Headscape Focus case study
HeadScape Focus is a shared care digital platform transforming the way children and young people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are being supported in south east London.
The secure platform, developed by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Mindwave, was launched in December 2017 and is already revolutionising how families and practitioners communicate and make decisions, increasing autonomy, transparency and self-management in the care of young people.
Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust’s specialist ADHD service supports 700 families in the Royal London Borough of Greenwich, helping children and young people to manage their condition.
The service has seen a huge increase in demand and was finding it increasingly challenging to meet the needs of young people and their families. The service call centre was receiving numerous calls from parents each day, a clear sign that their needs were not being met through the existing episodic model of care – face-to-face appointments with clinicians at pre-set times. Additionally, the process for making prescription requests via the Trust’s single point of access phone line was complex and time-consuming for both parents and clinicians.
Recognising that this model left families without access to support for large amounts of time, the Trust was looking for a new approach which would enable regular communication between young people and their families and the clinical team without increasing pressure on trust budgets and staff time.
Their vision was for a model of care which would better support families in their everyday life and promote self-management; a continuous service delivery solution that would provide round-the-clock access to trusted tools and the ability to track symptoms and communicate with practitioners.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr James Woollard and principal clinical psychologist Dr Nicola Reynolds of Oxleas Trust came up with the idea of enabling regular dialogue through a digital platform as a way to deliver this vision. The new approach would also connect with local schools and teachers by providing easy and cost-effective access to specialist training, advice and support, eliminating the risk of creating inconsistencies and risks for young people caused by non-aligned approaches.
Mindwave was successful in a bid to become Oxleas tech partner in realising their ambition for transforming the ADHD service.
Mindwave worked in partnership with the clinical team, young people, parents, teachers to design and develop the bespoke Headscape platform to ensure it meets the needs of all users.
The platform provides a central, easily accessible location for trusted resources and self-help tools which enable young people and families to build their confidence and skills in ADHD self-management. A diary function allows parents to share information and thoughts with clinicians to provide insights into the child or young person’s behaviour patterns.
Families can also track their child’s sleep and the symptoms of their ADHD, set goals, build up resources of coping strategies, and receive on-demand support through instant message conversations with the ADHD team. The instant messaging function can be used to request prescriptions, discuss medication effectiveness, arrange appointments, and provide advice and behavioural support around managing sleeping and difficult behaviour.
Built using open source code, which enables the NHS to collaborate on features and share limited resources for maximum benefits across the system, HeadScape meets both NHS standards and clinical requirements for security and safety. Users access the web application via any internet browser on any device.
OUTCOMES: TRANSFORMING COMMUNICATION
HeadScape is currently being used by 80 families and 10 schools; their feedback is being used alongside Mindwave’s programme of continuous user research and testing to guide the ongoing development process of the platform.
The ADHD service team has fully embraced HeadScape Focus – the onboarding process for young people and families is now embedded in the care pathway and the service has a routine process for managing everyday communications via the platform in their workflow.
For Dr Nicola Reynolds, the platform has transformed how parents and practitioners communicate: “In the past, if a parent needed a new prescription they would have to call the single point of access line which resulted in a complicated process to get the message to the right person so it could be followed up. Instant messaging via the platform makes life so much quicker and easier. It used to be labour intensive to engage with families and now I feel like we are doing something really helpful and useful.”
One parent currently using HeadScape said: “I use [the diary] when things are getting on top of me. I am able to express how I feel, especially when I am really down about my son’s condition. The clinic always responds to anything I put on there…sometimes just writing things on the platform helps relieve some of my worries.”
The joint team has big ambitions for the future of HeadScape, including providing more trusted resources in multi-media formats to enable young people and their families to manage their condition day-to-day, without specialist intervention, and suitably supported by teachers and schools. The roadmap also includes creating support materials for teachers on the website which are free and accessible at any time.
Based on the success of HeadScape in transforming Oxleas Trust’s ADHD service delivery, Mindwave is now working with the wider Trust to create an organisation-wide digital front door for people accessing its services.