GP Zone

Share your thoughts about the Telehealth service: six-week consultation launched

NHS Kernow is asking people to share their thoughts and experiences of using the Telehealth service.

Telehealth is a remote health monitoring service that allows people with a range of long-term health conditions to send electronic readings of their blood pressure, blood glucose levels and weight readings from their home to a nurse. A nurse then decides what support, if any, the patient needs.

Last year, NHS Kernow undertook a six-month review of the Telehealth service, which is provided by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, to ensure it provided the best possible clinical outcomes and value for money, based on the needs of the population and the money the CCG has available to spend.

The review included reviewing the service data; patient satisfaction surveys; alternative service models and the effectiveness of the service in reducing hospital stays and appointments. NHS Kernow sent 900 surveys to people who know and use the service and more than 300 health and social care practitioners. NHS Kernow received 379 completed surveys from patients and 63 completed surveys from health and care practitioners. All the evidence that was collected and analysed informed NHS Kernow’s decision last November to stop funding the service.

During the past couple of months NHS Kernow has been contacted by a number of people who are concerned about this decision. We have listened to these concerns and have decided to undertake a further six-week consultation to review our decision to stop funding the service.

NHS Kernow is now writing to patients and carers who use Telehealth, and clinicians and staff who support people whose health is monitored by the service to tell them the ways they can get involved with the consultation.

People will be able to share their views about the service from Tuesday, 19 September to 7am on Wednesday, 1 November by completing a survey – either online - or returning a printed copy they have been sent.

NHS Kernow has also arranged four sessions for people who use the service, or care for someone who does. Due to the capacity of each venue, people will need to book a place in advance by either calling Melissa Orchard on 01209 832426 or email Melissa.Orchard@nhs.net. The sessions will be held at:

  • Tuesday, 24 October; 10-11.30am. St John’s Hall, Penalverne Drive, Penzance TR18 2QZ.
  • Tuesday, 24 October; 2.30-4pm. Cuddra Village Hall, Bucklers Lane, Saint Austell PL25 3LW.
  • Thursday, 26 October; 10-11.30am. The Betjeman Centre, Wadebridge PL27 7BX.
  • Thursday, 26 October; 2.30-4pm. Public Hall, 3-5 West Street, Liskeard PL14 6BW.

Anyone who is using Telehealth at the moment will continue to receive the monitoring support offered by the service until a final decision is made in December.

GPs have also been asked to complete a clinical review of their patients who use the service to provide a better understanding of the person’s needs.

NHS Kernow Chairman Dr Iain Chorlton said: “We have listened to people’s concerns about our decision to stop funding the Telehealth service and have decided to undertake a further six-weeks of consultation to help us learn more about the support the service provides and if that help can be provided in a different way.

“We are committed to supporting people with long-term conditions to manage their own condition and what people tell us will help inform a paper to our Governing Body in December, when we will make a final decision on the funding of this service.

“We are now writing to people who use the service to tell them about the ways they can have their say, by either completing an online or paper survey or attending a drop-in session where they can talk to us. We are also asking GPs to review the clinical needs of their patients who use the service and encouraging them and other clinicians to share their thoughts about the service with us.”

Dr Chorlton added: “Telehealth is a remote monitoring service and GPs remain in charge of their patient’s clinical care. We have asked GPs to complete a clinical review of the people who use the service to understand what is best for their health and wellbeing.

“The decision we make at the Governing Body Board meeting in December will be informed by the evidence we receive during the six-week consultation. Supporting people with long term conditions to manage their condition is one of our top priorities and it has always been our intention to invest in more evidence-based support for people that is linked to GPs and community nurses.”

Please contact NHS Kernow’s communications team if you would like a copy of the survey in Easy Read. Email: kccg.contactus@nhs.net.