St Mary’s Hospital To Trial Innovative Video Technology

St Mary’s Hospital

Travelling to the mainland for a hospital consultation could soon be a thing of the past if a trial of innovative technology is successful.

It will allow two consultants based at Treliske, one an ear, nose and throat specialist, and the other in gastrointestinal medicine, to talk directly to patients at St Mary’s hospital using video conferencing equipment.

The trial follows a recent LINk4Scilly report into ways to reduce the cost and inconvenience of travelling to mainland hospitals. LINk’s Sue Williams says travel to the mainland for health appointments is tiring and disruptive and she hopes that the community takes up this new technology with enthusiasm.

Funding is coming from the Council who are working with Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group and LINk on the project.

Chairman of Community Services, Cllr Richard McCarthy, said with the imminent closure of the helicopter service, they need to think creatively about how to ensure continued access to health care.

Richard said, “New technology has to be a sensible way forward for providing health services on the islands. It won’t be there for everyone but it will give more options and greater flexibility so that people don’t have to give up a day’s work or school to attend appointments.”

The equipment was installed at St Mary’s hospital some time ago and hospital manager Anita Bedford says they’ve been pushing for clinics on the mainland to take advantage of it.

She says she’s delighted that this is now going to happen.

Dr John Garman from St Mary’s Health Centre brokered the arrangement with the two consultants. He says the savings made on just a few flights will more than pay for the cost of this pilot project.

If it proves successful, it’ll be rolled out to other clinical specialisms and further investment made in equipment.


One Response to St Mary’s Hospital To Trial Innovative Video Technology

  1. JayPaul September 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I don’t know if any key members of staff of St. Marys Hospital read these articles but I thought based on above there was something additional to be added on note. There is a hospital in Northern Ireland called Daisy Hill which is based in Newry. They recently obtained a robot of sorts which is more or less a remote controlled platform with monitor, camera and sensors that does ward rounds. It’s controlled by a consultant at the Royal Cornwall in Belfast and they can access the BP, and relevant other reading necessary. It may be worth a consideration on an extention of the above if funding were sought and a joint scheme expanded with Royal Cornwall Hospitals on the above initiative. It may have untold benefits for anyone who is an inpatient at the hospital or an outpatient with a few to extending the service into other specialties?
    Teleconferencing works and having worked for the NHS upcountry it’s proved successful at connecting key hospitals in one go with specialists in different parts of the country. They can view slides, ct’s etc digitally on the screen.

    I’m all for this, it does remove that personal contact to a point but it does work, and may reduce unnecessarily health risks in having to commute several times to and from the main land.