PICS has submitted three examples of innovation during lockdown to NHS England and NHS Innovation, as part of the national project to learn about the innovations that have emerged in response to COVID-19, and understand which of these should be kept, protected and expanded in the months and years to come. The virtual groups for patients being set up by the Pain Pathway Service, the work done by the Advanced Care Planning team to support care home staff and their residents, and the support provided by colleagues in the Pain Service to provide PICS staff with #20minutecarespace have all been put forward. 

The case studies celebrate the impact of changes made to support patients and staff during lockdown and are a snapshot of the dedication, professionalism and expertise of PICS staff, even under the most trying of times. PICS has shared the details of what happened, how, why the impact on staff and patients, and how it could be rolled out further, to the benefit of more people and communities.

Advanced Care Planning team: “Jessica and Wendy saw what care homes were facing, realised how they could help, mobilised the PCN and PICS for support and input, and enabled staff i care homes in Nottingham West to cope and care. They inspired and encouraged the GP practices, Community Services and care home staff to come together to care for the patients, clinicians and communities within care homes.

“Wendy and Jess have assisted with training, practical issues around personal protective equipment, new equipment and remote technology skills, help with care of the dying patient and psychological support of the staff, other patients and their families in the care home community. They also set up a what’s app group that any care home colleague could join, and sent out daily updates and bulletins, making sense of the storm of legislation, guidance and changes that care home staff had to understand, implement and respond to.”

Pain Pathway Service: “The COVID 19 pandemic has meant that face to face groups are not an option, so the PICS team provided and promoted new, tailored information and educational videos on our website and on You Tube to help patients with self-care support for pain and mental health, and have been emailing patients individually. The response has been very positive, but our clients’ mental and physical health can deteriorate very quickly, and there are around 150 patients waiting for face to face group therapy out of 7,000 patients. The team have therefore decided to offer our patients more, with a virtual group option from July, depending on their individual needs.”

#20minutecarespace: “Teams or groups of colleagues invite the #20minCareSpace team to join them on MS TEAMS. Anyone who wishes to take part is guided through a series of questions that encourage private reflection and group support. The structure of a care space remains the same, promoting safety and containment for staff. It lasts for 20 minutes and typically has been requested to happen at the end of a team meeting, for those who would like to stay on. Approximately 11 teams have taken part in the sessions, with the number of sessions varying throughout the pandemic, and there are an estimated 100 members of staff in total who have participated. The feedback has been really positive and we’re looking to scale it up with more training of facilitators. The sessions have been run by two volunteer members of staff based in the PICS Pain Pathway Service, Caroline and Natalie, who understood how they could support their colleagues during this time and secured management support to roll out the service.”