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CASE STUDY

St Catherine’s Bungalows improves care and support for residents with Learning Disabilities using Docobo’s remote monitoring platform

St Catherine’s Bungalows has worked with Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to roll out Docobo’s remote monitoring across the site, bringing benefits to both care home staff and to residents alike and making caring for residents safer, easier and more effective, as well as cutting down on GP surgery time.

Background to remote monitoring project

The remote monitoring-enabled delivery of care programme is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary project delivered by partners across health and social care, including: NHS Coventry and Warwickshire CCG, NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust, NHS George Eliot Hospital, NHS Integrated Care Community, NHS South Warwickshire Foundation Trust, Warwickshire County Council, North Warwickshire Primary Care Networks and Arden and Gem CSU. St Catherine’s is a specialist Learning Disability provider, caring for around 16 people with very complex care needs, with care provided by a well-trained, highly experienced and dedicated staff team. St Catherine’s is part of the charity: Father Hudson’s Care, which, through a range of services, offers help and support to those who are disadvantaged, marginalised or experiencing need.

St Catherine’s is part of the remote monitoring programme run by Coventry and Warwickshire CCG, and the teams worked together to roll out the Docobo’s DOC@HOME platform across the site. This platform enables staff to take residents’ readings – such as blood pressure and blood oxygen, – and record symptoms and feedback via the system to the GP surgery. This helps staff to better support and care for residents with learning disabilities, as well as reducing avoidable hospital visits and any administrative burden.

Helen Anson is the Registered Manager St Catherine’s Bungalows and has been leading the project from the site. She explains: ‘We have an ongoing arrangement with the Hazelwood Group Practice in Coleshill to support our residents’ medical needs. We used to have two daily GP appointments booked with the surgery – but since we have started Docobo remote monitoring, we have been able to cancel these appointments and our weekly GP support. This is because we are carrying out all our daily monitoring for our residents and this is all sent on the system to the Out of Hours Integrated Care Coordination (ICC) clinicians. If there are any problems flagged up, they are automatically picked up and the clinician will get in touch to ensure the right support is provided to residents quickly.’

How did the project work?

The team at St Catherine’s Bungalows worked with the Docobo team to roll out the project.
The care home was supplied with  devices to take resident readings and to send the residents’ clinical reviews to the ICC. The Docobo tablet helps staff to record a resident’s observations and symptoms either on a regular basis or when they fall ill and send any changes automatically and securely. Staff can also use the DOC@HOME® tablet to answer a series of simple questions about residents’ current status during normal checks to ensure any changes are noted and can be acted upon quickly.

The staff at St Catherine’s were supported throughout the project rollout, including training to use the tablet and software and training staff to take blood pressure and blood oxygen readings and record symptoms. The staff worked with the project team to create Question Sets to use for regular check ups.

Adrian Flowerday, Managing Director at Docobo says: ‘Helen and team  did amazing work to make the LD project a success. They dedicated time to work with the project team, trialled the concept and supported the evaluation of the trial.’

Benefits from the remote monitoring project

Helen says: ‘The remote monitoring is really easy to use and really helps our residents. It means that we get a more informed response from multi-disciplinary health care professionals and our staff are trained and upskilled to take blood pressure and blood oxygen readings and observe symptoms, while residents stay in their preferred place of care. It has been particularly helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic, when face to face care was dramatically impacted.

Prior to using Docobo, if we needed to speak to the surgery staff, we could be in a queue of over 50 other callers – which could take up to 25 valuable minutes to get through – only to be told they needed to call back tomorrow – when we could go through the same scenario. Using Docobo, has helped save time for staff, so they can continue to focus on supporting the residents, rather than being on the phone for long periods of time.

We have had several outcomes where Docobo has provided support quickly to residents, including obtaining much needed antibiotics on a Sunday afternoon. The clinician arranged for the prescription to be emailed to a chemist near to where we are.

Additional GP surgery benefits

Mandy Roche, Practice Manager at Hazelwood Group Practice says: ‘We’ve had some really great reductions in the care home needing to make GP contacts since rolling out the system, further enhancing the evidence that the system is really working well.’

Reduction in home visits from the practice

Patient One has had 8 GP contacts with the practice and one home visit in the last 3 months – compared to 33 doctor contacts and 6 visits in the prior 9 months. That’s a 30% reduction in doctors’ appointments and 50% reduction in home visits from the practice since rolling out the solution.

Reduction in practice doctors’ appointments

Patient Two has had one doctor contact in the last three months compared to 29 doctor contacts and in the prior 9 months. That’s a 90% reduction in practice doctors’ appointments since rolling out the solution.

Patient Three had 4 doctor contacts and 0 homes visits in the last three months compared to 33 doctor contacts and 6 homes visits in the prior 9 months. That’s a 60% reduction in doctors’ appointments and 100% reduction in home visits since rolling out the solution.

That makes an average of 60% reduction in doctor appointments and 56% reduction in visits since rolling out the system.

Helen concludes : ‘It’s really important to us here at St Catherine’s that we enable our residents to live a rich, full and meaningful life and help them to achieve their ambitions and live life on their terms. Part of our work here is to help our people with medical needs and appointments. This is where remote monitoring comes in, as it helps us deliver the best health and care outcomes for this vulnerable group. I really feel that this is helping us reducing health inequalities for people with learning disabilities and that it supports residents with all their personal, medical and social needs.

Dr Mehwish Qureshi, GP and Clinical lead for remote monitoring says ‘St Catherine’s Bungalows was the first Learning Disability care home to go live with the solution and they’ve done an amazing job, and it’s showing real benefits for their residents. We are pleased to support the delivery of a quality service for residents that is safe, effective and enables the optimum experience; while providing timely assessments and clinical support for residents.’

‘It’s really important to us here at St Catherine’s that we enable our residents to live a rich, full and meaningful life and help them to achieve their ambitions and live life on their terms. Part of our work here is to help our people with medical needs and appointments. This is where remote monitoring comes in, as it helps us deliver the best health and care outcomes for this vulnerable group. I really feel that this is helping us reducing health inequalities for people with learning disabilities and that it supports residents with all their personal, medical and social needs.'

Helen AnsomManager, St Catherines Bungalows