Can video conferencing reduce the pressure on mental health services in the NHS?

5 Nov 2017 | Blog

The prevalence of mental health issues in the UK is on the rise, with the Mental Health Foundation reporting by 2030 there will be approximately 2 million more adults in the UK with a mental health problem.

To prepare for the subsequent increase on expenditure needed to subsidise trusts having to cope with the surge of patients needing treatment for mental health issues, the NHS must begin implementing technology as soon as possible which will improve the quality of delivery of mental health services, and produce efficiency savings that can be reinvested back into mental health services and other areas of the NHS.

Aware of this need for new tools and solutions, healthcare organisations are looking towards telehealth, particularly video conferencing (VC). Extensive research into telemedicine mental health services shows that treatment over VC has the same effectiveness as face-to-face consultations, whilst being more cost effective.

Research shows the improvement in patient outcomes is even greater when considering patients who have special circumstances. This can include those who live in remote areas and struggle to access resources, patients who find it distressing to leave their homes and travel for treatment, and incarcerated patients. Telemedicine can give these patients better access to specialised clinicians, without the associated travel and potential costs.

Not only is telehealth just as effective as traditional method, but the research into VC in mental health services states that the average cost of telehealth mental health services is 16% lower than the equivalent face-to-face treatment, and face-to-face psychiatric consultations for rural areas are four times more costly than video consultations.

Video conferencing is now a no-brainer for health organisations due to the extensive research that shows the effectiveness and benefits of telehealth, plus the development of high quality, secure and easy to use visual collaboration solutions.

medio.link is a secure VC solution as it sits on the N3 network, and also has the ability to connect into HSCN via the Transition Network for trusts who have already began the transition. Health professionals can enter virtual meeting rooms from any device, anywhere to instantly collaborate and hold virtual clinics. Contact us to find out more and get a free demo of medio.link.