Albert Joyner was the 1,000th patient to be linked up to our Telehealth Hub which meant he could get urgent medical help from hospital consultants if he needed it – without having to leave the comfort of his nursing home.
The ex-Royal Marine, who was 101 years old and lived at Herncliffe Care Home in Keighley, where residents and staff alike are reassured that they can get round the clock face-to-face medical care from a hospital consultant or specialist nurse using telemedicine.
Albert, who sadly died in 2014, said, at the time of: “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.”
Beverley Clarkson, deputy matron of Herncliffe, said their staff were impressed by the telemedicine service and used it to get advice for patients who had falls, infections and needed palliative care. “I think the service is a brilliant idea,” said Beverley. “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 calling an ambulance. 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 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.
The Hub is staffed by specialist nurses who can assess and triage patients as well as support the nursing home staff. Patients can be monitored as often as required with the back-up of hands-on treatment from a paramedic or hospital care.
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 were from 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 three quarters of calls from patients’ own homes.