The Gateway Care home is a 92 bed care home situated on a quiet, leafy road in Bradford. Due to the large number of residents at The Gateway, the decision to use telemedicine in the care home was taken to ease the pressure on staff, whilst also supporting local NHS services and visiting teams.

Chris White, the residential manager, told us the problems the care home faced.

Prior to the telemedicine system being in place, there was a reliance on the use of 111 or district nurse teams. The use of 111 was at times problematic and lengthy without professional advice and face to face contact. GP’s faced an increased workload, as they were regularly being called out by staff who were unsure as to whether medical intervention was needed. At times this put unwarranted pressure on cross-team working relationships.

Staff were often left with a feeling of isolation. Although phone conversations and emergency services were available, the lack of face to face support and reassurances offered by Telemedicine put increased pressure on staff to make judgement calls that they felt at times were beyond their abilities.

Having previously used telemedicine systems within the Kirklees area, Chris understood the clear benefits Immedicare could provide. The Immedicare engineers efficiently installed the telemedicine systems and then trained the staff at The Gateway. We spoke to Chris about how Immedicare has improved the care home and the care they can give.

The improvement in practice and response has been clearly visible, all staff who use the system are confident in its use and see it as a key resource within the home. The feedback from residents is very positive, they are reassured that the support they receive through Immedicare is from highly trained professionals and the interactions are very caring. The families of residents also applaud its installation and use.

The use of 111 has reduced, and so has the pressure on district nurse teams and GP’s, in turn keeping working relationships positive” explained Chris. “The system has dramatically helped staff in evaluating situations such as when patients have falls, whilst also building skills and confidence within the team. Telemedicine gives more independence and control for residents, and also allows staff to provide holistic support and intervention in a more seamless way. This gives reassurance to both residents and staff.

Residents who are able to manage their own health and wellbeing independently stated that having the telemedicine system in place also helped them feel more independent, they are able to ask a staff member for the telemedicine computer and talk to professionals themselves with dignity about any ailments that are concerning them.

When asked about how the installation and training went, Chris said.

Any concerns from staff regarding the use of the technology were soon put aside following the professional support and training provided by Immedicare. The system is simple in its design making it quick and easy to use, and the professionals who are easily accessed, are courteous and understanding.

Immedicare has without a doubt improved our care home, by improving response times and quality of early intervention for our residents. Telemedicine has built confidence within the staff team and has helped support relationships with visiting professionals, whilst reassuring residents and their families. As a care provider we cannot stress enough how critical and important this technology has been in supporting residents, staff and the local NHS.

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