URGENT care nurse Jemma Black has received a top accolade from a national health magazine.

The SEQOL employee, who lives in Swindon, was chosen as Nursing in Practice’s nurse of the month for her work caring for patients in their own homes using telehealth technology.

Telehealth is a system that allows medical staff to look after people in the community by monitoring their vital signs from a computer based at the Urgent Care Centre.

At the age of 18, Jemma applied to university to study nursing. She soon decided not to work in customer services instead. But the desire to be a nurse never left her and in 2009 she began a nursing degree at Oxford Brookes University.

Using telehealth allows patients to lead a more independent life, as they gain an understanding of their condition and are able to manage it better without the need to come into hospital.

By working closely with social workers and other healthcare professionals, Jemma and her team are able to craft tailored support to patients. She said: “I speak with most of the patients every day.

“Some of the patients live alone and appreciate the call and just having a chat with them can improve their mood and make them feel better.

“A lot of people with chronic conditions suffer with depression as well, so it’s important that we treat the whole person not just the condition.

“Our team may speak to up to 156 patients a day depending on their readings. We have a team of nurses trained in telehealth who rotate between telehealth and other duties each day.

“It is a fairly busy role, but we prioritise our work load and deal with the most poorly patients first.”