NHS Gloucestershire has reported on the success of its telehealth service following a 12-month evaluation, which found that 88% of patients receiving telehealth in Gloucestershire would recommend the service to their friends and families, whilst another 85% rated the service as either excellent or good.
The survey was extended to patients across 80 GP practices and asked patients a series of questions regarding the impact of telehealth on the management of their condition. Of the 143 respondents who completed the questionnaire, 76% of users felt telehealth gave them peace of mind and reduced anxiety about their condition, whilst 65% said it helped them better manage their conditions and overall health and wellbeing.
NHS Gloucestershire partnered with Tunstall in 2011 to establish a fully managed telehealth service for 2,000 patients over a three-year period. The service, which is proving to be one of the largest and most successful GP referring programmes in the UK, has resulted in a majority of the GP practices in NHS Gloucestershire actively referring patients, with over 420 people already benefiting from telehealth.
Linda Prosser, Commissioning Director for NHS Gloucestershire, said:
Telehealth complements a range of services that NHS Gloucestershire provides to help people with long term conditions. It is playing a key role in empowering patients, helping them to understand and manage their condition whilst also reducing consultations, emergency call-outs and referrals to hospital. Both clinicians and patients are benefiting from the service, and it has the potential to help many more people in the future.
Dr Will Haynes, GP and CCG member, said:
The beauty of telehealth is that it enables us to identify a potential deterioration of a patient’s condition remotely. It helps patients to understand their own condition a lot better and allows the care system to be more proactive. Telehealth enables us to pick up on issues at an earlier stage, allowing the patient to get on with things they want to do.
Gordon Rawlings, a patient with Heart Failure said:
Telehealth is great; it really helps with understanding your health. I find it very comforting- it’s like having your own nurse at home taking your readings, keeping a check on you. It even saved my life when it detected I was having a silent heart attack, I wouldn’t have known until it was too late.
Gloucestershire is now opening telehealth up to a broader range of people to incorporate patients with other complex conditions such as neurological conditions, anxiety and learning disabilities.