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Innovative technology around care up for national award

A Black Country Palliative Care charity is in the running for an award around its innovative use of technology to support patients.

(L to R) Clinical Lead Jenny Warren dons the VR kit and Clinical Educator Vicky Newey holds a large AR merge cube

Compton Care has been nominated in the "Best Use of Workplace Technology" category in the Nursing Times Workforce Awards, set to take place in London on November 22.

The charity is the only hospice to have been nominated in any of the categories and the announcement comes in recognition of it developing and introducing virtual and augmented reality in a variety of innovative ways to support its existing patients.

It also highlights the tailored services available to people not currently accessing help from Compton and assists with education of all healthcare professionals.

The virtual and augmented reality is now being used to empower patients by improving their wellbeing, giving them more insight into their conditions and aiding with relaxation.

An immersive 360-degree virtual reality tour of Compton Care has also been created, aiming to ease the fear and hesitation experienced by some patients approaching the need for hospice care and encourage more people to access the free services offered by the charity.

(L to R) Clinical Lead Jenny Warren and Clinical Educator Vicky Newey demonstrate how augmented reality works with the merge cube

The reality of what Compton offers includes looking after some patients for many years through holistic approaches and wellbeing services for all incurable conditions.

Augmented Reality Augmented reality is also helping to empower patients to take as much control of their diagnosis as they can through the introduction of a ‘merge cube’ and is used with an app on a smart device or with the VR kit.

The cube transforms into an object that can be held or moved, such as showing a very realistic 3D model of the lungs or the brain, to show what is happening to help patients manage their symptoms.

Another example of how the technology is transforming patients’ experiences is the creation of a therapy-led group for breathlessness due to various obstructive airway diseases, such as lung cancer.

The augmented reality kit has enabled Compton’s physiotherapists to show patients what part of the body is used when they breathe, helping with treatment and techniques to improve their quality of life.

The technology is also being used to help educate staff and wider healthcare professionals in a new way, ensuring the present and future healthcare professionals can continue to provide exceptional care and support to the community.

Compton Care’s CEO and director of Nursing, Rachel Overfield, said: “It’s such a privilege to be shortlisted for the Nursing Times Workforce Award ‘Best Use of Workplace Technology’ in recognition of how emerging technologies can provide us with so many opportunities to improve and enrich the patient and staff experience.

“We are committed to ensuring everyone has access to palliative care.

"To have this recognition for the team and the platform it provides to show people what hospice care can be and start conversations around palliative care is a fantastic milestone for Compton.”

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