The Digital Health Centre (DHC) at Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust was launched in March 2016 and since then its medical assessment service has grown from supporting three residential care homes and one nursing home to now linking in with 45 out of 46 of care and nursing homes in Tameside and Glossop - the remaining home is waiting to upgrade their Wi-Fi so they can access the service – and the Tameside Council Community Response Service (CRS).
The centre has trained up residential and care home staff and CRS wardens to undertake basic observations on patients whilst using Skype such as; taking blood pressure readings and monitoring of heart rates.
They receive 3,400 calls (25-30 calls a day), each call lasting between 15-40 minutes to ensure the best possible outcome for the unwell patients and have prevented 1,040 attendances to A&E to date making significant efficiency saving.
The service has grown and now has a team of nine digital assessors who are senior nurses with experience in A&E, community, diabetes, long term health conditions.
There are plans for future development of the service to support some of the 111 and 999 activity.
This month they are supporting the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) activity using their computer systems and will also be given a response vehicle to respond to patients in Tameside and Glossop.
The DHC is also working to support GPs around frailty to standardise processes and prevent hospital admissions.
The new service model is an excellent example of how our integrated health care is really making strides in improving the quality of care for our residents.
The centre is now also working to support GPs around frailty to standardise processes and prevent hospital admissions.
Peter Grace, Digital Health Clinical and Project Nurse lead and Emergency Nurse Practitioner for Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The success of the service is down to our fantastic team of experienced nursing staff, the care home staff and the digital technology we use which enables us to assess a patient in their care home setting preventing the need for unnecessary referral to A&E.
“We are now upgrading the technology which means we can invite other health professions to take part in patient assessment calls making services more joined up.
“A lot of progress and achievement from one innovative idea of change and an excellent example of how our integrated health care is really making strides in improving the quality of care for our residents.”