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How SPARK® TSL Can Help Alleviate NHS Winter Pressures

4 minute read | 28/09/2023

How SPARK® TSL Can Help Alleviate NHS Winter Pressures

Currently, the biggest concern to the NHS is the upcoming winter. More ambulances are called, less bedspaces are available, the elderly are more vulnerable and winter illness come fast and hard.

This stretches NHS resources to their limit and staff often experience burn out. Technology is here to help alleviate these pressures through existing processes such as online prescriptions, virtual wards, online consultations and more.

But even simple signposting can have a dramatic impact by re-directing those who don’t necessarily need to be at A&E.

Learn how SPARK® Media, our free patient engagement platform, powered by the guest-access WiFi, also known as SPARK® Connect, can help reduce the impact of winter on the NHS.


What Winter Pressures are the NHS Facing?

Winter is very busy time for the NHS, but this year, it’s expected to hit much harder.

The NHS will have to face the flu, seasonal illness, a potential new strain of Covid, and the ongoing pressure from industrial action. 

Funding has already been implemented leading to:

  • 5,000 additional beds
  • 800 new ambulances
  • Category 2 ambulance response improvements (27 minutes faster)
  • 10,000 new virtual wards
  • 1,500 fewer people stuck in hospital when they are medically fit to be discharged

There’s also an increased recognition to fund adult social care. Funding has been allocated to help keep people out of hospital as well as providing at home care to allow those to leave hospital sooner. By using funding to help older people and those with disabilities to live safely and independently at home, there will be less incidents, resulting in less hospital visits.

All information above is sourced from Gov.uk.


Hospital Communication

But what about your average British Citizen? Do they need to be at the hospital? Is there a shorter waiting time at another A&E? Is there an alternative option they can explore before going to hospital?

These questions are a short example that highlight why communication within hospital settings is more important than ever as we approach winter. The SPARK solution can help tackle this. 

Through SPARK® Media: Lite, we can:

  • Signpost to alternative options, urgent care, GP services etc.
  • Provide information about common issues, like broken noses where people can wait hours and just get told to go home.
  • Provide information on the current wait time in the Emergency Department and surrounding ED’s.

This information can be added to the WiFi landing page where visitors go to log in, as well as the confirmation page andWiFi to Media-Gif can also be added on the re-direct page that appears after logging into the WiFi.

This re-direct page is SPARK® Media: Lite, where easy to access web-links are provided. That’s a total of 3 pages where visitors can be provided information which could re-direct them to an alternative option.

By redirecting just 1% of patients, we can prevent 446 unnecessary A&E visits daily. This is based off 44,626 people who visited a major hospital A&E in the three months to June 2023.

This number will do doubt be higher in winter which means our impact will only be bigger.

A large Midlands Trust are working with us to bring out the full potential of SPARK® Media: Lite - A platform that all NHS Trusts with SPARK® Connect have.

With a tough winter ahead, Trusts should be looking outside the box to tackle all elements of patient care.

If you’re already a SPARK® Connect customer, speak to your account manager to activate SPARK® Media: Lite.



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