One of the challenges facing residential care homes surrounds sending residents to hospital needlessly in cases where diagnosis, treatment and monitoring are not available instantly. Where possible, it is usually much more beneficial for the resident to be assessed and treated within their home.
Immedicare is a nurse-led, clinical service providing secure video technology between people’s places of residence to a Telemedicine Hub based within Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, it is a partnership between clinicians at Airedale Hospital and technical expertise from Involve. The Hub is staffed 24 hours a day, every day, by a team of multi-disciplinary senior nurses and therapists who are supported by a Consultant. Immedicare is designed to help frail, elderly, disabled and vulnerable residents to live well whilst reducing pressure at key stress points across the local system offered on a national basis. The primary driver is to improve patient outcomes.
Peacehaven House is set in a quiet suburb of Southport, providing a safe, comfortable environment for its residents. It was established in 1949 as a Registered Charity to provide care for the elderly in Southport.
Over the years the home has been extended and refurbished and now contains 55 bedrooms and currently employs 63 well trained and enthusiastic staff.
The home has a high number of falls due to the various frailties of the residents, a Quality Care Commission Report stated that the home was not seeking timely medical advice. To action this, Peacehaven were actively seeking to implement a safety mechanism for staff, especially during the evenings to support them and were thinking along the lines of an alternative GP on call service.
The home was approached by Southport Commissioning Care Group to see whether they wanted to be 1 of 15 care homes within the region to trial Telemedicine from Immedicare.
The home prides itself on personal care and the management were initially concerned whether the staff would embrace Immedicare or that it would end up being a computer sat in the corner of the room, unused. This certainly wasn’t the case.
Once they agreed to the trial, the Immedicare engineers arrived with the Immedicare laptop and the installation was carried out efficiently and provided the simple training to 3 staff members who were then able to show all the other staff how make a call. One of the staff’s concerns was what would they do if the system didn’t work? They were assured that a test call could be placed through to the hub at any time to put their minds at rest.
“Immedicare is seen as a great asset to the home, with one staff member remarking that ‘it is like having a nurse stood right in front of you!’
The laptop comes with a dedicated cart which can be wheeled around the home or the laptop can be lifted off and used independently. “Some of the residents prefer to visit my office to speak to the nurses at The Hub and use the room like a doctor’s surgery”, commented Lynne Nuttall, Manager.
“Most of the residents are enthusiastic about Immedicare and think the solution is really clever”, she added.
“The Immedicare service has definitely improved Peacehaven by giving the staff the confidence in their own ability. The staff are all more than happy to use Immedicare. We would recommend this solution to other care homes, especially those without medically trained staff”.
“The resident’s families think that their family members are receiving above and beyond the NHS treatment thanks to Immedicare” said Lynne.
Immedicare’s engineer Mark with staff member Sarah Hulm and resident Brenda Gregson