NHS computer flags at Torbay A&E and MIU to benefit treatment of people with learning disabilities

Day 138 (since letter to the Chief Executive of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust)

Status Update:

Today (2nd May 2017) I attended the first session of a new ‘Flagging Group’ at the Torbay Hospital Horizon Centre.  This is a spin-off group from the Disability Awareness Action Group (DAAG) to specifically address the use of ‘flags’ within IT systems.  The vision is that ‘flags’ on computer systems inform A&E / MIU NHS staff of information that clinical professionals need to allow them to best provide effective and timely treatment, emergency or otherwise, to people with learning disabilities. Often these services may be required in the likely absence of supportive family or carers for effective communication.

The meeting was chaired by Stephen Macey (also DAAG Chairman), and attended by Debbie Maynard (Note taker and facilitator), Tracey Clarke (Children Learning Disability Lead).  All three are employed by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.

Also attending was Roz Erskin-Gray on behalf of the Devon Partnership NHS Trust, and Marisa Cockfield from NHS South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group.

The meeting attempted to scope out the size of the issue with the many networked IT Systems.  On behalf of Torbay Mencap the following ‘purpose’ was contributed to the meeting session: ‘To make use of the existing flagging feature in the Symphony IT Systems used by A&E and MIU in order to benefit NHS Services to vulnerable people, particularly those with a learning disability’.

The meeting concluded with an action to engage the IT Systems department to check what is possible.  And otherwise to target flags in the Symphony IT System as an achievable pilot study, whilst recognising that ideally all NHS systems need ultimately to share information for consistency and ease of maintenance.

I shall keep you informed of progress.

Best wishes

Stephen (Chair, Torbay Mencap)

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