A new virtual consultation system, piloted for use by the Bury and Rochdale Care Organisation, dubbed ‘Robbie the robot’, is helping residents in a Rochdale care home avoid hospital admissions.

Located at Ashbourne Care Centre in Rochdale, the system allows the Care Home Extra Support Service (CHES) (a service run by the Bury and Rochdale Care Organisation, which is one of four Care Organisations that form the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group), to use a two way encrypted video link, to provide a triage system, with a nurse, assessing a resident’s medical needs and providing advice, assessment and onward referrals as necessary.

The device uses a high definition, mobile camera, speakers and microphone, and allows some medical monitoring devices to be ‘plugged’ in to the device, e.g. a stethoscope, allowing nurses to perform part of a remote medical examination.

Currently the Care Home Extra Support Service helps to avoid admission for over 80% of care home resisdents they see. By using this device, it is expected to make the service even more efficient in avoiding unecessary admissions by reducing response time and optimising clinician input.

Previously, when a resident was ill, the home had no option but to either call 999 or take a resident to A&E. By using this device and the CHES Service, it can help avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

Colin Carr, Nurse Community Practitioner, Care Home Extra Support said:

“This device is a great help in allowing us clinicians to see the patient and carry out a more thorough assessment, before making an initial clinical decision. It allows us to talk directly to the patient, and even remotely use a stethoscope to assist in examination.  It is easy to use, and the residents and staff have accepted its use well. Along with the Care Home Extra Support team, it has been instrumental in preventing unnecessary hospital attendance, ambulance use and keeping residents safe and well in their home.”


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