The telehealth initiative will give patients greater control over their condition, allowing them to monitor it from home with the reassurance that professional support is available if required. This will reduce the hospital admission rate for patients living with LTCs, giving them greater freedom and the opportunity to live more independent lives.
NHS Plymouth's decision to undertake a telehealth programme came about following the need to drive efficiency within its services by tackling the rising costs of treating long-term conditions whilst at the same time improving patients' quality of life. The programme will initially be available to 100 patients living chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and/or chronic heart failure (CHF).
Jane Griffin, Lead Commissioning Manager of Long Term Conditions for NHS Plymouth, said: "We were aware of the possible benefits of telehealth from a number of schemes carried out by other PCTs, and so the decision was made to implement a small-scale programme to see if it could be as beneficial for us and our patients' needs. This is an opportunity for NHS Plymouth to use technological advances for the benefit of our patients. Our aim is to support patients to self care and give them greater independence and we are confident that the telehealth programme will enable this to happen."
Simon Arnold, Tunstall's Managing Director, said: "Plymouth's new telehealth programme will deliver efficiency gains by helping the NHS to manage long-term conditions more cost-effectively, reducing unplanned admissions to emergency and secondary care and supporting patients in the home environment. Patients will be able to actively manage their own conditions, whilst being able to live more independently without the constraints of frequent and often lengthy hospital admissions."