and health community on SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus) and COVID-19 (the disease). All resources are free to access and include guidelines for clinicians and patients.

“In January, we created the COVID-19 Information Centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus.”

“As present, the Information Centre is updated daily with the latest peer-reviewed research information on the virus and the disease and includes links to more than 20,000 freely available articles on ScienceDirect, Elsevier’s platform of peer-reviewed scholarly literature.”

“Since its launch, the Information Centre has been visited by more than 900K scientists, researchers, clinicians and others.”

“You can also visit our Elsevier Connect landing page, which shows a variety of other recently-launched initiatives for our customers.”

Support to keep COVID-19 patients away from hospitals

Chris McCann, CEO and co-founder of Current Health says “As health systems look for solutions to try to manage the influx of patients and their resources during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Current Health has seen a significant increase in hospital and health systems interested in investing in the company’s remote patient monitoring solution.”

“The platform can help to keep immunocompromised patients and COVID-19 patients away from the hospital and clinics – freeing up beds and staff to focus on more critical patients.”

“The wearable remotely monitors patients’ respiratory rate, oxygen levels, pulse, temperature and their movement, which are critical vitals when monitoring patients with respiratory diseases.”

“By keeping tabs of these indicators with Current Health’s solution, providers can manage care for infected patients remotely, without putting themselves and others at risk of contracting the virus.”

“Additionally, clinicians can conduct telehealth visits via video with their patients within the Current Health platform, providing peace of mind for patients during an uncertain time.”

Digital toolkit launched

Relias UK is offering free training and resources to help combat coronavirus.

The company has released a COVID-19 digital toolkit opening up free, unlimited access to online training courses and other resources to help prepare for and prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The courses are primarily designed for health and care professionals, but they contain useful information for anyone seeking to prevent the spread of infection.

Click here to access the free courses and other resources: https://www.relias.co.uk/coronavirus

Digital care assistant supports trusts

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust are using a digital care assistant, supported with AI technology, to monitor coronavirus patients 24/7 in the community.

People can use the service 24/7 to check their symptoms, track their illness, cope with self-isolation, learn more about COVID-19, have live chat (8am-8pm) with trained team members and consult with GPs (24/7) and clinicians by video (8am-10pm).

Nordic Cuddle opts for online sessions

Nordic Cuddle specialise in a therapeutic, healing touch and human connection.

The company said to Leading Healthcare “As a cuddle therapy company, we closely followed government guidelines and advice and in line with the other members of the industry we stopped in-person sessions before the lockdown came into place.”

“Since then we’ve tried to come up with a solution to maintain a feeling of social connection during this time of isolation.”

“We offer online sessions, which provide people with the chance to speak about things on their mind, or those that have come up as the situation changes around us.”

“Practitioners can also deliver breathing exercises and links to self-massage techniques in these sessions.”

“Not only does this give an opportunity for clients to remain connected, but it’s also an opportunity for our self-employed practitioners to earn a little bit of income during this difficult time.”

Unique IQ adds and rolls out feature for free

David Lynes, Managing Director of Unique IQ said “Unique IQ develops innovative software for domiciliary organisations to support the delivery of outstanding home care to some of society’s most vulnerable people.”

“As the impact of the coronavirus pandemic began to be felt at the start of March, we reacted quickly;

“We developed and added a number of new features to our software free of charge, to help our software users manage risk, contingency plan and keep both their teams and the people they care for safe.” 

“This included the addition of hand washing, symptom checking and other COVID-19 related tasks to our IQ:timecard mobile app;

“Our mobile app automatically makes these tasks mandatory – preventing carers from clocking out without marking them as completed.”

“A second feature we added to our IQ:careplanner scheduling and rostering system, was a ‘RAG status’-style rating feature.”

“This has enabled care organisations to classify those they care for according to severity of need, helping them to prioritise visits as challenges with staffing grew.”

Summit Medical provides its personal protection system

The company said “This week we received significant orders for our Vivi Surgical Personal Protection System from NHS hospitals across the UK.  When the pandemic struck and the sales team became homebased, they no longer had the ability to visit hospitals and progress through a standard sales process.”

“The products that we are working together to dispatch provide high quality PPE to front line health care professionals at such a crucial time.”  

“Our Marlux business division provide antimicrobial disposable privacy curtains.  The demand for this product has increased significantly and as a result our production team are working day and night to keep up with demand!”

My Learning Cloud launches new training initiative

My Learning Cloud are providing 10, CPD-certified, eLearning courses to any care organisation in the UK at no cost to help them train the current influx of new staff.

