|Telecare is a key element of a future cost efficient healthcare system|
NHS doctors & nurses are using Skype to help older people get faster care, reduce avoidable ambulance call-outs and help people stay out of hospital.
The on-call Skype NHS team takes around 8,000 calls a year from wardens working in sheltered accommodation, care home staff & community teams looking for expert support for their residents.
Previously, they would have had to call an ambulance, but in the last two years they have prevented 3,000 avoidable visits to A&E and freed up 2,000 GP appointments by solving problems via Skype, meaning elderly people get the right support in their own home, avoiding the disruption – and in some cases distress – of an emergency hospital trip.The scheme in Tameside, in Greater Manchester, is part of a programme of integrated services being rolled-out across the country as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, with smart use of technology enabling quicker, more personal care delivered as efficiently as possible. Quicker care has made the service more effective and efficient, freeing up £1.3m and hundreds of hours of NHS staff time, to care for patients with urgent needs.