It is not TTA’s own Gimlet Eye that features in this item, but Private Eye “a fortnightly British satirical and current affairs magazine” (Wikipedia) which, in the current issue (1341), picks up again [TTA Nov. 2010] the matter of the North Yorkshire and York (NYY) procurement of Tunstall telehealth equipment and the subsequent writing off of its capital value. The page 31 item does not make it into the highly cut-down online version of the magazine and there is nothing in it with which readers of the Yorkshire Post newspaper or of TTA’s own coverage [March 2013] will be unfamiliar.
Rather surprisingly, Private Eye does not pick up on what should be the matter of most concern for taxpayers – the status of the funds paid to Tunstall under the terms of the contract but for which no goods or services have been called off by the health services. We have not had any indication that these funds have been or will be returned to the public purse and, indeed, we speculate that there may not be a contractual requirement or mechanism to do so any more. However, Tunstall’s directors, being ethical people, surely cannot be comfortable with this situation and it will be interesting to see how they resolve it.
The Yorkshire Post (YP) picks up on the writing-down of the capital cost of the North Yorkshire and York (NYY) telehealth devices, first publicly reported in Telehealth and Telecare Aware [The ongoing cost of the NYY telehealth project exposed] and links the matter to today’s WSD QALY announcement: YP item: Cash-crisis NHS chiefs write off telehealth devices.
It was interesting to note that in its recent press release Tunstall showcases latest innovations in telehealthcare that will shape the future of service delivery Tunstall omitted to cite NYY as an example of ‘successful telehealth programmes…with NHS Gloucestershire, Birmingham City Council, and as part of the TF3 Consortium in Northern Ireland”.
At the end of this month NHS North Yorkshire and York (NYY) – a Primary Care Trust (PCT) – and the Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Health Authority (YHSHA) that oversees it, will be no more. They will be replaced by four Care Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
NYY and YHSHA together spent £3.2million capital money on Tunstall telehealth equipment in 2010, with the PCT paying ongoing support fees and depreciation costs. The procurement was intended to provide 2,000 devices for a project to deliver telehealth to people in the area. It was a pre-cursor of the 3millionlives (3ML) campaign but the local GPs had to be persuaded to participate without the benefit of knowing the Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) results.
The NYY project has had the aspect of a slow motion car crash for everyone apart from (more…)