NHS Kernow forced to postpone telehealth end by patient legal action (updated)

Your opinion counts. Use it! (Also see below for another cut to be made) NHS Kernow, which back in July snap announced an end to telehealth monitoring for budgetary and ‘outcome proof’ reasons, has been forced to back down on ending the program by a patient’s legal action. Ian Wyness, a 55-year-old patient with a severe heart condition, took up the fight with NHS Kernow CCG, first with letters, then in the local court. NHS Kernow is now maintaining the service to over 900 patients and on 19 Sept opened up for a six-week public consultation.

According to Cornwall Live, local people will be able to share their views about the service to 7am on Wednesday 1 November through a survey distributed online at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KCCG-TelehealthSC or returning a printed copy. Cornwall Live also lists times and locations for four public hearings, inviting users and caregivers, on 24 and 26 October. The service will be continued until a final decision is reached by the CCG–according to them, in December.

International headlines were made in July when the plight of Bodmin resident Jill Diggett, who has five serious medical conditions that have hospitalized her multiple times, but has stayed out of hospital with telehealth, went viral via Cornwall Live, many publications like TTA, and an ITV interview where she begged the CCG to ‘Let me die at home’ [TTA 7 July]. Ending her service would not only affect her and her husband’s quality of life, but also made no sense financially with the daily cost of her long hospital stays. The promise of transitioning her care to a distant Cornwall location also hadn’t been kept.

Mr. Wyness is a former RAF service member from Davidstow who had his own dramatic medical experience leading to telehealth monitoring. In one day in 2012, he had been resuscitated 14 times in three locations due to his heart condition. Telehealth now monitors his blood pressure. When monitoring staff noted a drop, he was taken to hospital ‘just in time’. When the closing was announced, Mr. Wyness went to court with the assistance of the Leigh Day firm. They made and won a legal argument that closing telehealth services without consulting with members of the public was illegal. “I decided to fight for everyone because many patients who use the service who may have dementia or may be old are unable to take on that fight.” Bravo! Hat tip and thanks to Suzanne Woodman for the follow up.

Tenders closing quickly: Cornwall/Isles of Scilly, Blackpool

Susanne Woodman of BRE, our Eye on Tenders, had sent these earlier but your Editor was at fault in being tardy in reviewing them. But there’s still time!

  • Cornwall/Isles of Scilly: The University of Plymouth and E-health Productivity & Innovation Cornwall & Isles of Scilly (EPIC) are seeking to engage specialist support for the Social Care Sector and Care Homes across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to develop their awareness and capability to adopt emerging ehealth products and services. This is closing Wed 14 June so go to the Plymouth website for more information. Gov.UK Contracts Finder
  • Blackpool Council: They are inviting “suitably experienced care organisations to participate in an exploratory exercise to help the Council better understand the market position with regards to supporting individuals with a learning disability and/or autism to live independently through use of assistive technology.” This closes Monday June 19. Tenders Electronic Daily (TED), Due North website

Cornwall Council to terminate BT outsourcing deal

The High Court has ruled that Cornwall Council is within its rights to terminate the multi-million pound [grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Cornwall-Council.png” thumb_width=”150″ /]services outsourcing contract with BT because BT “did not provide … the service it had promised to the standard it had promised”.

Cornwall Council welcomed the High Court decision yesterday saying “The judge’s decision confirms the Council’s argument that BT Cornwall had been in material breach of the contract due to their failure to carry out services to the required contractual standards and, therefore, that we were justified in reaching the decision that we were entitled to terminate the contract.

“As a result of this decision, the Council intends to give notice of the contract before Christmas but there will be no immediate change in the arrangements as notice will not take effect until January.”

BT was awarded the 10-year contract in 2013 amid much controversy as was widely reported including here on TTA. (more…)

BT’s plans for Cornwall and the UK: old news warmed up

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/blue-blazes.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Qualifying for TTA’s occasional What the Blue Blazes! spot: one has to wonder why last Friday, 31st January, Nick Renaud-Komiya in the paywalled Health Services Journal resurrected the ‘BT going to make Cornwall its UK telehealth base’ story. Although, actually, the item is all about Cornwall. Some of it is culled from an October 2013 BT press release which we did not bother our readers with. Why did we not? We thought it was old news even then, as putting ‘Cornwall’ into TTA’s search box on the right will reveal. However, anything posted in the HSJ will generate some interest and that’s just what it did with an approving mention in the sidebar of Roy Lilley’s influential newsletter today. It’s just a pity that HSJ’s readers will not see the whole context or be able to make any sensible assessment of the numbers quoted. They would fare better with this 2 October eHealthInsider article.

For TTA readers who want to read the HSJ item but who do not want to get their digital wallets out,it can be read unpaywalled on the Local Government Chronicle site: BT plans to make Cornwall its ‘telehealth hub’