Clifton Hospital launches new Telehealth scheme

Ward 2 Manager, Helena Palin and Charge Nurse Michael Young talking to Palliative Nurse Specialists at Trinity Hospice via video link

Clifton Hospital is taking part in a pioneering new patient service.

Telehealth is being piloted on Clifton’s Ward 2 where staff can link up with palliative care nurses based at Trinity Hospice for specialist advice on End of Life care via an iPad link.

Ward staff will be able to let the specialist nurses view patients in real time in order to be able to give specialist advice on the best care for individual patients nearing the end of their life.

Ward 2 Manager, Helena Palin said: “It will be a great asset to the delivery of our care by being able to get specialist advice when we need it instead them having to travel to see us.

“The palliative care nurses will be able to suggest things like positioning patients more comfortably and the specific drugs to enable our patients to be more comfortable when they are nearing the end of life. It will be very easy to show patients to them using the iPad which is so portable.

“The connection is really clear and we will be able to show the patient to the nurses so they can see them rather than us describe symptoms over the phone.”

Telehealth is the latest project of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Digital Health Team.

Digital Health Lead and inventor of Teleswallowing, Veronica Southern, is passionate about the possibilities technology can bring to the health care setting.

She said: “The pilot at Clifton is only one of the ways that technology is increasing productivity and delivering instant advice to staff and patients both in hospitals and care homes.

“As part of the developments by the local vanguard, we have been able to implement schemes that allow access to specialist advice instantly, to help keep patients well and empower staff.

“By allowing conversations through video conferencing, specialised staff don’t need to waste time by travelling to a location to physically see a patient or give advice. They are able to see a patient and ask questions in real time.

“This is the start of something big – a real health revolution.”

The scheme at Clifton is piloting with palliative care, but the idea is hoped to be implemented to other services.

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