Larkhill Hall is a warm and welcoming residential care home, based in Liverpool. The scenic home, surrounded by well-kept gardens boasts 66 rooms, a café and a library.

As part of their initiative to deliver person-centred care, the home recently had the Immedicare Telemedicine service commissioned for them. “I had used the Immedicare service before in Sefton, so I was supportive for the service to be used in this home as I know the huge benefits it can have. After the CCG chose to implement it, I wanted the staff to adopt it as much as possible” said Tammy, the care home manager.

We spoke to Tammy about the problems the home faced prior to using the Immedicare service.

The biggest issue we had before using telemedicine was we had a lot of unnecessary hospital admissions, especially during the night. The GP was regularly having to visit in the day time to see residents, so we wanted to reduce the number of GP visits, and give the night staff another option than just having to ring 999 when a resident was unwell through the night.

Since using Immedicare, we have seen a drastic reduction in hospital admissions. We have worked out that the admissions have reduced by around 60-70% in the first initial trial period, which has been a huge help. When a resident feels unwell or has had a fall, the staff would have previously called 999 to err on the side of caution, but that has stopped now as we have the immediate support of the nurses based at the digital hub in Airedale. The nurses will even offer to monitor the resident throughout the day or night, by scheduling calls every 1 or 2 hours, so the staff can treat the patient at home with the reassurance that if they start to decline, the nurses at the hub are monitoring the situation and can recommend a hospital admission at the appropriate time. This really supports the staff and prevents unnecessary GP visits and unnecessary hospital admissions.

Barbara-Ann, a carer at Larkhill Hall, shared a memory of how she used the service to assist her giving CPR to a resident for 17 minutes.

A resident had a pain in her chest, so I called the hub who answered within a minute or two. Whilst describing the pain, she collapsed and as I put her down onto the floor I realised she had stopped breathing. With the nurses’ reassurance, we began CPR as they called an ambulance for us. This was really helpful as usually we’d have to call an ambulance and then start CPR.

As I had to give CPR for 17 minutes, it’s easy to begin to tire and lose the correct form, so the nurses assisted me by telling me if I had slipped out of place or was bending my arms and told me when I could apply more pressure. As other staff members came to help, the nurses assisted the staff members who hadn’t given CPR before by giving them tips on how to get it right. Having the hub nurses by our side until the ambulance came was a great help, and they even rang us after the resident had gone to hospital to see if we were okay. They also rang us the next day to commend us on the job we’d done and see how we were. The nurses were really supportive and it’s good to know that they do care.

To help homes adopt the new and unfamiliar technology, Immedicare provides as much training as the home need until the staff feel confident using the service. Tammy revealed how the home has taken to telemedicine.

I didn’t have any concerns about using the telemedicine as I’ve used it before, and the training the Immedicare Relationship Managers gave the staff helped to ease their initial nerves. To get all staff trained up, I gave them extra training myself and the hub were happy to accept calls to help with the training. Now, we find it simple to use and whenever appropriate, Immedicare is the first thing staff turn to.

Even the residents love it, they are happy when they see someone on the screen to talk to and they feel the benefits of having to go to hospital less. Every resident has embraced the service and we haven’t had one resident who’s unwilling to use it. Their family members are also happy to use the service, and sometimes we call the hub when the family member is present, so they can help with medical questions, such as medical history or if they feel like their family member is acting different to usual.

To conclude, we asked Tammy and Barbara-Ann if they would recommend Immedicare to other care homes.

We would definitely recommend telemedicine to other care homes, it only has benefits, there are no negatives.

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