More than 100 electronic tablets are being sent to 60 care homes in and around York to help residents contact their GP.
The NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is delivering the handheld devices, which enable rapid access to remote GP support when it is needed by residents.
Video consultations are more useful than phone calls for GPs assessing patients. But they still decrease the risk of Covid-19 transmission by reducing the number of visits to care homes.
By implementing new digital solutions it is hoped that GPs will be able to see more patients more quickly, reduce time spent travelling to and from care homes, and respond effectively to requests for urgent appointments.
Safety is the priority
Linda Donnellan-Beevers, manager at Amarna Care Home in York, said: “Ensuring that our residents are able to access GP appointments safely is an absolute priority for us.
“We look forward to using the new tablets, which will be used following infection control principles, to help residents speak to their GPs about Covid-19 and non Covid-19 related health issues.
“Reducing the number of people who come in and out of the care home is critical to protecting our residents.”
Dr Thomas Patel-Campbell, GP at Haxby Group Practice, said: “These devices will allow GPs to perform secure video consultations with patients living in care homes, enabling us to manage their medical problems without putting them at increased risk.
“Where a face-to-face assessment is needed we will of course continue to provide this.
“This is an example of how we are using technology in the Vale of York to improve patient care, with the added reassurance that patients will be able to see the face of their usual GP.”