AIREDALE Hospital's telehealth hub has achieved a milestone.

A care home in the Midlands has become the 100th to link-up to the service, which provides round-the-clock access – via a secure video connection – to a hospital consultant or specialist nurse.

The system means clinicians at Airedale Hospital can carry out "virtual" consultations, talking face-to-face with the patient and even conducting examinations where necessary using hand-held high definition cameras.

The service is supplied by Immedicare, a partnership between the hospital and technical provider Involve.

An audit last summer to evaluate the impact of the telehealth hub in Airedale found there had been a 35 per cent drop in hospital admissions from care homes.

Rebecca Malin, deputy director of business development and investment at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s so disruptive for care home staff and upsetting for residents if they have to be taken into hospital.

"Our patients, their relatives and the care home staff say they would prefer to receive more specialist care without having to leave their home, so it’s been down to us to change the way we work to meet their needs."