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16/01/14

Elderly people with dementia in Bradford get round-the-clock care on screen this winter

Elderly people with dementia in Bradford get round-the-clock care on screen this winter

A Bradford care home which specialises in looking after elderly residents with dementia has been linked up to a Telehealth hub at Airedale Hospital providing care 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.

And staff at Ashville, in Idle, used the new telemedicine service for the first time to get round-the-clock care from specialist nurses for one of its residents on New Year’s Eve.

The home is amongst the first wave of 50 nursing and residential care homes funded by City and Bradford District Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to be able to get urgent medical help from hospital consultants or specialist nurse on screen via a secure video link if and when they need it – without having to leave the comfort of their own surroundings.

[caption id="attachment_1627" align="aligncenter" width="204" caption="Pictured are: Mrs Wendy Selby, manager of Ashville, testing out telemedicine with 74-year-old resident Mrs Sheila Liddimore."][/caption]

Seven more care homes in North Bradford have already been linked to Airedale’s telemedicine service, with a further 32 planned to go live by the end of next month (February).

All the staff at Ashville, who care for up to 25 people, have received specialist training in dementia care and have now been trained in how to use the new telemedicine service.

Mrs Wendy Selby, manager of Ashville, said: “It’s a brilliant service and can be a life- saver, we are so pleased to have got it during winter which is generally our busiest time with health issues.
“It allows us to get medical help for our residents when we need it, normally from their bedside, without having to call a GP out or take them into hospital – which means that we have to get extra cover as a member of our staff needs to go as well.”

Dr Chris Harris, chair of Bradford’s transformation and integration group, said: “Telemedicine is a great development for Bradford as it’s going to help some of our most vulnerable patients get medical advice without having to go to hospital or call an out-of-hours doctor to visit. It’s a key step in our local Integrated Care for Adults programme and shows the value of joined up working between the NHS and our partners to provide support to our residents.

“Integrated care is all about joining up local services to provide the right care at the right place, first time – and this new technology ticks all the boxes in terms of bringing care closer to people’s homes. The CCGs are confident that the service will bring significant benefits to patients and provide a real alternative to other urgent care and emergency services, so helping to ease pressure on them.”

Rachel Thompson, practice manager from The Rockwell and Wrose GP practice, said: “This is an exciting new development in the provision of medical care that offers potential benefits to both patients and the wider NHS.

“Like any new development it will need to be appropriately evaluated over time but we welcome this innovative approach to the provision of healthcare in our area”

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust is working with technical partners Involve to roll out its telemedicine service to around 200 nursing and residential homes this winter as part of their Immedicare Partnership (www.immedicare.co.uk). They will link up care homes in Calderdale, Lancashire, Bradford, Cumbria and the Midlands to the Telehealth Hub at Airedale Hospital with the aim to help relieve pressures on urgent care services.

Patients, who would previously have been sent by ambulance to their hospital’s Accident and Emergency department, and often admitted to hospital, can now be seen clearly on screen and treated remotely by hospital consultants and nurses, even out of normal surgery opening hours, without leaving their care 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 community nursing teams, a GP, paramedic or hospital care if needed.  The Telehealth hub is staffed by specialist nurses who can assess patients as well as support the nursing home staff to provide any additional care.

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