Kyffin Taylor House is an EMI residential home, set in Maghull, that offers permanent care for 29 residents with dementia. We recently spoke to Alena Petrie, manager at the home regarding their adoption of Immedicare technology to improve their offer of care, and general ability to provide medical care.

“With Immedicare, we can get advice straight away. For most problems we can now treat and monitor the patient here at the home with the advice of a qualified nurse through the Immedicare system. Obviously with anything more serious, we immediately request an ambulance.

“We were first alerted to Immedicare through a local initiative in South Sefton called CHIP (Care Home Innovation Programme), designed to improve care practices in the area. Since we first embraced the technology, we’ve reduced hospital admissions by 44%. It’s not that people aren’t getting the treatment they need, it’s that now we can give basic healthcare treatments in the home, with the expert advice of one of the Digital Care Hub nurses. This removes the need for us to ship every resident off to hospital for any minor problem, just as a precaution.”

Some people might be concerned at the loss of a relationship or the trust you have with a doctor in person, Alena wants to reassure anyone looking at taking on Immedicare that this isn’t the case “I also wouldn’t say you lose the personal aspect of a traditional hospital visit. We’re still able to build relationships with the nurses on the other side of the screen, they still recognise the patients and have a friendly chat just to put everyone at ease as it can be strange for some elderly residents to use this digital technology at first.

“All of our staff are trained to use the technology, it’s really simple. They’ve all used other video applications for social use, this is just as simple to use as anything else. We’ve actually had several families join in on the video calls when they’ve been visiting so they can see first-hand how affective and easy to use Immedicare can be.”

We asked Alena if there were any examples she could give us to illustrate her point; “There was one instance where one of our residents had fallen and knocked her head, which would normally be an instant trip to A&E as we wouldn’t want to take any risks with a resident’s health. However, with Immedicare, we just called through to the Digital Care Hub in Airedale who helped us to monitor the resident’s situation from the home. After taking several simple reading and checks over a few hours, we were given the ok and the patient was fine to continue her day. Without Immedicare we could have wasted hours of time and caused the patient a huge deal of stress from being in an unfamiliar A&E department. It also stopped us being understaffed at the home whilst a carer travelled to hospital with her.”

“It really does save time: a lot of our residents have some form of dementia, meaning a trip to a busy hospital can be a really stressful feat for some residents, they can become very agitated, they can walk off and leave, sometimes become verbally abusive as they don’t always understand what’s going on.”

How has the experience been overall, would you recommend the technology to other carers? “Overall it’s improved our care homes’ practices and services immensely. Hospital admissions from the home are down 44%, we save hours of time on every call we make. What could be a several-hour, half-day trip to hospital can now be resolved using Immedicare in a matter of minutes. The staff are more confident of providing care with the support of the Immedicare nurses and, most importantly, our residents’ health is better protected.”