An exciting time for telemedicine

Posted on March 11, 2015 by AireAdmin

IMG_3086We have had a busy month in telemedicine as we are now live in 200 care and nursing homes throughout the country. What a land mark! Praise should go to all who have contributed to this great achievement.

The clinical team in our Telehealth Hub were overwhelmed to have won three Pride of Airedale awards at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust’s annual awards ceremony and we are incredibly proud of them all.

Some exciting things are also happening across the country as we head towards the general election with the future of health and social care services playing a major part in the debate.

Technology forms a huge part of the transformation that will be required to enable us to continue to deliver a service fit for the 21st century and we are right in the thick of it!

A team of us went to London last week to pitch to be one of the first  ‘vanguard’ localities  in the country for ‘New models of care for enhanced health in care homes’. Our aim is to improve the quality of life and end of life experience of thousands of nursing and care home residents living in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale, Craven and East Lancashire.

We were delighted to learn yesterday that this has been successful and we will be among the first 29 sites who are taking the national lead on transforming care for patients.  We can now look forward to working with our partners – who include CCGs, GPs, care homes, social services, the third sector, technology expertise and academic organisations including the University of Bradford – to achieve our vision of spreading our model across all care home settings.

This will allow us to build on our success using technology in an innovative way to help vulnerable, frail, elderly people, many with multiple long term conditions including dementia and those  approaching the end of their life. Our plan is to now go further and extend our use of telemedicine providing a single point of access to many specialist health and care advisor’s, whilst focusing on residents’ individual capabilities and needs.

This means that people such as Joan, who has Parkinson’s disease and lives in a residential home, can get clinical advice and support  at any time of the day or night.  After a recent fall, the care home was able to speak to an experienced nurse in our Telehealth hub using the video link and after consultation with an A&E consultant was able to arrange for her to be cared for in her familiar surroundings rather than transferring her to A&E.

Our new enhanced care model would aim to provide links to other providers, such as social care and falls prevention, to carry out an assessment of the layout of Joan’s home environment. A multidisciplinary team including carers, nurses, therapists, social care and the voluntary sector would then work in partnership to deliver her care and support promoting independence and improving the quality of her life. For more information http://www.england.nhs.uk/2015/03/10/new-era-of-patient-care/

 

Rachel Binks, nurse consultant (digital and acute care) of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust