Publish date: 02 February 2022

Find & Treat screen tens of thousands of the most vulnerable, homeless and high-risk people every year using a mobile unit deployed from UCLH. Finding, testing and treating serious illness prevents onward infection aiming to improve public health.

A Mobile Health Clinic has been extensively refurbished and fitted with a new digital portable x-ray camera and modern technologies to speed patient diagnoses and treatment of infectious diseases that will be powered on green energy via a hybrid battery powered solution with split charging capabilities. Switching from a large diesel generator to electric power will result in a carbon footprint reduction of at least 25,000 tons per year at the same time as improving air quality in central London and providing a cleaner, safer service user experience and enhance staff wellbeing.

The modern portable x-ray camera coupled with ultra-modern technologies will provide Find & Treat with the capabilities of pushing service design beyond the current limitations. We then aim to demonstrate a series of firsts in providing community-based healthcare interventions than can be rolled out across a whole spectrum of traditionally static based services.

UCLH Climate Action: Find and Treat Goes Green

The team will trail the use of Artificial Intelligence ​software for assisting with disease detection coupled up with a tele-radiology network ​to allow remote reading of x-rays using flat-pack satellites, 4 and 5G routers, un-steered sim cards and smart antenna systems sponsored by NHSX ​as part of the NHS Digital Future WIFI Project Trials. This will provide Find & Treat with the tools to test real time remote diagnostics and treatments ​and open the door for other hospital services to follow suit. The system has been designed to provide zero emission and silent operating for in excess of 9 hours in any single instance without the need to re-charge.

Professor Alistair Story, founder and clinical lead of the UCLH Find & Treat Service said:

“For people forced to live on the street clean air is not a choice. As a health worker treating homeless people it’s a no brainer to reduce pollution, a causative agent of ill health, not least during a respiratory virus pandemic. This technology means our care extends to our environment as well as treating illness more quickly and preventing onward infection.”

Patrick Clark, NHS Digital’s Director of Infrastructure Services, said: “We want technology to be used to help make healthcare accessible for everyone and UCLH’s new high-tech Find & Treat Mobile Health Unit is a great example of this. The onboard satellite and 5G connectivity aims to help patients get diagnoses quickly and easily onboard the bus rather than needing to visit a hospital. We’ll be monitoring the impact of the Find & Treat scheme in London and considering how such initiatives might be successfully adopted elsewhere.”

The team at the Single Homeless Project, one of the hostel services that the team regularly visit explained: “The support we have received from the Find and Treat Mobile Health Unit has been really valuable to us over the past few years. We’re proud to have partnered with them across our accommodation sites in Westminster, Islington, Camden and Hackney.

Find and Treat has provided clients in our hostels with on-site screening and treatment for infectious diseases like Hepatitis, HIV and Tuberculosis. This is really important for us because our client group are more at risk of infectious diseases than the general population. They also face more barriers to accessing screening and treatment. The accessibility of the Mobile Health Unit has made a really positive impact on how our clients engage with their health.  We are looking forward to using the new Mobile Health Unit. The rapid x-ray screening will get our clients faster diagnoses and treatment. Shorter waiting times will help to reduce their anxiety and lead to quicker treatments and recovery.”

The team tackle a wide range of infectious and chronic diseases by diagnosing, treating or vaccinating for conditions like:

·             COVID-19

·             Hepatitis B & C

·             HIV

·             T.B.

·             Cardiovascular screening

·             STIs

·             Flu

Find and Treat’s team of peer workers, who have lived experience of homelessness help build trust and understanding with a patient group suffering from diseases of poverty and inequality.

Read more here.