NHS National Medical Director “visits” Airedale Hospital
Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS National Medical Director, has paid a virtual visit to Airedale Hospital as part of an initiative that has seen the growing use of telemedicine in care homes around the country.
Airedale’s leading telemedicine service supports staff in more than 530 care homes around the country, including as far afield as the Isle of Man. The round-the-clock service is designed to improve the quality of life and end of life experience of thousands of nursing and care home residents by using technology in an innovative way to help vulnerable, frail, elderly people, many with multiple long term conditions including dementia.
Sir Bruce experienced how the service works by dialling into the Airedale digital care hub from the Seely Hirst care home in Nottingham. He was able to use the system in exactly the same way as any of the care home residents would, seeing and speaking to a qualified nurse in real time on screen.
The specially designed hub has work stations for 15 nurses who form the front line of an integrated service that includes the hospital’s Gold Line service which provides care for people in the last year of their life, and a telemedicine link-up for prisons nationwide.
Airedale digital care hub manager Marie Buchan said:
“Our service provides life-enhancing care that enables people to remain in their own environment while receiving treatment. We find that staff in care homes gain in confidence knowing that expert help is only a phone call away, 24 hours a day, and we know that our support means that fewer people are admitted to hospital unnecessarily.”
Sir Bruce Keogh said:
“With rising demand and escalating costs, the use of digital technology is not an option but a necessity if we are to build a sustainable NHS. Innovations such as telemedicine have the potential to deliver better value for the NHS budget whilst keeping patient interactions safe and personal.”