The Millings Residential Home is situated in the market town of Bedale. It offers rooms for 36 residents in the beautiful setting of a former Rectory. The Millings is homely and welcoming, and prides itself on offering family-oriented care, an ethos which helps the home receive outstanding CQC ratings.

The Immedicare telemedicine service is delivered using high-quality video calls to nurses and therapists in the Digital Care Hub at Airedale Hospital. Calls are answered by a team of clinical call handlers who are supported by a highly-skilled, multi-disciplinary team of Registered Practitioners. This ensures residents receive immediate clinical assessment and advice which leads to a smoother pathway and much better experience, with the right care being delivered in the right place at the right time. Nationally there are over 500 care homes benefiting from the Immedicare service.

Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG implemented the Immedicare telemedicine service in their nursing and residential homes in 2016 and have recently recommissioned the service after seeing a reduction of hospital admissions, a reduction of calls to GPs and increased winter resilience, meaning during Winter when local services are at high pressure, homes can be encouraged to use telemedicine to reduce hospital admissions. The Millings Residential Home is one of the homes which has benefitted from the introduction of Immedicare by the CCG.

Sandra Anderson, Registered Manager/Director at The Millings explained that:

Before Immedicare, the biggest challenge our home faced was getting the GP to visit when we wanted, but also being wary of not wanting to waste their time. If an out of hours GP was contacted it could sometimes result in an ambulance being called, which we want to avoid whenever possible for the wellbeing of our residents.

Whilst there were some reservations about the service, Sandra described how these have been overcome.

Initially, we were concerned about staff adapting to using a new service, but the telemedicine is so easy to use and the support our Immedicare Relationship Manager, Heather, gave us helped the introduction of the service go smoothly.

Each home is appointed a dedicated Relationship Manager, who is on hand to provide training and support, to ensure homes feel confident to use of the service.

The training support and user guides from Immedicare have been handy in learning how to use the telemedicine. I have given demonstrations to staff and now they are able to teach new starters.

We were impressed when the webcam broke, a replacement arrived within 2 days, showing that the support we need is there, from both clinical and technical services.

When asked about their residents’ reaction to telemedicine, Sandra said:

They think it is a good idea and it gives them reassurance if they feel unwell that clinical care is available when it’s needed. Initially, residents were afraid of the modern technology but once they knew how it worked, they were fine. My residents are usually able to talk for themselves as we are residential, by using Immedicare they are still in control of their care which maintains their sense of independence. We always inform prospective residents’ families that we use Immedicare in our home, as it’s a selling point that we can provide 24/7 access to clinical care for their family member.

Immedicare has been particularly helpful for the home when residents fall. Sandra elaborates on this:

When residents fall, staff tend to call for advice. It is sometimes unclear if a resident is injured as they may say they are ok at the time, but later complain of pain. Being able to call the hub following a fall prevents residents from going to hospital, through the assessment and monitoring advice the Hub gives staff, such as doing 2-hour observations and to call back if needed. This empowers carers, as they are working with professionals, who all have the best interests of our lovely residents.

We asked Sandra if she would recommend Immedicare to other homes.

Immedicare has given our staff, residents and relatives reassurance that we always have the help we need at hand. We do recommend the service to other homes; we don’t know how they manage without it!

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