Trinity Hospice Adopts The Teleswallowing® System

Demonstrating the Teleswallowing system in action

Speech and Language Therapist Veronica Southern has won a number of awards and honours for the work she has done promoting the innovative use of technology to enable clinicians to remotely and rapidly assess a patient’s needs without the need for a face-to-face assessment, when it is appropriate to do so.

This may have significant time and cost benefits for clinicians and may be much more convenient and less-stressful for patients, particularly those who are frail and vulnerable.

Nicola Parkes, Clinical Nurse Manager at Trinity Hospice, contacted Veronica to find out more about the Teleswallowing® system.

Veronica was able to demonstrate how easy it was to set up using everyday devices such as smart phones, tablets, laptops or desk top computers and some technology infrastructure changes.

Trinity Hospice have since implemented the Teleswallowing® system with impressive results …

I was inspired by Veronica’s project and felt that patients with life limiting illnesses needed better access to health care professionals in a timely and more efficient way. The landscape of palliative care is changing and I felt we needed to empower patients to live their life rather than spend time waiting for health care appointments and visits. With community consultants being a finite resource, we felt that testing the process with Veronica was an ideal starting point. The patient is supported by a nurse, but by using remote technology, our consultant can use their time to connect with more patients. Remote technology is not to replace face-to-face contact, but it is an option to give different choices to patients needing to access health care.

Nicola Parkes, Clinical Nurse Manager at Trinity Hospice

Before we had this system I would discuss the patients with the nurse specialist at the end of the day. But with the telesolutions system I can ask the patient questions in real time rather than give advice after the specialist nurses have left the patient. On some days I might have patients as far afield as St Annes and Fleetwood to see in a day and this takes a tremendous amount of driving time. Now I can set a clinic slot aside and can see two patients an hour. Sometimes the iPad consultation can highlight the need for a face-to-face assessment because you can see the patient rather than just talking on a telephone, you can ascertain whether a home visit is necessary. I can see more and more uses for this type of communication tool in healthcare.

Dr Laura Edwards, Community Consultant in Palliative Medicine

If you would like to find out more about the Teleswallowing® system and how it may benefit you’re practice, please feel free to contact Veronica.