Skype to care home

This week’s Bright Idea comes from NHS Academy of Fabulous Stuff, a portal which, like ours, shares examples of innovation in general practice and primary care.

fabstuffGP practices in Staffordshire have launched an innovative V-Doc programme whereby GPs can link up with care homes via Skype.

Using iPads attached to a trolley and some self monitoring equipment, GPs are operating morning ‘virtual ward rounds’ as part of a preventative programme to explore whether unplanned admissions can be reduced by the offer of regular virtual contact with doctors.

The scheme does not replace the weekly on site visits and will be used to offer general health and wellbeing advice to residents – not diagnosis.

The project is part of a technology enabled care programme developed by the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network and managed by Dr Ruth Chambers, digital clinical lead for the programme.

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Cathy Sloan

Sounds interesting. How long have you been running it? How and when will you decide whether it's useful? Keen to find a good way to improve nursing home care, but worried that some ideas use up a lot of GP time without much useful outcome. Good luck!


What are the governance arrangements around the Skype communication and confidentiality - is there a protocol you can share?

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