Published: 00:01, 21 January 2013 |
Updated: 09:43, 10 January 2014
Hospice patients don’t need a large house to have a ward’s nursing staff on hand at home, thanks to innovative new technology.
The Heart of Kent Hospice in Aylesford is the first in the UK to develop the ‘virtual ward,’ a video link allowing patients and carers to use a touchscreen to have a consultation with staff from their homes.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt visited on Thursdayto see first hand how the technology means patients and their families get specialist support around the clock, without needing to be admitted to the ward.
Launched with a £15,800 grant from The Rank Foundation charity, nursing staff connect directly to a patient’s home for a confidential discussion via a secure internet video link.
Patient Susan Young, from Snodland, used the system from the comfort of her home before she had to be admitted to the hospice. She said: “This isn’t a replacement for face-to-face care, it’s an addition.
“If I’m home alone I can press the button for the virtual ward and speak to a nurse. It’s very reassuring to speak to a doctor or nurse face-to-face, rather than on the telephone.
“They have access to all my medical notes, which means I don’t have to go through my condition again. I think it’s a brilliant idea.”
Medical director Bruce Pollington, who devised the system, said: “I believe the virtual ward has enormous potential to support patients and families through end of life and long-term care conditions.”
At a later stage the hospice hopes to use the technology to offer a monitoring service, particularly at night to give carers a break.
Mr Hunt added: “Many people with a long term condition will want to stay at home for as long as possible.
“The technology I saw in action is making that a reality for many patients. It is by embracing this kind of technology that we can make a real difference to people when they need it most.”
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.