Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The increase in telecare

With the release of the UK government’s “Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS” document the emphasis for health promotion falls on GPs as they will be getting the vast amount of money from the dissolution of the PCTs (Primary Care Trusts). This really interests me. When I worked for social services in North London, I found that GPs were by and large a very difficult group of people to interest in telecare. Actually finding access to their forum was hard and harder still to get any enthusiasm for the potentials of this new technology.

It seems that with the release of this document and the fact that the commissioning of services will be undertaken predominantly by GPs in the future that they are going to need a crash course in telecare, telehealth, mHealth and eHealth.

So how is this going to happen?

Who is going to do this?

The only way that this can be done is for telecare to be included in the documentation that the government produce but it is nowhere to be seen.

If we are to follow the preventative agenda, then surely telecare must be the spearhead of changing the way we consider health and care. Ideally as a result of the proposed changes and the distinct lack of money in the UK it behoves all GPs to get tele-trained pretty quickly.

I can see that this should also not be something that comes from the manufacturers as this could bread suspicion in GPs rather I can see a role in this for the TSA (Telecare Services Association) as well as the government to bring this information to the desktops of the General Practitioner of tomorrow. But before this can happen, how are can the profile of telecare be raised to such an extent that GPs will actually begin to take a message on board that they have resisted for the last five years?

Any answers gratefully received!


John Chambers said...

Don't forget that London Telecare is probably doing more than any other group to publicise the real benefits of Telecare and Telehealth to the public. GPs see our ads and leaflets too - but we need funding if we are to be more effective.

Guy Dewsbury said...

I agree John that the London Telecare group (http://www.londontelecare.com/default.asp) could be very effective. The reason for choosing the TSA is that this is national organisation which has the clout to bring the GPs around the table.
It would be great if the LTG organised an event specifically for GPs to introduce them to the topic.

Cathy Stephenson said...

Start by engaging with their Practice Managers. Sell the benefits and ultimate cost savings to this network first ... then engage with the GPs and you only have to sell them the benefits to themselves and patients health ...

Access to Telehealth monitoring readings provided direct to the NHS securely and added to a patient record will become a very appealing concept at 11pm when a GP has to decide whether to send some one from out of hours clinic to hospital or home?