Local NHS supports Island Care and Nursing Homes to protect vulnerable residents
27 March 2020

All nursing and care homes on the Island are being given equipment and training to monitor key observations remotely and reduce the need for people to go into to deliver care homes.

The Technology Enabled Care (TEC) team at St. Mary’s Hospital have pulled out all the stops and accelerated the rollout of telehealth monitoring to try and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID 19 to our most vulnerable island residents.

The monitoring kits, which combine tablet computers with a suite of devices that monitor blood pressure, temperature, pulse, respiration and blood oxygen levels, are an important step to enable more care to happen remotely, automatically alerting healthcare professionals to people who need their support and reducing the movement of residents and health professionals in and out of the homes.

Isle of Wight NHS Trust Telehealth Lead and former paramedic, Brian Martin said: “We have been introducing remote telehealth monitoring and working alongside a number of our local NHS services for some time now and the approach we have taken with technology has given us the opportunity to support care home staff and residents now at such a crucial time.

“Not only does the technology assist the current challenges we face with Coronavirus and the need for less face to face contact and movement of people in the community but it has also shown that through better monitoring we can be more informed about the improvement or deterioration of a person’s health and work with them to make more accurate and timely decisions about their healthcare needs.”

Teleswallowing has been successfully trialled by Speech and Language Therapists on the Island. Therapists are able to talk to people by using an electronic tablet which has not only reduced waiting times but also the need for people to travel and has made better use of therapist time.

Over the next two weeks the TEC team will be testing the equipment and providing training care home managers and other staff using the Attend Anywhere video conferencing technology which is also being rolled out across the Island.

Tile House in Shanklin was one of the first homes to pilot the new technology. Laura Simpson, said: “It has been fantastic. It has empowered our staff and supported with early diagnoses, medication reviews and in some cases it has managed to stop hospital admissions. We simply wouldn’t be without it now.”

The combination of the new devices and Attend Anywhere software will enable GPs, hospital doctors and other health professionals to have virtual consultations with patients, avoiding the need for face-to-face appointments.

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