Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Mental Health Trust uses clinically validated digital technology to enable nurses to carry out vital checks on patients with mental health conditions, without disturbing their sleep.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust has introduced a new observation protocol for checking the safety of patients with severe mental health conditions at night, after a formal evaluation of technology from Oxehealth.

The change means nurses no longer have to disturb patients up to four times an hour at night if they are being cared for in one of the rooms equipped with the Oxehealth Digital Care Assistant (DCATM), which uses an optical sensor to detect movement, pulse and breathing rate.

In a change to long-standing national practice, nurses on the Vaughan Thomas Ward, a male acute inpatient ward at the Warneford Hospital, now use the DCA in some rooms to observe movement and measure vital signs. Nurses conduct observations more quickly but no less safely, while patients get a better night's sleep and benefit from more privacy and dignity during their stay.

With support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Health BRC and NIHR CLAHRC, towards the middle of 2018, the trust installed the DCA in its higher acuity corridor (six of the eighteen patient bedrooms) on Vaughan Thomas ward. 

A service improvement evaluation revealed that staff can confirm patient safety without disturbing or waking resting patients at night. Between February and April 2019, more than 5,000 observations were taken over 300 patient nights using the new protocol. An in-depth evaluation of 52 observations taken over six patient nights confirmed that the observations taken with support of the DCA were just as safe as those taken without it; and there have been no incidents related to the system.

 

The findings show that introducing the modified protocol essentially removes the need for staff to routinely wake patients to check they are safe. It greatly improves patients' experience at night. - Professor John Geddes, Director of Research and Development at the Trust and Head of Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.
This system is a real innovation in mental health. The sensors act as a valuable tool to improve patient experience and also free up nurses for other tasks, so they can dedicate more time to patients who need more intensive care - Dr Alvaro Barrera, lead researcher on this project, Consultant Psychiatrist on Vaughan Thomas ward and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at University of Oxford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To read full press release

NIHR OXFORD HEALTH BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTRE NEWS

Please follow the link below to read the news on the NIHR BRC website.

Similar stories

Potential New Target to Prevent or Delay Dementia

Alzheimer's disease Dementia Mental Health Old-age psychiatry

New study shows targeting arterial stiffening earlier in a person’s lifespan could provide cognitive benefits in older age and may help to delay the onset of dementia.

SSRI Treatment in Young People with Depression and Anxiety

Anxiety Depression Mental Health

Results from an insight review commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, highlights what is currently known about the benefits and risks of using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for the treatment of depression and anxiety in young people.

Collaborating with Youth is Key to Studying Mental Health Management

Anxiety Depression Mental Health

The Global Mental Health Databank, a feasibility study, hopes to enable youth from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and India to work directly with mental health researchers to better understand how young people can manage their own mental health.

People in Prison Must be Part of Public Health Response to COVID-19

COVID-19 Mental Health

Preventing serious complications from COVID-19 in potentially vulnerable populations in high risk environments, such as prisons, and preventing spread to surrounding communities needs a coordinated evidence-based approach to managing outbreaks of COVID-19 in prison settings.

2020 Most Highly Cited Researchers

Awards Mental Health

6 researchers in the Department of Psychiatry are in the Highly Cited Researchers 2020 list.

Return to School Leads to Improvement in Children's Mental Health

Anxiety COVID-19 Child and adolescent Early intervention Mental Health

Latest report from the Co-SPACE (COVID-19 Supporting Parents, Adolescents, and Children in Epidemics) survey highlights that for participating primary school aged children behavioural and restless/attentional difficulties increased between March and June. These difficulties generally decreased from July.