Airedale General Hospital’s telehealth hub is helping its 1,000th patient – a 101-year-old former Royal Marine.
Albert Joyner, a resident at Herncliffe nursing home in Keighley, can now use the link to get help when he needs it from hospital consultants or specialist nurses.
“I haven’t used the telemedicine kit yet as I haven’t had much wrong with me apart from a chesty cough – I like to keep myself fit,” said Mr Joyner, who used to live at Stockbridge.
Herncliffe deputy matron Beverley Clarkson said staff had used the service to get advice for patients who had suffered falls, had infections or needed palliative care.
She said: “I think the service is a brilliant idea – we tend to use it for medical advice.
“Lots of our clients get very distressed at the thought of going into hospital so anything that helps us care for them here is good.”
The telehealth hub, launched in September 2011, uses the latest video conferencing technology to connect patients and nursing home staff to specialist medical care at the touch of a button. Patients who would previously have been sent by ambulance to the hospital’s Accident and Emergency department, and often admitted to hospital, can now be seen and treated remotely without leaving the nursing home.
Twenty-nine nursing and residential homes are now linked to the service. More are due to be added.
Up to the end of last year, nearly 200 hospital admissions had been prevented thanks to the hub.
Rebecca Malin, head of business development and investment at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The technology helps to provide more care for residents at home or in their care home, rather than simply calling the GP or an ambulance.
“Often, a quick change to someone’s medication or even something as simple as giving someone more to drink to improve their fluid levels and increase hydration can avoid the need for an ambulance and hospital stay.”