CARE: Make use of technology
It is good to see that one of your correspondents, Jane Ashcroft CBE, has an answer to the delayed transfer of care, which remains a major problem for the NHS acute hospitals, (Berwick Advertiser, July 12).
Better arrangements must be found to reduce or eliminate unnecessary time spent after treatment before transfer to convalescence either at home or in care.
The much-vaunted Vanguard programme, launched some three years ago, offered the promise of “joined-up care” by the integration of health and social care.
This gave way to the new Accountable Care Organisation, which would provide a combined budget, but this, too, has not yet become reality.
Northumberland is the least densely populated county in England, but similar problems of rurality exist in other areas, including West Yorkshire where Airedale General Hospital has equipped community nurses and others with Skype facilities. This enables early discharge of patients to a supported convalescence in which the nurse and patient can be in direct contact with a doctor many miles away.
It is essential that full use be made of such technology in order to make best use of scarce medical resources.