View Full Version : Telecare boost from health minister

13-Mar-13, 12:30
Euro-million will enable patients to be treated closer to home says Neil

ONE million pounds of European funding is being invested in developing innovative solutions to treat patients closer to home.
Pioneering technology has already enabled 16 dementia patients at Abbeyfield Care Home in Ballachulish to get specialist mental health support without going to hospital.
The funding will support the development of more groundbreaking telehealth initiatives.
Across Scotland, between 2006 and 2011, around 44,000 people received a telecare service, which helped to avoid 8,700 emergency admissions to hospital, and over 3,800 admissions to care homes.
Health Secretary Alex Neil revealed the funding as he visited New Craigs Hospital in Inverness, to see the dementia project in action.
Mr Neil also officially launched the National Delivery Plan for telehealth and telecare, which will enable more choice and control in health, care and wellbeing services for an additional 300,000 people by 2015.
Mr Neil said: “Enabling people to be treated as close to home as possible, or in a homely setting, is a key priority for the Scottish Government. This project is a fantastic example of how using innovative technologies can reduce the need for hospital admissions. Scotland has already made significant progress on developing and expanding new technologies, and this European funding will enable us to expand even further the role technology plays in supporting twenty-first century healthcare.
The minister continued :“In addition, we have launched a new national delivery plan for telehealth and telecare, which will help us to ensure everyone is able to live longer healthier lives at home, or in a homely setting by 2020.”
Staff at New Craigs Hospital are able to use a live link up with Abbeyfield Care Home to provide specialist assessment and treatment for care home residents, and to offer advice to care home staff."
It means there is less need for staff and patients to make the four hour round trip for hospital treatment.
NHS Highland has teamed up with the Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare (SCTT), which is part of NHS24 for this project, which has been running since November 2011.
It involves nurse-led telemedicine clinics being held twice a week to build up strong connections with the staff and patients from the care home.
The initiative has been so successful, NHS Highland now plan to roll it out to other care homes.
Marlene Montgomery, from Kinlochleven, knows the importance of the project as her mother, Margaret Young, 92, has benefitted from it.
She said: "Abbeyfield has been a great benefit to my mum as she knows the place well and she has close family nearby who can pop in and see her as much as possible. It is also marvellous that she doesn't have to travel to Inverness any more as the journey is very tiring and takes a lot out of her. I can definitely say that this has made a real difference not only to my mum but to the whole family as well."
Dr Fiona McGibbon, Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist, NHS Highland, said: "We are very pleased with the way the clinic has been working. Admissions to hospital have been prevented and the use of drugs to treat distressing behaviour in dementia has been reduced. The feedback from patients is that they felt comfortable and listened to and all were happy to have further consultations in this manner. They did not want to wait longer or travel further for a face to face appointment. Staff feedback has also been very positive, with the arrangements improving their confidence in managing mental illness had improved. I continue to visit Abbeyfield Care Home 6 monthly and there have been no occasions when reviewing a patient face to face has lead to a different outcome from the VC consultations."
She added: “Due to the success we are very keen for the clinic to be expanded even further as more care homes and even community hospitals could benefit. And additional spin off is that the clinic is also very environmentally friendly.”
Professor George Crooks, NHS 24 Medical Director, welcomed the announcement of the funding to support the development of technology solutions to support health and care for people across Scotland.
He said: “We have a range of telehealth and telecare projects which are being delivered in partnership with NHSScotland boards, local authorities and key stakeholders which are bringing real benefits to patients and their families. The care home project with NHS Highland is one example of where the use of technology is making a difference in the care of older people and hopefully delivering benefits to their health and wellbeing.”
Henry Simmons, Chief Executive, Alzheimer Scotland said: “We are very pleased to see that people with dementia are benefiting from advances in telehealth care such as this. Given the day-to-day challenges that many people with dementia and their carers face, any new and innovative use of technology that can improve quality of life and make the experience of care more person-centred is to be much welcomed.”
Telehealth and telecare is the delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunications technologies, particularly to allow treatment and care to be offered closer to home.
The National Telehealth and Telecare Delivery Plan for Scotland to 2015 can be accessed at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/12/7791