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Tuesday 6th December 2016
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Roll-out of telehealth and telecare

20th January 2012

The Department of Health has launched a telehealth and telecare initiative it says will benefit three million people.

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The 3millionlives campaign will roll out the initiative over the next five years.

Care services minister Paul Burstow also unveiled a concordat – designed as an enabling framework - between the Department and the telehealth and telecare sector at a Parliamentary reception.

The pledge states: “We want to move beyond the current situation where a few thousand people are benefiting from telehealth to one where millions of lives can be improved with the help of these technology assisted services, and contribute to the mainstreaming of telecare.”

Service delivery decisions will be left to be made at local level, but the initiative does not go as far as a new report from the 2020 Health think-tank suggests it should.

The document, which studies the telehealth experience of the US Veterans Health Administration, advocated the care pathways be designed and overseen at national level and built around centralised care co-ordination, rather than existing community services.

Other recommendations in the report include making changes to the NHS tariff and finding ways to target the patients who will most benefit from telehealth.

The concordat - signed by the Department, Telecare Services Association, Association of British Healthcare Industries, Intellect and MedilinkUK - suggests that greater use of telehealth and telecare should lead to fewer unplanned admissions to hospital and care homes.

“By working together, and with other partners, government and industry can achieve transformational change so that patients benefit from safe and high quality services,” it added.

 

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