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Care Homes and increasing digital capability

A multi-agency group has been progressing work around digital technology and widening participation. This is as part of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Health and Care Partnership: Care Home Cell.

On 23rd July 2020, a webinar took place for care home providers. It was called - 'Remote consulation and increasing capablity in care homes webinar'. See the recording, the signpost links and the new project information from this event: 

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Care homes in Cornwall have different levels of information technology (IT). This affects their ability to use technology enabled care and remote monitoring capability.

Covid-19 infection has increased the use of remote patient consultation in Care Homes. Health and care professionals provide advice and guidance to many people. This means they could be in many different places and could spread infection.   Their job needs them to see as well as hear the situation - ideally from the patient themselves. A telephone call cannot do this. 

Which platform for what?  

There are three main platforms of IT to do video consultations in care homes in Cornwall.   These are:

  • easy to use via the internet
  • cyber secure
  • able to feed into the main health and care systems

a) GP Consultations - platform called AccuRX 

All GPs use a platform called ‘accuRX’ to do patient/doctor remote video consultations.   It works with the main GP IT systems (integrates with EMIS and TPP and is along-side Microtest). It is the approved eConsultation platform by NHS Digital.

AccuRX  is an easy to use and set-up type of platform for the end user. For each appointment, it generates a single-use webpage link.  The person or their carer uses this link to accept/start on their smartphone or other device with a camera.

b)  Ward Rounds – platform called Attend AnyWhere

Specialist consultants and Cornwall Foundation Trust Community Services have patients who are residents in care homes. They refer to their consultations as 'ward rounds'.  They utilise a platform called 'Attend AnyWhere'.  Like accuRX, it is easy to use and easy to set-up type of platform for the end user. For each appointment, it generates a single-use webpage link.  The person or their carer uses this link to accept/start on their smartphone or other device with a camera.

c)  Multi-disciplinary, multi-partner meetings – platform called MS Teams

Microsoft Teams is the secure platform for meetings between different professionals.   These are very useful for any multi-agency or multi-disciplinary meetings. Like the other platforms, MS Teams is easy to use and can support many people in the one meeting.

There were over 100 Care Homes across Cornwall who applied through the National NHSX tablet device project in October 2020. iPads have been given to the care homes that met the eligibility criteria and had the greatest need for support. Those successful applicants (132 in Cornwall!) are having the kit delivered between November and the end of December 2020. The programme application has now ended. There is more information on the NHSX iPad project at the NHSX website ipad project page.

As part of our continuous improvement journey, from time to time, there are also test and learn projects.  These trial other types of remote technology in care homes.  

See information on the current test and learn projects and register your interest for new ones coming up.