Health bosses in Telehealth systems cutbacks

CASH-STRAPPED health bosses in York say they will not buy any more of the advanced and costly health systems which monitor patients in their own homes.

Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) announced yesterday it would also consult with patients who used the Telehealth systems, with a view to them being removed from their homes.

The announcement comes shortly after The Press revealed £1.8 million had been spent on the technology, with only a fraction of the units currently in use.

Speaking at the CCG’s board meeting in Priory Street, board member Dr Tim Hughes said there was “insufficient evidence of Telehealth’s cost-effectiveness” and the CCG was also awaiting a government review into the use of Telehealth before it made further decisions.

“We don’t wish to commission Telehealth from April 2013. We know there’s a lot of conflicting data on Telehealth in interventions.

“Our policy is basically that patients identified as high risk should continue to use the units until the review. But we have 146 patients at low risk of deterioration.

“There will be a case-by-case review of all these patients over the coming months.”

He said the moves did not mean the end of Telehealth but that the current funding model was not the way to proceed and that the money could be instead spent on community health staff.

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