All a care organisation needs to do is visitwww.mylearningcloud.org.uk/special-offer and we will set them up with a Learning Environment and the 10 courses:

Infection Control, Moving and Handling People, Safeguarding Adults, Medication Awareness, Health and Safety Awareness, Basic Life Support, Food Safety, Fire Awareness, Care Certificate and Volunteer Induction.

Vernacare supports with infection control

Vernacare makes wipes that kill viruses within 15 seconds, they are being used extensively in the UK and across the world. The firm has also been supplying hospitals with disposable products for patient testing, toileting and bathing.

The products ensure that the risk of transmission from patient to healthcare worker is kept to an absolute minimum. Currently their products are used in 95% of NHS hospitals and demand is expected to soar in recent weeks.

Smart Recruit Online

The company said to Leading Healthcare “3 weeks ago, we saw a massive and sudden downturn in recruitment activity, so I decided to realign our staff onto a voluntary recruitment project for the NHS, to help find frontline staff.”

“We have put together a FREE recruitment solution that comprehensively includes the 5 biggest online media players and three leading technology providers in a unique collaboration, never before achieved.”

“We also obtained a list of 900 NHS recruitment/HR contacts covering over 200 hospitals and began emailing and calling them all.”

“Those that we are helping have seen some great results and have been incredibly grateful. Including NHS Property Services, who publicly endorsed our work.”

Maxon supports engineering of ventilators

“Our engineers know exactly how to customise our motors for surgical robots, insulin pumps, active implants and more.”

“So, it is no surprise that we have a high demand for micromotors for medical ventilators, respirators, protection masks and lab automation.”

“During these unprecedented times, we are fully focused on supporting the companies producing these life-saving devices needed during this COVID-19 pandemic.”

Maxon has launched a “medical fast track” process to ensure the best possible service for critical application needs to fight this pandemic.

This fast track system is reviewed in real-time to expedite urgent requests for drive systems.

iPrescribe supports clinical rehabilitation programmes

iPrescribe Exercise was founded by chartered physiotherapists with experience in the NHS, private practice and also elite sport. 

“We have just rushed out an updated version of our platform iPrescribe Exercise to support clinical rehabilitation programmes, such as cardiac or cancer rehab and diabetes management, whose programmes have now shut down.” 

“Our programme, which is entirely evidence-based and recommended on the NHS Apps Library, is completely automated and therefore can be used by clinical teams to remotely monitor their patients.” 

“The app analyses the user’s health, disease status (it can target any combination of 20 chronic conditions), resting heart rate (using the camera flash or an Apple Watch) and current fitness level, and it prescribes a graduated and personalised physical activity programme that is set at exactly the right level for each person, with all of the safety considerations built-in.” 

“We are providing our platform (and full access to data) to any clinical rehabilitation programme that needs it, at zero cost.”


A team from clinical waste experts Grundon Waste Management has been closely involved in the management and disposal of clinical waste from the newly-built NHS Nightingale Hospital at London’s ExCel conference centre.

The company is already a key operator in the clinical waste sector, with contracts across many NHS Trusts.

Neil Grundon, Deputy Chairman, said: “We are proud to play our own small, but important, part in helping the Government to manage the Covid-19 crisis;

“Our highly-trained employees and our specialist treatment facilities are on hand to provide clinical waste collection and disposal on an ongoing basis. Over this last weekend (April 11-12), we have already begun the first of our planned daily clinical waste collections from the NHS Nightingale Hospital and we expect these to increase in regularity as demand grows;

“Our clear focus is on continuing to prioritize all our NHS customers at this time. We have put contingency plans in place so that if our clinical waste team requires additional driver support, we can transfer ADR-trained drivers from our other locations to join the team and help increase the number of collections.”

“Clinical waste is taken to Grundon’s own specialist clinical waste treatment facilities near Maidenhead, in Berkshire, where it is sent for Alternative Treatment.”

“Using a Hydroclave, this effectively sterilizes the waste and provides the best available treatment and disposal method.”

Ampersand supports with digital therapies

Jeremy Andrews, Associate Director – Healthcare Partnerships at Ampersand Health said “Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic we have had NHS organisations contacting us to understand how they might expedite the roll-out of our digital therapies, considering both the risks to patients with long-term inflammatory conditions from the infection itself and the significant impacts on the normal delivery of hospital and general practice services.”

“In response to this we have streamlined our platform for NHS customers, both in primary and secondary care, so it can be implemented and offered to patients in a matter of days and crucially at no cost this year to the NHS.”