THE new £500,000 10-bed High Dependency Unit at Daisy Hill Hospital is connected to the Intensive Care Unit at Craigavon Area Hospital through a ‘Telepresence’ robot.
The robot allows real-time patient observation, examination and interaction between staff in different locations. It has the ability to transmit heart and breath sounds and can sometimes prevent the need to transfer patients to Intensive Care.
The Trust is the first in the UK to use the Telepresence robot which enables Intensive Care specialists from Craigavon to remotely assess patients.
Health Minister Edwin Poots, who officially opened the unit this week, said: “I am extremely impressed by the operation of the Daisy Hill Hospital High Dependency Unit. The investment by the Southern Trust in this new unit and related improvements in the hospital Emergency Department and Outpatients Department together represent real improvements for patients.
“This use of new technology, in the form of the Telepresence robot, is at the cutting edge of innovation in our health service and makes the best use of health resources to the benefit of patients. Effective hospital networks and the use of innovative technologies are fundamental to the future of health care as recommended in Transforming Your Care.”
The development is part of an ongoing modernisation programme for Daisy Hill Hospital and acute services within the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.
Trust Chief Executive Mairead McAlinden said: “Over recent years, the Trust has been focusing on improving how Daisy Hill and Craigavon Area hospitals work together as one acute hospital network, with each offering its own areas of expertise and providing support to the other, and together providing the safest, best quality of care. We believe that the new High Dependency Unit at Daisy Hill with its links to Intensive Care at Craigavon through the Telepresence Robot is a great example of how the Southern Trust is using our hospital network and innovative technology to the benefit of patients.”
Dr Gillian Rankin, Director of Acute Services for the Trust added: “This new unit brings together specialist medical and nursing staff to ensure that the most seriously ill patients, whether they have coronary, medical or surgical problems, receive the best possible care in a dedicated area. The ‘Telepresence’ robot further enhances this service by ensuring that all patients, regardless of which hospital they are in, receive the same expertise at any time, day or night.”