NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has invested in more than 200 Samsung tablet devices for care homes across North Yorkshire, so residents can access remote appointments with GPs and other clinical staff.
The data-enabled tablets come equipped with the same software that allows doctors to hold virtual consultations with patients – the AccruRx video consultation platform – as practices try to limit face-to-face appointments in line with social distancing guidelines to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Now, the Samsung tablets have been distributed to every qualifying care home by the Nidderdale Plus Community Hub organisation and North Yorkshire County Council.
By equipping care homes with this technology, clinical leaders in North Yorkshire hope it will reduce the risk of exposure to the virus for residents, as well as doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
Dr Charles Parker, Clinical Chair for NHS North Yorkshire CCG, said: “All 51 GP practices in North Yorkshire are now hosting secure video consultations with patients and it has been a huge success.
“While there will always be occasions when there is no substitute for a face-to-face consultation, this technology is proving to be absolutely suitable for a great many GP appointments and patients have been terrific at adapting to these changes.
“We know that a lot of care home residents are clinically vulnerable, so if we can exploit existing technology to reduce the numbers of visits we need to make to see our patients in care homes, it will help to keep them safe and helps us to manage the risks associated with providing essential care during the Covid-19 pandemic and potentially beyond.”
Technical support for the devices is being provided by F4 IT, a not-for-profit IT service provider based in Grimsby, to help care home staff. Useful links have also been pre-installed on the devices “to provide fingertip access”.
Sandra Anderson, Registered Manager and Director at The Millings Care Home in Bedale, commented: “On our first try we had a really good experience using the device, residents were really happy with how it worked and we found it a really efficient way to contact a healthcare professional. Other members of staff I have spoken to have said that it is easy to use and they have had no issues.”
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