Published on Jun 24, 2020
Care home residents in Humber, Coast and Vale have remained connected to GPs during lockdown - after more than 500 tablet devices were supplied to the region’s care homes through a digital programme launched in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
The UK government introduced strict lockdown measures in March to try to limit the spread of the virus, including encouraging people to stay at home and only go outside for essential visits such as exercise, food shopping or to collect medicine prescriptions.
Many healthcare services were reconfigured to adhere to these new measures, which meant that most face-to-face appointments were replaced with telephone or online consultations.
To ensure that care home residents could continue to receive care from a GP, digital programme leaders from the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership worked to provide data-enabled tablets in every care home in Humber, Coast and Vale – an area which includes the cities of Hull and York and large rural areas across East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.
In total 537 tablet computers were supplied to care homes in Humber, Coast and Vale for online GP consultations, which meant the care and support that GPs would normally provide to residents during care home visits could continue – with residents facing no increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 as the number of people visiting the care homes in person was greatly reduced.
The provision of data enabled tablets in every care home in Humber, Coast and Vale also enabled care home staff to consult with GPs if they had any queries about the health of a resident, and also participate in training webinars.
Bev Compton, Director of Adult Services, said, “We are very excited that the tablets will enable us to provide better medical services to care home residents, without increasing their exposure to the COVID infection. We have been very concerned to ensure that residents can remain connected with their loved ones and these technologies will help to ensure that these issues are overcome."
As well as enabling GPs to consult with care home residents, in future the tablets could be used in a variety of other ways to help care home residents remain connected to family and friends, as well as be used for other healthcare consultations such as medicine reviews.
Melina Coggan, Registered Manager at Sussex House Care Home, said, "Staff have appreciated the face to face communication with professionals so that they can continue to provide the best possible care for our residents during these unprecedented times. And residents can continue to be ‘seen’ by professionals safely."
"In a world where we have all felt isolated within our bubble at the home, the tablet has made us feel safe and able to be proactive in involving multi-disciplinary teams to provide the same continued high standard of care for our residents as we had pre-COVID."