What is the telemedicine in care homes project?
The telemedicine service for care homes offers an effective means to care for people in the right place and at the right time, providing access to specialist service and teams and signposting where appropriate. Evidence shows that attending, or being admitted to, a hospital setting can cause emotional distress, confusion and agitation to older individuals, which can lead to serious incidents like falls, infections and deconditioning.
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) already had plans to implement a 24/7 telemedicine service starting in summer 2020 to approx. 78 care and nursing homes in Mid and North Hampshire over a two-year period. The evidence coming from the pilot would then be used to develop a business case to roll out to all homes in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Covid-19 has sped up the launch of this service and Wessex AHSN was asked to help prepare training materials and train care home staff in this initial cohort of 78 homes as required. The service is now live to 105 care homes, with 166 homes anticipated to be accessing the service by the end of 2020.
The aim of the HHFT telemedicine service is to triage deteriorating patients using tools such as ReSPECT and RESTORE2TM (https://westhampshireccg.nhs.uk/restore2/) to reduce the number of ambulance conveyances, emergency attendances and subsequent admissions. In collaboration with HHFT and West Hampshire CCG, a training pack and associated communication materials were developed and delivered. These resources can be downloaded from our web page here (to the right), or here.
On 12 August 2020, Wessex AHSN published the telemedicine for care homes, a strategic scoping guide and strategic implementation guide across local and national networks. These guides have been developed in collaboration with Hampshire Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust and West Hampshire CCG and key stakeholders across the Wessex system.
What is innovative about the strategic guides?
They have been designed as a system-wide strategic resource for Sustainability Transformation Partnerships (STP), Integrated Care Systems (ICS), Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and acute NHS trusts to use when planning and implementing telemedicine services for care homes (with or without nursing). If you like, a blueprint for service launch, to show how this works in practice.
- Free to access, download and share.
- They are easy to access and use and have been built on real life experiences.
- Developed into bite sized chunks, the guides help support the delivery of the required project workstreams to operationalise a telemedicine for care home service.
- They provide validated links to a range of resources to build an exemplar service and to maximise your impact on the care home system.
- They identify best practice approaches in the form of case studies, providing real world validation.
- The framework can be adapted for other service settings.
- Approach compliments other implementation frameworks.
We would encourage your feedback on these materials via the email@example.com email address, and visit our website for further details of this project and other Healthy Ageing projects.
Spreading best practice
On 16 July 2020, the Wessex AHSN Healthy Ageing Programme and the Health Innovation Network, co-hosted an interactive and inspiring information telemedicine for care home event for over 150 attendees from across the UK, allowing participants to understand the key ingredients for a successful service, the financial and system wider impact of their service development, the challenges and solutions for implementing telemedicine for care homes.
Chaired by Dr Emily Gibbs, GP (Southwark Borough Clinical Lead). Rachel Binks, Nurse Consultant and Clinical Lead for Digital and Acute Care Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and Dr Sara Humphrey from Bradford District and Craven CCG demonstrated how virtual assessment has resulted in a 80% reduction in ED attendances; Daniele Serdoz from NHS South West London, described Croydons’ approach, showcasing the importance of strong leadership within care home settings and collaboration with the health and social care systems are key ingredients of success. Naomi Ratcliffe, Senior Programme Manager, Urgent and Emergency Transformation, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Rebecca Wheeler Senior Commissioning Manager, North and Mid Hampshire Integrated Care Partnership, West Hampshire demonstrated the art of the possible, implementation at pace to over 100 care homes within a few weeks!
Cheryl Davies, Programme Manager, Healthy Ageing from the Wessex AHSN gave an overview of a suite of resources developed to support strategic leaders in scoping and implementing a telemedicine service, which were launched in August 2020. A recording of the event, is available here and on the Future NHS Platform. Copies of the presentations and recording can also be downloaded from the resource section on the right.