Our staff have been using telepsychiatry to deliver mental health services from a distance, so that our Emergency Department Psychiatric Service in Oxford can more promptly assess patients presenting with psychiatric issues to the Emergency Departments at the Horton Hospital. The team also provides telepsychiatry follow-up to some patients at home, using the patients’ own phone, tablet or computer.

Dr Kezia Lange, who led the project to introduce telepsychiatry into the emergency department service, said: “This project has significantly reduced patient waiting times and staff travel (and carbon footprint!), and the patients have been very positive about using the videolink.”

The team providing this service is based at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, but it also covers the Horton Hospital in Oxfordshire. To avoid the delay caused by traveling between the two sites, patients at the Horton Hospital are now offered the option of a psychiatric assessment and care over a video link.

The service has been well-received by staff and patients, and it has now been shortlisted for the Health Services Journal awards, which aim to recognise, celebrate and promote ‘the finest achievements in the NHS’.

The awards are now in their 36th year, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 22nd December 2017.