10th June 2014 – Judith’s praise for her mini-pad connecting to 24hr medical help

Posted on June 10, 2014 by AireAdmin

To watch a short video of Judith talking about Gold Line visit http://www.airedale-trust.nhs.uk/services/the-gold-line/

Judith Jovanic, of Skipton, was one of the first patients who are terminally ill to get a mini-pad which links her to medical help and advice, day or night, with a few clicks.

She loves it and describes it “as a friend sat in the corner of my home.”

The 68 year old patient, who has primary biliary cirrhosis – a long-term liver disease that damages the small bile ducts in the liver – receives palliative. Judith is also a carer for her husband who has terminal lung cancer.

She is one of 30 patients in the Airedale Wharfedale and Craven area to be given a mini-ipad which connects her directly via a secure video link with Airedale Hospital’s Telehealth hub to provide her with a single point of contact with nurses 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.

A dedicated telephone helpline known as the ‘Gold Line’ was launched across Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven last November and extended to the Bradford district in March with funding from the Bradford City and Bradford District Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) on a trial basis until March 2015. Currently there are more than 500 patients registered to the telephone service which aims to support them in their home or nursing home wherever possible and 13 patients have also been given a mini-ipad. All these patients have a serious illness and may be in the last year of their lives.

One of the aims of the service is to prevent the Gold Line patients having to go into hospital by providing support at home if that is where they prefer to be cared for and it is safe to do so – however hospital admissions will be arranged when required.

The scheme is not expected to replace patients’ use of their GP and other community health care services during normal working hours but aims to enhance their care when daytime services have closed. Calls are answered by a team of experienced nurses in the Telehealth Hub at Airedale Hospital who are linked up to community-based teams, who can visit patients if necessary.

Judith has been married for 25 years to her husband Ilija and they live in Skipton. She has had her mini ipad for almost three months now and although she hasn’t had to use it very often, when she did at midnight on a Friday night because her husband was ill, she thought it was ‘brilliant’ and was ‘very grateful for it.’

“It was so stressful at the time. The nurse was very helpful and talked to me for quite a long time, she discussed my husband’s condition with me and told me to ring back if I needed to. I felt so much better after the call and managed to get a good night’s sleep.

“The nurse rang back in the morning to check how we were, and arranged for the out-of-hours GP to come out to us within a few hours. He have my husband antibiotics and he was back to normal within 48 hours. It was excellent.

“It’s so reassuring during the night – time and weekends to know that there is someone there at the end of a phone who can help you with health problems and the stress that brings. When someone is elderly and ill I think it is important that they can be seen.”

“It’s very easy to use, you just press a button, a screen comes up, you press a ‘calls’ sign and it rings just like a telephone, then when the nurse answers a screen comes up and you can see each other.”

Tracy Day, Gold Standards Framework facilitator for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Patients can ring Goldline in the middle of the night if they need to which is very reassuring for them and just having that facility makes them feel better, more comfortable and safe.

“Most patients have increasing health needs towards the end of their life and yet they want to be cared for in their own home if possible, not in hospital. This service help to prevent unnecessary admissions and readmissions -it’s a safety net.”

Dr Linda Wilson, palliative care consultant at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The early results from this project are very encouraging, we are getting very positive feedback from patients, their carers and professionals working with them.

A formal evaluation of the service is also underway and results will be available at the end of this year.