26 February 2013 – Airedale welcomes its 1,000th Telehealth patient

Posted on February 26, 2013 by AireAdmin

Albert Joyner, is the 1,000th patient to be linked up to Airedale Hospital’s Telehealth Hub which means he can get urgent medical help from hospital consultants if he needs it – without having to leave the comfort of his nursing home.

The ex-Royal Marine is 101 years old and lives at Herncliffe nursing home in Keighley where residents and staff alike are reassured that they can get round the clock face-to-face emergency medical care from a hospital consultant or specialist nurse using telemedicine.

Albert is one of Bradford’s oldest war heroes and was honoured for his dedication to a veterans’ association by being elected as the president of the Northern Region Royal Marines Association (RMA). He was the son of a Royal Marine from the Easy End of London, and joined the Chatham Division Royal Marines in 1930.

“I haven’t used the telemedicine kit yet as I haven’t had much wrong with me apart from a chesty cough – I like to keep myself fit,” said Albert, who used to live in Stockbridge.

Beverley Clarkson, deputy matron of Herncliffe Care Home, Spring Garden’s Lane, Keighley, said their staff were impressed by the telemedicine service and had used it to get advice for patients who had falls, infections and needed palliative care.

Beverley said “I think the service is a brilliant idea. We tend to use it for medical advice. Lots of our clients get very distressed at the thought of going into hospital so anything that helps us care for them here is good.”

Rebecca Malin, head of business development and investment at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said: “The technology helps to provide more care for residents at home or in their care home, rather than simply calling the GP or an ambulance.

“Often, a quick change to someone’s medication or even something as simple as giving someone more to drink to improve their fluid levels and increase hydration can avoid the need for an ambulance and hospital stay.

“This is what our patients, their relatives and the nursing home staff would prefer so it’s been down to us to change the way we provide our specialist care to better meet their needs. “

Airedale”s Telehealth Hub uses the latest video conferencing technology to connect patients, and staff, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, to specialist medical care at the touch of a button. Patients, who would previouslly have been sent by ambulance to the hospital’s Accident and Emergency department and often admitted to hospital, can now be seen and treated remotely by hospital consultants and nurses without leaving the nursing home.

They can be monitored from the hospital’s Telehealth hub, as often as required depending on their condition, with the back up of hands on treatment from a paramedic or hospital care if needed. The Telehealth hub is staffted by specialist nurses who can assess and triage patients as well as support the nursing home staff to provide any additional care. There are currently 29 nursing and residential homes linked up to Telehealth Hub – but this total is set to increase this month.

Since the Telehealth Hub opened in September 2011 until 31 December 2012, there have been 578 clinical consultations and around 198 hospital admissions avoided.

Analysis of calls made to the Telehealth Hub during the Christmas period (Friday 21 December 2012 to Friday 4 January 2013) showed that around half of patients’ own homes and the other half from nursing homes.

Two thirds of the calls from nursing homes resulted in patients avoiding having to be admitted to hospital or visit A&E, this result increased to three quarters of calls from patient own homes.