In early March, when it became apparent the imminent global pandemic would have a dramatic effect on residents’ access to outside clinicians such as GPs, Romford Care Home in Essex were pleased to participate in a pilot virtual clinical technology programme led by BHR Clinical Commissioning Group and supported by Havering Health GP Federation.

The home has implemented a combination of two different digital technologies, Freebis AI-powered platform and Virtual GP Visits, to innovatively and significantly enhance the medical care residents are able to receive during COVID-19 and beyond.

The dementia and nursing home near Harold Hill has always had a positive collaborative relationship with its local GP Practice and was keen to develop this further. Tablets and iPads were used to facilitate two elements of resident well-being: physical well-being through virtual GP visits via FaceTime, and the emotional and mental well-being through regular video calls with their loved ones as well as a number of reminiscence and/or games apps.

Furthermore, Romford Care Home were delighted when they received confirmation that they would be included in the pilot for the AI app and platform Feebris after having been put forward by their local CCG (BHR). Regular observations recorded on Feebris allow for vulnerable individuals to receive early access to care by assisting care staff to identify health risks and deterioration within elderly communities by capturing and monitoring vital signs from connected medical-grade sensors. The innovative technology is linked to the local GP via a clinician portal, meaning all members of the care and multi-disciplinary team, whether physically with the resident or not, are able to conduct combined and streamlined virtual ward rounds.

Since undertaking the training, Romford Care Home’s Registered Manager Arnold Pariag and his team have spent the last two months implementing and using Feebris, “The technology is exciting, a good way of tracking baseline observations and helping our GP monitor the effect of prescriptions on our residents. The response from staff and residents has been really positive. It’s an innovative way of working with CCGs and NHS. I think it’s great, especially as we’ve already started to see the positive benefits to our residents!”

Angela Gibson, Interim Director of Care and Quality for RCH Care Homes explained how the combination of using both of these technologies has impacted the care the residents at Romford Care Home receive, “The quality of life is enhanced from a medical point of view from the implementation of both of these technologies. It enables us to provide an even more person centred and holistic approach to the care our residents receive”.