26 January 2016 - NWAS Delivers Remote Telehealth Monitoring To Patients

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) is implementing an exciting new project to provide remote tele-healthcare for patients across the North West.

A primary aim of the initiative is to test the effectiveness of telehealth monitoring and health coaching, for patients with long term conditions, to support improved management of their condition in their own home, or within a residential care setting.  It will also aim to improve co-ordination of care for patients recently discharged from hospital, in order to reduce risk of re-admission whilst improving patient outcomes and experiences.

Working in partnership with Closercare, part of MSD Healthcare Services, this telehealth project will run for a six month period until June 2016. Up to 120 patients will be recruited and will be split into a mixture of short term (1-2 weeks) and long term (up to 90 days) telehealth monitoring. The Trust’s network of Community Specialist Paramedics (CSP) will manage and co-ordinate delivery of the project, working collaboratively with local GP practices and other primary, community and acute care providers. The CSP will be supported by the Trust’s Urgent Care Desk, which will provide 24/7 remote monitoring and support for patients, as and when required.

Patients will take their observations in the morning each day and answer some simple questions about how they are feeling. These will be uploaded to a monitoring system where alerts will be generated if the patient’s observations or answers fall outside the agreed parameters set by their GP or consultant.

The Trust’s Urgent Care Desk will contact patients who generate an alert to complete a more in depth assessment and then follow an agreed care plan set by the GP or consultant. The project will deliver a range of benefits for patients including early intervention and improved co-ordination of care, closer to home, improved care outcomes and experience and improved self-care/management of long term conditions.

Duncan Robertson, Consultant Paramedic said: “North West Ambulance Service recognise the benefits of using telehealth, in close collaboration with other health services, to proactively support and care for patients who are at greater risk of requiring emergency and urgent care.

“This project will help patients to stay well for longer, promote greater self-care and enable patients to receive more personalised care closer to home.”

Patients who are being monitored will have their addresses flagged so that ambulance clinicians can be made aware if they are requested to attend.