Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom provides a range of mental health, learning disability, substance misuse, and community healthcare services across Rotherham, Doncaster, north-east Lincolnshire, and Manchester.
With a large geographical area of northern England to cover, the trust wanted to offer its patients the opportunity to receive mental health counselling in the privacy and comfort of their own homes or work places. It envisaged up to 10,000 patients using browsers anytime, anywhere to book online appointments with a nominated counsellor, then choosing communications channels including instant messaging, and audio and videoconferencing.
The trust chose Microsoft Lync Server 2010 to interface with its website and e-clinics system, having seen a demonstration of the technology. This showed the trust that Lync Server 2010 could operate successfully with any browser and also on mobile devices.
Simone Grant-Jones, Project Manager, Dorset Software, says: “We’ve designed the solution so that patients can access the e-clinics service from any browser, whether using Windows or other operating systems. Lync Server 2010 is highly secure and the customisation work we’ve done makes the platform easy to use for both counsellors and patients.”
Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust is piloting the first NHS-built adult mental health counselling service in the U.K. using Lync Server 2010 unified communications.
The service supports the NHS constitution’s patient right to choose, giving them the option of having therapy in their own homes or workplaces rather than having to travel to a clinic. The trust is already experiencing interest from patients for the new service and hopes to share its innovative solution with other organisations.
The Microsoft unified communications technology customised by Dorset Software fulfils a core objective of the NHS patient-centric care.