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Southern Trust using video technology to connect with patients and carers

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust says it is now using video technology to enhance patient and client interaction across a number of services

The Trust now offers a number of virtual clinics where staff are contacting patients and clients via web based video link in addition to their routine face to face appointments.

Consultant Nephrologist Dr John Harty has found video linking of great benefit to his area wide renal service.

He says: “Many patients with kidney disease become experts in their own condition and know the signs and symptoms to look out for, so along with the Renal View IT system they use to monitor their own results, video conferencing is available if they would like added reassurance between their scheduled clinic appointments. Being able to see the patient is always much more beneficial than a phonecall and helps you to make a better judgement on whether they should come to hospital for assessment or treatment.”

Social services staff have also been using the technology to support specialist foster carers as Consultant Psychologist Dr Tom Teggart describes: “Using webcams we have been able to link with some of our foster carer’s in their homes to help them resolve issues that their young people are having. As we work across quite a dispersed geographical area, video conferencing can save travel time allowing staff to intervene much sooner for those carers who are happy to use it.”

Siobhan Hanna, Assistant Director of Informatics explains: “We are always exploring ways to use technology to improve our patients’ and clients’ experience and help staff to deliver the best possible care. We are delighted that staff, patients, clients and carer’s are willing to try these new solutions and are always keen to hear their feedback so that we can continually progress.”

Picture: Dr Tom Teggart, Consultant Psychologist, using video conferencing with a carer, supported by Neill Radford, IT Communications and Security Officer for the Trust.

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