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Manorlands hospice telemedicine service will be offered to more patients
10:00am Sunday 18th August 2013 in News
Manorlands is extending its telemedicine service which enables medical staff to provide specialist advice via videolink.
From this month, the hospice will offer extra support to more than 30 care homes across Craven and Airedale.
A senior doctor or specialist nurse from the Oxenhope Sue Ryder centre will be available weekdays for telemedicine consultations with care home staff.
The Manorlands team could provide help dealing with residents’ symptoms or general support.
Outside office hours, care homes will be able to get advice from the 24-hour telehealth hub at Airedale Hospital.
Manorlands began using telemedicine two years ago and it has proved hugely successful.
Around 150 patients receive palliative care in their own homes and advice is also provided to their GPs, district nurses and practice staff.
Pat Mowatt, clinical nurse specialist and telemedicine lead at Manorlands, said: “Telemedicine has helped us so much compared to just telephone contact, as the added dimension of being able to see a patient enables us to judge more confidently what treatments or other care to recommend.
“Patients learn very quickly how to use the equipment. During stressful times it has proved very reassuring for relatives who may need to get professional advice immediately.
“Most people don’t use it very much – but when they do, they say it’s great.
“I was sceptical at first when we started to pilot the service, but I have come to see its real benefits. As time moves on, I do think it will become the norm.”
She said that in some instances, where installations were fixed, patients not well enough to sit up in front of a television could struggle. But she added that technology such as mobile laptops was available to help overcome the problem.
Helen Livingstone, consultant for palliative care with both Manorlands and Airedale Hospital, said: “Telemedicine helps us to care for patients where they want to be, which is usually at home.
“It will also be helpful for care home staff who may need advice and support to help their residents.”
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