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How technology is helping Worcestershire Care Home residents

Published Friday, 24th April 2020

Care homes across Worcestershire are using technology to help their residents during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The County Council is working in partnership with Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to provide each Worcestershire care home with an iPad.

Residents can use iPads to speak via secure video with their GP, instead of needing a visit in person. This means residents can safely receive a medical consultation in the care home. The technology allows staff and medical teams to continue to deliver excellent care, within the Coronavirus restrictions.

Councillor Adrian Hardman, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adult Social Care, said: “It’s important that our care home residents still have access to the medical treatment that they need during this time and it’s great that we’re able to use technology to achieve this.

“During this outbreak, the way that we’re providing care, not only in care homes but across all our adult care services is changing and the speed at which our staff have adapted to this is of real testament to them.”

“We hope that the iPads and the use of NHS secure email addresses, alongside other new technologies can be used in the future to help us deliver other services too.”

The CCG is leading on the project to fund the new iPads and provide the initial support to ensure they are all working.

Maggie Keeble, Care Home GP and Clinical Lead for ICOPE and Care Homes for Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG, said: “As a Care Home GP, I’m seeing Care Home staff doing the most amazing job supporting their vulnerable residents at this very difficult time. Working at an alternative frontline and putting themselves at risk every day. The NHS would not be able to cope without their extraordinary commitment.

“Being able to help them using video consultation technology has been a tremendous step forward. It enables us to continue to provide the best possible medical care and emotional support, whilst physically not entering the home to protect both staff and residents from community acquired infection.”  

Juniper House, a Residential Care Home in Worcester and part of Sanctuary Care Ltd is one of the care homes that is already making use of the new technology.

Sue Williams, Manager of the home, said: “It’s really important to continue the relationship with GP’s to ensure residents receive the best care available. In these challenging times the provision of an iPad and NHS Email addresses has enabled GP visits to continue via video consultations. This has helped to reassure residents, their families and staff.”