DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
News Release (2007/0128) issued by The Government News Network on
Patricia Hewitt today (Wednesday 23rd May) announced new sites
that will use hi-tech home healthcare to help older people, and
those with long term conditions, to lead more independent lives -
helping to prevent emergency or unexpected admissions to hospital.
Telehealth monitoring devices help people with long-term
conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, to monitor and
manage their condition. People test their blood glucose levels or
blood pressure on a small machine at home. The results are
monitored by healthcare professionals who can alert patients with
any concerns. The local GP surgery can also monitor the patient remotely.
Telecare devices consist of sensors in the home and carry out
simple tasks like switching lights on or raising an alarm if an
old person does not return to bed in the middle of the night.
These systems are closely monitored and ensure assistance is sent
to an old person as soon as they need it.
Teams in Kent, Newham and Cornwall have been awarded £12m to look
at how best these services can be implemented.
The aims of the programme are to:
* Help people to maintain
* Reduce the number of prescriptions
* Reduce the numbers admitted to residential care
and nursing homes
* Reduce emergency hospital bed days and
admissions, and reduce A&E attendances
Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said:
"Improving patient care with new scientific advances and
innovation is vital if the NHS is to continue to offer the very
best services. But new gadgets aren't just about specialist
innovations in hospitals - it is about using innovation at the
frontline of the NHS to help patients manage their conditions
"Remote devices mean greater choice and independence for
patients, with more people able to monitor and look after their
own health. So a person with diabetes can have their blood sugar
monitored from home - meaning less unexpected or emergency trips
Notes to Editors
1.Teams in Kent, Newham and Cornwall have been awarded funding to
look at how best these services can be implemented. £12m in
2007/08 is supporting the sites locally and the provision of
project management and other implementation support. The
Department is commissioning a major independent evaluation through
its Policy Research Programme. The evaluation will capture the
lessons from the Demonstrators and determine the best options for
wider implementation of whole systems programmes to meet the needs
of people with long term conditions.
2. The pilot sites will be working with patients with chronic
heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or type II
diabetes and frail older people with complex health and social
3.The Our Health, Our Care, Our Say White Paper stated that we
would explore the exciting opportunities opened up by integrated
health and social care supported by assistive technology.
4.Over 7000 Telehealth and Telecare devices are expected to be
installed over the next 2 years approximately 3000 Telehealth and
4000 Telecare installations.