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Wicksteed Court Care Home: using your NHSX iPad to improve wellbeing

Wicksteed Court Care Home: using your NHSX iPad to improve wellbeing

NHSX recently gave 11,000 iPads to care homes throughout England, to enable residents to benefit from video health consultations, keep in touch with their loved ones and access remote health and care services. Wicksteed Court Care Home have embraced the technology, using the iPad to help improve the quality of life for their residents.

 

Background

Wicksteed Court Care Home specialises in providing care for the elderly and those with dementia. The iPad was delivered to Wicksteed Court as new strict visitors guidance was given to care homes, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The guidance meant that residents were unable to receive visits from loved ones, so the residents at Wicksteed Court started using the iPad to contact their loved ones. It’s also been used to boost the continuation of care, as residents have been able to video call their health professionals such as GPs and nurses.

 

Changing how staff work

Resident of Wicksteed holds an iPad playing a gameWicksteed Court staff are also utilising the iPad and other tablet devices to allow meetings to take place via video calls. This reduces physical contact between staff during the peak periods of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ritu Mehra, Registered Manager at Wicksteed Court Care Home said:

“NHSX providing care homes with iPads is both a really kind and helpful initiative which everyone appreciates. It has allowed our residents to stay in touch with their loved ones. It has also helped our GPs and nurses to safely continue providing consultations with our residents during these challenging times.

“Wicksteed Court is a strong advocate of using technology to enhance care. For example, we have also been using robotic pet therapy to enhance the care we provide to our residents.”

 

How it works

iPads were given to eligible care homes that applied for an iPad and had a proven need for support. It came with guides to support staff to set up and make the best use of their iPad and access to IT support too. Each iPad has a data SIM too – so it can be used when WiFi isn’t available or in rooms where WiFi might not be normally available. This can be a huge benefit as you can take the device to the patient, rather than taking the patient to the device.

 

Benefits

The use of iPads in care homes can bring benefits to residents, carers and also health professionals. Wicksteed Court’s residents have been using their iPad for video calls to friends and family and calls with health care professionals such as GPs and nurses. Residents have also enjoyed playing interactive games and apps such as noughts and crosses to help keep them entertained and engaged. Other uses include access to NHS mail, the Capacity Tracker and health related apps.

Incorporated into the iPad are links to Digital Social Care, where important guidance materials can be found. Access to technical support and AppleCare is also available.

Ritu Mehra, said:

“Another benefit for our residents has been how accessible and easy to use the iPad is. It has a large, bright high quality screen which makes video calls clear and enjoyable. The benefit of not having to apply pressure to the screen to make selections makes the iPad an easy and friendly tool for elderly residents to use.

“Everyone at Wicksteed Court Care Home would like to thank NHSX for the iPad and we hope other care homes across the country are also enjoying the benefits of using the iPad”.

 Matthew Gould, chief executive of NHSX, said:

“We are delighted to hear that Wicksteed Court residents are already using the devices to keep in touch with loved ones, as well as connecting to health professionals.

“The tablets are relatively simple devices, but in care homes they can make a huge difference to residents and carers. It’s great that staff are using them to fix online consultations with GPs, ordering repeat prescriptions and reducing the number of face-to-face staff meetings. Technology can help join up health and social care.”

 

Advice for other care providers

  • Android tablets can also provide the same services as iPads and are relatively inexpensive to buy.
  • Inform NoKs’ if you have video call capability to advertise the new channels of communication available to them and their loved ones.
  • Explore other benefits such as health care apps and interactive apps for residents.

 

Costs

Care home applications for a free iPad via NHS website are now closed. iPads can be bought directly from Apple from £329.

 

For more information

To find out more about Wicksteed Court Care Home please visit www.micarewcch.co.uk

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