Care homes residents across Wales have been given tablet devices to help them keep in touch with family and friends during the coronavirus pandemic.
The iPads have been loaned out as part of a Welsh Government scheme.
The devices can also be used by residents to speak with their GP.
One care home to receive the tablets as part of the scheme is Millbrook Residential Home in Pontllanfraith.
The home’s local GP, Dr Rizwan Hussain said: “Remote video consultations have quickly become a game changer for managing care home patients during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“They have proved invaluable for assessing patients in conjunction with physiological measurements taken in the home, as well as for assessing skin lesions. Video consultations have helped to initiate treatments promptly and reduce hospital admissions.
“I look forward to having three-way conversations with care home patients and their families, who may well be at a different location, in the future.”
So far across the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, 100 tablets have been delivered to 56 care homes – ten of which are in Caerphilly County Borough.
The Digital Communities Wales: Digital Confidence, Health and Wellbeing Programme, which is delivered by the Wales Cooperative Centre, has also been providing training to key workers on how to use the technology with people in their care.
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Derek Walker, chief executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre, said: “The pace of the digital revolution in health and care has picked up dramatically as a result of this crisis. We know from experience that digital skills can transform lives and providing devices is an important part of improving digital inclusion along with good connectivity.
“Our Digital Communities Wales programme has been able to provide support and training to staff so that they have the confidence, knowledge and skills to use technology themselves and help others do the same. We’re proud to be working alongside NHS Wales colleagues and TEC Cymru to help make this difference.”
Welsh Government’s deputy health and social services minister, Julie Morgan MS, said: “I’m pleased to see that digital devices have been reaching care homes, making things easier for staff and residents.
“We’ve seen the use of digital technology across the NHS and social care accelerate over the past few months as a result of the pandemic.
“Many of the changes will be with us for the future allowing people to stay connected and improve access to services.”
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