Care homes use online nutrition service in Northern Ireland
A health and social care trust in Northern Ireland has commissioned a digital nutrition monitoring and advice service now being used by 14 care homes in the province.
The service, Health Call, has been commissioned by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland is said to allow a closer collaboration across the NHS and care homes through a secure web-based portal. Undernourished residents are closely monitored every one to two weeks by care home staff, who input the patient’s weight, appetite, and compliance to oral nutritional supplements (ONS) onto an online portal.
If any of the patient’s data falls outside of their pre-set personal parameters, a member of the dietetic team is alerted and will contact the care home to provide dietary advice. Previously the dietitian visited every patient every six weeks.
“The automated system offers great support to the dietitians and empowers the care home staff to take a more proactive approach to monitoring their increasing number of vulnerable residents,” said Mandy Gilmore, head of dietetics at Southern Health and Social Care Trust.
“Residents and their families feel more supported too because the frequency of monitoring has been increased along with more timely reviews. To stop the service would be a backward step. We couldn’t go back to what we did before.”