Change needed in ‘Keeping the NHS Great’

Technology enabled care services (TECS) are the key, according to this study headed by the Good Governance Institute (GGI) and supported by Tunstall Healthcare. Whatever your thoughts are about the latter, the problem pointed out in the study is valid; that TECS (another acronym to be added to the arsenal encompassing both telecare and telehealth; not a ‘telehealthcare’ in sight) is thought of as ‘too difficult’ and because the system has not changed, people are being denied life-changing support and technology. GGI surveyed healthcare professionals in its networks plus organized a workshop with the Tunstall Clinical Advisory Group for more qualitative information.

According to the report, 85 percent of respondents said that telehealth was “very important” (50 percent) or “important” (35 percent) in developing pathways for patients with long-term conditions and better management of their care in the community. The overwhelming majority (79 percent) responded by saying they would be prepared to contribute to some or all of the costs, or introducing telehealth from their own budgets.

Recommendations include

  • System wide transformation and cultural change
  • Aligned financial incentives, pooled budgets and outcome based commissioning
  • Evidence best practice and evidence review
  • A National awareness and patient empowerment programme with a personal technology Czar

Notably the launch will be at the upcoming Labour and Conservative party conferences. (The impact may be blunted by the referendum results from Scotland, of course.)

While from this Editor’s perspective there are enough Czars running amuck on both sides of the Atlantic, compounding the problem, the situation is the same–revisiting care to be far more centered on and driven by the patient. For instance, from the US perspective, the same issues were extensively discussed in this past Tuesday’s Life Sciences Angel Network (LSAN) ‘Enter the Consumer–How Healthcare Is Serving Its Real Customer’, in that keeping customers healthy and patients happy can mean business success–and patients are waking up to their healthcare choices and consequences. (Report to come)

Press release (Tunstall), GGI website page with study download link (PDF), short SlideShare presentation  Readers’ thoughts?

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