The Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales is supporting an Aneurin Bevan University Health Board led project with TEC Cymru into how technology enabled care can be used to support students in schools. This is a Q lab funded project entitled TERMS (Technology enabled remote monitoring in school).
The Covid-19 pandemic has created major challenges to Wales, and has taken its toll on the nation’s health, especially children and young people. School closures, disrupted friendships and uncertainty about the future are all likely contributors to the mental health issues children are facing. Early intervention is key to treating mental illness and key to preventing children falling into a mental health crisis.
There are major new challenges in terms of reopening schools and education and supporting the mental and emotional as well as physical health for children and young people which are still being addressed as education and health cautiously begin to ‘unlock’ and resume delivery of normal services. It is highly likely that social distancing and reduction/banning of unnecessary visitors into schools will become the ‘new normal’ as schools reopen.
We believe that the Covid-19 pandemic has created new, unique opportunities to further the Whole School Approach whilst maintaining safety and creating new ways of working which are ‘pandemic-proof’ to some extent. The NHS has achieved remarkable transformation and adoption of remote technology on an unprecedented scale at unprecedented speed in response to Covid-19, which is actually fully in line with the Welsh Government’s ambitions laid out in ‘Informed Health and Care: A Digital Health and Social Care Strategy for Wales’ and ‘Improving people’s lives through digital technologies: Digital Inclusion Progress Report and Forward Look 2018’.
The marked reduction in travel, including for healthcare provision has resulted in major gains in terms of clean air and sustainability in line with the aims of the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. There is an urgent opportunity to ‘Build Back Better’ for the Whole School Approach by building on the digital gains achieved within the pandemic and to rapidly implement it for the advancement of the Whole School Approach before health, social care and education services revert to old ways.
The TERMS project team are hoping to gain better understanding of the barriers, challenges and opportunities that exists while implementing technology enabled remote monitoring across agencies i.e. health and education. The learning gained from working with the Q lab will support with the development of the technology enabled remote monitoring in school (TERMS) framework which can be shared locally and nationally with other clinical teams and schools.
We would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions/ideas of how technology can support delivery of care in schools please get I touch.