Video link will offer 24/7 care to vulnerable

Deputy Manager, Beryl Henriette and Residential Care Coordinator, Zoe Searston, use the new telehealth service at Autumn Grange Care Home.

Deputy Manager, Beryl Henriette and Residential Care Coordinator, Zoe Searston, use the new telehealth service at Autumn Grange Care Home.

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A new telehealth service has been launched to provide round-the-clock expert care to care home residents across North Derbyshire.

The service will provide 24/7 assistance to residents in a number of care homes across North Derbyshire via a direct video link to specially trained staff at Airedale Hospital.

It will be launched this month by NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS Hardwick Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Immedicare.

Jim Connolly, chief nursing officer at NHS Hardwick CCG, said: “We have a rapidly ageing demographic in the UK and new technology is going to be an integral component in the delivery of high quality, cost-effective care for this group.

“Looking at how other Telehealth Hub services have performed our hopes for introducing a service like this to a home are to see a reduction in ambulance calls and emergency department attendances both of which can be stressful for older people.”

The telehealth service provides vital support for staff at the participating residential and nursing home as it enables them to instantly access a clinician’s opinion on a patient’s condition based on an initial examination conducted over a secure video link.

“Patients can be seen immediately and do not have to spend time travelling to a hospital only to wait to be seen by staff in an A&E 
department.”

Diane Martin, registered home manager at Autumn Grange Care Home, said: “We started using the service a couple of months ago and have found it to be excellent - it should go everywhere.

“The service is particularly useful for staff during the night shift; knowing that there are extra resources available should they require them. Another great advantage is that you can take the laptop and webcam to wherever the patient is when they need attention, if they fall for example. The service is also joined up as it links to a patient’s GP surgery ensuing there is continuity of care.”