Three million patients to get telecare, DH pledges

The DH will roll out telehealth and telecare services to three million people with long-term conditions by 2016, care services minister Paul Burstow has said.

Telecare equipment in a person’s home can support independent living (Photograph: SPL)
Telecare equipment in a person’s home can support independent living (Photograph: SPL)

The announcement comes after early results of the world’s first RCT of the technologies suggested they could cut mortality by 45% and lead to a 21% fall in emergency admissions.

Visiting Cornwall on Tuesday, one of the three PCTs that took part in the trial, Mr Burstow said: ‘The trials of telehealth and telecare have shown how people with long-term conditions can live more independently, reducing the time they have to spend in hospital and improving their quality of life.’

He continued: ‘The feedback I have heard from people in Cornwall today has been incredibly positive. They were absolutely clear that high-tech healthcare being used here has improved their lives for the better.’

Mr Burstow said the government would work with industry, the NHS and local councils to ‘change the lives’ of three million people across England over the next five years using the technology.

Telehealth uses electronic equipment to read vital health signs such as pulse and blood oxygen levels. These readings are monitored by a health professional for signs of illness.

In contrast, telecare is electronic equipment used in a person’s home to support independent living, including personal pendant alarms to be used in case of a fall.

At least 15.4m people in England live with at least one long term condition. Government figures suggest they account for around 75% of all inpatient bed days, 65% of outpatient appointments and 55% of all GP appointments.

The RCT, known as the Whole System Demonstrator Programme, tested telehealth and telecare devices using 6,191 patients from 238 GP practices in Newham in east London, Kent and Cornwall.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Babylon signs 10-year 'integrated digital health' deal with NHS trust that runs 10 GP practices

Babylon signs 10-year 'integrated digital health' deal with NHS trust that runs 10 GP practices

The company behind controversial video service GP at Hand has partnered with an NHS...

10 tips for greener general practice

10 tips for greener general practice

Taking steps to tackle climate change can help improve people's health both now and...

Public health officials issue coronavirus guidance for primary care

Public health officials issue coronavirus guidance for primary care

Public Health England (PHE) has issued guidance for primary care clinicians on what...

HPV infections drop sharply but experts warn vaccination may not stop cervical cancer

HPV infections drop sharply but experts warn vaccination may not stop cervical cancer

HPV infection has dropped sharply among sexually active young women in England since...

Flawed DES could scupper NHS long-term plan, warns network pioneer

Flawed DES could scupper NHS long-term plan, warns network pioneer

The five-year programme of reform set out in the NHS long-term plan could fail because...

New standards for nurses working in advanced roles in primary care

New standards for nurses working in advanced roles in primary care

A new framework, which is backed by NHS England, has set standards for the academic...