Acacia Court, based in Southport, is part of the BloomCare Group; a set of homes specializing in caring for those living with Alzheimer’s and related forms of dementia.
The mission for the staff at Acacia is to ensure each resident’s long term memories remain intact, and to try to make sure they stay the same person their loved ones know.
As part of their care initiative, Acacia Court took on Immedicare, allowing them to connect with nurses at Airedale Hospital’s Digital Care Hub around the clock.
Fay Jackson, Interim Manager at Acacia Court stated, “Before we had Immedicare, we relied heavily on the 111 system and, for anything more serious, 999. This not only wasted a lot of time, but was also stressful for our residents who, in the meantime, were waiting hours on end for answers to their issue”.
“Since having the technology installed, we’ve seen a drastic reduction in turnaround time to resolve medical issues, we can get in touch with one of the nurses in the hub instantly, and usually within 20 minutes we’ll have a diagnosis and a plan of action”.
“Recently we had a resident with an issue in the early hours of the morning; with Immedicare we were connected to a nurse instantly, we had a diagnosis and we had a district nurse at our care home within the hour. This saved our resident the distress of having to go to the hospital, possibly waiting for hours in A&E, and maybe an overnight stay in an unfamiliar hospital bed”.
“Normally this would have involved ambulance transport, accompanied by a staff member and leaving the care home understaffed for the next however many hours”.
Fay was also keen to stress that with telemedicine, calling out a doctor was not always needed. “Even though getting a GP out is much quicker, sometimes the nurse can solve the issue on the call. Without telemedicine this issue could take 6-7 hours to resolve, but now could be fixed within 20 minutes.”
As with all new changes to a business, especially one as delicate as care, there were some initial apprehensions regarding the new technology. Senior staff at Acacia worked quickly to ensure all staff were trained on how to use the new equipment: “first we trained the senior staff up, we just showed them how to make a call to the Digital Care Hub, we explained to the nurses on the end of the line what we were doing, they were extremely friendly and even offered us a few tips on the equipment. We just continued this process with the rest of our staff and in no time the entire home was ready.”
When asked if the technology has improved their care home, Fay said “Definitely, it just saves us a huge amount time. If an issue needs escalating then we can get a doctor out to us within the hour, so we need only take a patient to hospital if absolutely necessary. All our staff love the system, we would definitely recommend Immedicare.”