A report on the HSJ website headlined “Key telehealth group axed” appears to confirm what many have suspected: the ending of the 3millionlives programme. However reading down the article it transpires that actually all that is happening is a widening of the stakeholder grouping because of a perception that 3ML was too much about industry box-shifting and too little about improving patient outcomes, which should be welcomed greatly by many and should strengthen the programme. As a result, industry will probably sell more too, so everyone should win.
NHS England Director for Long Term Conditions (Domain 2), Dr Martin McShane, is quoted as saying that the new group, the Integrated Care for 3millionlives Stakeholder Forum, comprising clinical leaders, providers, the third sector and local government, as well as a “significant” industry presence would replace the original steering group. The revised 3ML will embrace a wider range of technologies; it will be delivered using “a matrix approach of clinical advocacy, service improvement and technology strategy, making it a true partnership within NHS England”.
Closing the article, HSJ are sadly unable to resist further putting the boot in about telehealth, referring both to the historic, and wholly-unrepresentative-of-telehealth cost effectiveness comparisons for the Whole System Demonstrator, which adds further weight to our campaign to say farewell to the WSD, as well as O2’s withdrawal from the telehealth market, which again need not reflect poorly on the technology. Thankfully the Guardian continues on a more optimistic note!