A Bradford nursing home which specialises in looking after elderly residents with dementia is among the first of 50 in the district to get a new video link to medical help.

Residents at Ashville Care Home, in Idle, can now get advice from hospital consultants and specialist nurses without having to leave their surroundings thanks to a Telehealth hub link with Airedale General Hospital, in Steeton.

The home is among the first wave of 50 nursing and residential care homes, funded by City and Bradford District Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), to link up with the pioneering hub.

Seven more care homes in North Bradford have already been linked to the hospital’s telemedicine service, with a further 32 planned to go live by the end of next month.

Staff at Ashville, who care for up to 25 people, have now been trained in how to use the Telehealth hub.

Wendy Selby, manager of Ashville, which first used the system on New Year’s Eve, said: “It’s a brilliant service and can be a life-saver, we are so pleased to have got it during winter which is generally our busiest time.

“It allows us to get medical help for our residents when we need it, normally from their bedside, without having to call a GP out or take them into hospital – which means that we have to get extra cover as a member of our staff needs to go as well.”

Patients who would have previously been sent by ambulance to accident and emergency will now be able to be treated remotely from hospital without leaving their care home.

They can then be monitored by the Telehealth hub, which is staffed by specialist nurses.

Dr Chris Harris, chairman of Bradford’s transformation and integration group, said telemedicine was a “great development” which would help vulnerable patients get medical advice.

“It’s a key step in our local Integrated Care for Adults programme and shows the value of joined-up working between the NHS and our partners to provide support to our residents.

“Integrated care is all about joining up local services to provide the right care at the right place, first time – and this new technology brings care closer to people’s homes.

“The CCGs are confident that the service will bring significant benefits to patients and provide a real alternative to other urgent care and emergency services.”

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust is working with its technical partner Involve to roll out the service to around 200 nursing and residential homes this winter.

They will link up care homes in Calderdale, Lancashire, Bradford, Cumbria and the Midlands to the Telehealth Hub at Airedale Hospital