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Supporting care homes during the Coronavirus pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic has seen our care homes in lockdown. Residents are unable to see health professionals face-to-face and are also unable to receive visits from family and friends. Digital devices are now the main way people can access important health consultations or stay in touch with loved ones.

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A smiling care home nurse holding equipment loaned by Digital Communities Wales.

What we’re doing

DCW has been working with care homes for many years, but the Covid-19 crisis has created an unprecedented and urgent need for our support. We’re proud to be working alongside NHS colleagues, TEC Cymru and other partners to help care home staff.

  1. Thanks to additional funding from Welsh Government, we are loaning tablet devices to care homes. The tablets come equipped with mobile data, if required, and a range of useful apps.
  2. We’re delivering training to care home staff so that they can help their residents use the tablet devices. In recent months, we have offered training to over 1000 care homes across Wales.

This support is being offered to ensure that care homes have everything they need to use the NHS Wales Video Consulting Service. This service is delivered via a communication platform called ‘Attend Anywhere’, and will be used by general practices, hospital outpatients departments and other healthcare settings, allowing residents to access medical consultations from the home without needing to travel.

As well as enabling care home residents to access  the video consulting service, our work will also mean that care home residents can stay in touch with family, friends and neighbours. We are providing training on how care homes can help their residents keep in touch and sharing useful resources. This will help to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, and ease anxiety for the residents and their loved ones.

Our team have been working with partners to ensure people are aware of our support and between us we have been in touch with over 1000 care homes across Wales. We cannot respond directly to requests from people and organisations at the moment.