Swedish health tech company Visiba Care has launched a smartphone app to access on-the-spot clinical support for UK police when dealing with people in mental health crisis.

Using the Livewell Connect app, police officers called to an emergency where they believe someone is mentally ill can immediately contact the Livewell first response team – a group of trained mental health professionals who can offer direct video support to both police officers and people needing mental health support – helping to reduce unnecessary hospital A&E attendances and easing pressure on the NHS during the COVID-19 crisis.

Chief inspector Rob Mooney of Devon and Cornwall Police said that the new digital platform was a “valuable tool” for police officers helping those in crisis.

“It is vital that police officers on the front line dealing with those in need at the time of crisis have as much information and guidance as possible to give the best outcome, this app will be a valuable tool to assist officers in delivering the best possible service,” he said.

Livewell Southwest, an integrated health and social care provider of NHS services and adult social care in Plymouth, and community health services in South Hams and West Devon, is also offering patients access to a range of other digital clinics and online consultations during lockdown. 

Patients with conditions including depression or anxiety, who have been referred for therapy are being offered the chance to book, access a range of digital clinics and have their appointments via the free Livewell Connect platform, which has been developed and is hosted by Swedish digital health technology provider Visiba Care.

The scheme, rolled out during the COVID-19 lockdown, provides online video appointments through an app, which can be downloaded on smartphones or tablets, and helps people to get the support they need.

Dr Kate Lovett, dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and a consultant psychiatrist at Livewell Southwest said: “COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to think very differently about how we do things. I am really enjoying using our Livewell Connect app to see patients virtually. I have had excellent feedback from patients who have appreciated its ease of use. I have also found it straightforward to use.

“I will take a lot of convincing to go back to running old fashioned, traditional outpatient appointments. In my view, the new digital platform is likely to revolutionize our services in the future.”

 

Date published: May 18, 2020

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