This large-scale telehealth programme aims to provide a managed system of care and response, targeted at patients with long term conditions for whom a timely response will help manage their short and medium term care needs, therefore improving patient outcomes and helping reduce the number of hospital admissions.
Gloucestershire has a population of more than 600,000 people with approximately 6,000 of those people living with a long-term condition (LTC). The use of telehealth complements the changing nature of healthcare to provide care in the right place at the right time and, having run a small scale initiative, NHS Gloucestershire is keen to tap into the expertise of Tunstall to roll out a much larger project to support local people.
The partnership will see Tunstall work with local clinicians across both secondary and primary care to redesign care pathways and implement clinical protocols which will see telehealth as a viable option for managing patients.
As part of the programme, the provision of telehealth will be extended to 2,000 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic heart failure (CHF), chronic heart disease (CHD) and diabetes.
Dr Will Haynes, a Gloucester-based GP and practice-based commissioning lead for Gloucester who is working closely with Tunstall on this project, said: "The widespread use of telehealth technology will complement other developments across the NHS in Gloucestershire to help reduce referrals to hospitals, help more patients to receive their care within, or as close to, home as possible and help more patients to understand better and self manage their own conditions, within the safety and fabric of telehealth monitoring. As a GP, I welcome the opportunity to use these tools to work with patients to understand their condition."
The provision of telehealth will be extended over a 12-month period commencing in Summer 2011, following a comprehensive, clinically-led development process with Tunstall and Ernst & Young providing full project management and a detailed care pathway redesign programme.
Jon Lowe, Tunstall's Managing Director said: "We are extremely pleased to be working in a strategic partnership with such an innovative team. We are committed to ensuring this large-scale managed telehealth service is a success and I am confident that patients and clinicians will benefit greatly in the future."
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Tunstall Healthcare Group is the market-leading provider of telehealthcare solutions, with over 2.5 million users globally. Tunstall’s solutions support older people and those with long-term needs, to live independently, by effectively managing their health and well-being. Tunstall provides technology, expertise and advice to millions of people enabling them to lead independent more fulfilling lives.