PATIENTS should be able to recover more safely after the introduction of new electronic observation and communication smartphones at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

The aim of the Myco devices is to help on-call doctors to better care for seriously ill patients at night and over weekends, which will eventually replace the traditional doctors’ bleepers.

The Ascom technology will be fully integrated with an electronic observations system that will send alerts and crucial clinical information to the devices when patients are showing signs of deterioration.

A system of different sounds and ‘traffic lights’ according to the severity of the case will enable doctors to acknowledge and triage cases.

Initially, 30 hand-held devices are being used by on-call doctors and night nurse practitioners to triage emergencies across the hospital’s medical, surgical and orthopaedics wards before a rollout across the hospital.

The Bolton NHS Trust’s chief clinical information officer Dr Simon Irving said: “It will enable doctors and nurses to deal more quickly with patients whose condition is at risk of deterioration, while releasing more time to spend caring for them.

“The devices will save doctors, critical care nurses and charge nurses a great deal of time that they currently spend trying to reach each other on the phone to assess cases.

"A full audit trail from the devices will also enable us to track peaks of activity and better utilise our workforce, as well as measuring performance.”

A trust spokesman added: “The overall aim of the project is to deliver safer care for our patients.”