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Digital hub cuts care home referrals to GPs by more than a third

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i6287 (Published 22 November 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6287
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

A telemedicine service run by a Yorkshire NHS trust has reduced care home referrals to GPs by 40% and ambulance calls by almost 30%.

Staff in more than 200 care homes across England are linked to a digital hub at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust in Keighley and can seek advice 24 hours a day about the health of any of their residents. The service is run by a team of senior nurses who have online access to GP patient records and can consult doctors at the trust if they need to.

The aim is to improve care and to make best use of GP and emergency facilities by reducing needless referrals. “We started off with the local population, and then on …

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