NHS Kernow’s Governing Body has given in to public pressure and approved plans to retain and reconfigure Telehealth services, working in partnership with the provider Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT).
Telehealth is a remote health monitoring service that allows people with a long-term health conditions to send electronic readings of their blood pressure, oxygen and blood glucose levels and weight from their home to a nurse. A CFT nurse then decides what support, if any, the patient needs.
Last year, NHS Kernow’s Governing Body decided to stop funding Telehealth after a six-month review of the service identified it did not provide the type of clinical support expected, nor did it provide value for money. This decision was reviewed after a number of people raised concerns about how this would impact on their care. NHS Kernow listened to these concerns and undertook a further six-week consultation, from 19 September to 1 November, to review this decision.
The Governing Body made a decision to commission a reconfigured service during its meeting on Tuesday, 5 December.
NHS Kernow Chairman Dr Iain Chorlton said: “Supporting people with a long term condition to manage their health is one of our top priorities. Our decision last November clearly stated our commitment to invest in more evidence-based support for people who are linked to GPs, community nurses and the range of support that’s available in the community. Today’s decision reinforces our commitment to work with our partners to design and embed services in our communities, in-line with our Shaping Our Future plans.
“We have listened to people’s thoughts and reviewed a wide range of clinical evidence that was gathered during our consultation and remain determined to create a service that gives people the support they need to manage their condition.
“We now have an exciting opportunity to work with CPFT, GPs and local health and social care teams to create a service, based around people’s needs. People told us they wanted better links between everyone involved with their care, and this is also our aim.
“We expect the new service to be available from 1 April 2018 and are working with CFT colleagues to move towards this. Having remote monitoring provided within integrated community teams will also help staff to embrace technology to deliver effective and efficient care and ensure we continue to respond to change in technologically-enabled care.”
Letters will be sent to everyone who uses Telehealth to explain what this decision means for their care. Anyone using the service should continue to use it until they are told not to.