Hospiscare has launched a series of new digital services to increase access to its specialist end-of-life care during the coronavirus pandemic.
The hospice charity for Exeter, Mid and East Devon launched a new website this week; the culmination of a year of technical improvements. The site’s revised design makes it radically easier for users to navigate and it provides vital resources and advice for healthcare professionals, patients and their families, and anyone in need of support and advice during the pandemic.
The charity has also launched a free digital service for care home staff that offers virtual clinic appointments and multi-disciplinary team meetings with Hospiscare’s specialist palliative medicine and end-of-life care teams. The service also provides a seven-day-a-week telephone advice line to support care home staff in the area, staffed by a specialist nursing team offering expert advice on end-of-life care for people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
Hospiscare’s use of digital communication has meant that almost 1,000 local people have been supported over the last three months during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tina Naldrett, Director of Clinical Services at Hospiscare, said:
“We really want to encourage people to use our digital platforms as a way of reaching us, as well as coming to our clinics and ward or having visits at home. Using these platforms allows us to support our community safely in many different ways. It is instant, confidential and effective; we look forward to growing the number of people we support in this way.”
Recent technical upgrades have also enabled the hospice charity to securely share medical records with patients’ healthcare teams in real time and to use secure video calling software. This allows the hospice’s specialist doctors and nurses to communicate face-to-face with patients and carers without risk of spreading the virus.
And while the charity has had to restrict the number of visitors to its ward in line with government guidance, due to the generous donation of an iPad, they have been able to use video calling software to ensure in-patients can stay in touch with their loved ones.