One of the many ways that our amazing teams are adapting to Covid-19 is increased use of the Attend Anywhere platform, which allows for secure virtual consultations over video.
Kaleidoscope's team of over 40 Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) are, by now, well used to remote interventions over video, normally in schools and supported by teaching assistants. However, as SLT Angela Whiteley explains, Covid-19 has led to finding new uses for Attend Anywhere that bring a whole new set of benefits to their practice.
Angela says: “The first time we used Attend Anywhere with a parent and child together was for a language assessment of an eight-year-old patient. This is a session of about one hour that examines a young patient’s understanding, expressive language, processing and memory.
“We were expecting some hitches, but I have to say it worked really, really well! It may take a little longer, but the patient was engaged the whole time, the materials we use were all easily viewable, and all the tech worked perfectly.”
The success of this session emboldened the team to use Attend Anywhere to run a virtual drop-in for a family who couldn’t make the regular in-person drop-in at a time when Covid-19 was ramping up. Angela takes up the story:
“We had already had an intervention with the child, so this was a follow up with mum, dad and toddler once certain treatment milestones had been met.
“The little one was very busy and made a lot of sound! It was so helpful to see the family in their natural environment.”
For example, one exercise involved encouraging the child to make a choice between two items: “Rather than two random items they’ve never seen before,” says Angela, “dad was able to go to the fridge and produce two of the child’s favourite snacks.
“Observing that choice without the variables of a clinic visit was so helpful in getting a clear picture of a patient's communication skills and giving their family the best strategies and advice.
“A lot of youngsters get a bit nervous or overexcited at Kaleidoscope, so this format is a great way to help them feel comfortable and relaxed – they’re at home with mum and dad, looking at the same screen they see every day!”
Angela and her colleagues’ experiences with Attend Anywhere have been such a success that plans to expand its usage are being accelerated:
“Our drop-in sessions for families are normally oversubscribed (they start at 1pm, but we sometimes see families arriving at 11am just to put their name down) and the travel there can be a real hardship for some. With Attend Anywhere, those problems are gone, and we can focus on what’s important – the care we provide. We look forward to rolling out virtual drop-ins all across our community!”