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NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group launches telehealth initiative

NHS Calderdale CCG and Calderdale & Huddersfield Foundation Trust invest in telehealth solutions from Tunstall to support patients with COPD

NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT) are working in partnership with leading telehealthcare provider Tunstall Healthcare, to provide advanced telehealth solutions that will help to support people with long-term conditions.

Telehealth will initially be offered to 24 COPD patients in their own home at any one time, with the initiative expected to develop and to benefit many more patients in the region. Each patient will receive Tunstall’s mymedic solution, which will enable clinicians to remotely monitor vital signs including blood pressure, pulse rate, and blood oxygen levels on a daily basis.  The objectives are to support early discharge and prevent hospital admissions, improve self-management, prevent future complications for those with COPD who haven’t yet started to access extensive healthcare, and support the COPD specialist nurses’ workload.

Joanna Birch, Clinical Director for Intermediate Care and Community (CHFT) said: “The ability to self-manage a long term condition can be life changing. Providing telehealth to patients with COPD gives them a better understanding of their condition and allows them to make choices that will improve independence and quality of life. With guidance from our team of specialist nurses, the initiative will go some way to reducing unplanned emergency admissions and supporting early discharge of patients with COPD.”

A patient currently using the service, said:  “Telehealth is helping me to better understand and manage my condition.  The equipment is really easy to use and it gives me more confidence knowing that the nursing team can keep a close eye on my readings, and help me if I need it.”

NHS Calderdale serves a population of 213,000 people, with 18% of people in Calderdale recorded as having a long-term condition. Those people with long-term conditions who are frequently admitted to hospital also account for 36.5% of overall bed day usage.

This new initiative is in the early stages of delivery, providing a service into people’s homes under the supervision and with the dedicated assistance of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust COPD specialist nurses.  This new approach will help to avoid hospitalisation through early intervention, management of risks and improved medicine compliance.

NHS Calderdale CCG is also working alongside service providers to develop a new model of care as part of its “Quest for Quality in Care Homes” initiative, which will increase the level of support in care homes and improve outcomes for up to 1000 residents.

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