Wessex HIEC Telehealthcare programme

Last updated: 15 October 2012 

The journey

Telehealthcare has been deployed in USA and Australasia for a number of years and after a number of pilots in the UK it is now beginning to be a mainstream option. The Wessex HIEC Partnership has recognised that not all healthcare services are convinced by telehealth/care delivery models.  The ‘Why adopt telehealth and telecare solutions in health and social care’ initiative aims to promote understanding and improve access to information about telehealth/care across the Wessex area.  The initiative will also provide support to organisations that choose to adopt and implement telehealth/care solutions as part of their wider service delivery to patients. The Wessex HIEC has implemented awareness raising activities of the potential of telehealth/care technologies that include: group training sessions and workshops with clinical and managerial staff, the provision of individual consultancy expertise and the production of video and DVDs.

 

Outcomes

These results mean that telehealth now has an evidence base on which to grow. The Wessex HIEC programme has been shaping a local support network, links with local telehealth/care suppliers, workforce development materials and more recently, approaches to procurement to improve the local foundations for building telehealth/care solutions.

 

Patient setting

In-patient Out-patient Community based
Mental health Chronic illness Cross-systems   X

 

Clinical area

Staying healthy Maternity and newborn Children and young people Acute care
Planned care Mental health Long-term conditions   X End of life

 

Information, tools and techniques used

This programme started in April 2011 and following a fact finding exercise on the extent of deployment of these technologies in Wessex staged a conference to get input from key local leaders on their issues around implementation of telehealth and telecare.  This conference gave the HIEC a mandate of work areas.  These were: training and education to staff; awareness raising to the public; input on specific areas such as business cases and funding streams; interoperability; and learning from other organisations in the UK and beyond.  

The HIEC has staged a number of events to address these issues; it has run training courses on specific issues such as how to write a business case on telehealth, where to find funding for adoption and produced a bi-weekly newsletter to share research, conferences, training courses, publications and news.  The Wessex HIEC was commissioned by the Strategic Health Authority to produce a range of training materials to support the roll out of telehealth in the region.  These courses are currently being trialled and will be available as a resource early in 2013. The HIEC has also offered individual consultancy to organisations and undertaken evaluations of services.  

The WIRES website is helping with the spread of innovation. www.wessexhiecpartnership.org.uk

All resources that have been created in this work programme are available on the website.

The areas where less progress has been made have been around supporting commercial companies to innovate in the health sector and around interoperability.  These are areas that are being targeted in the specification of the Academic Health Science Network.

 

Geography

NHS (Portsmouth to Isle of Wight, down to Poole and up to Winchester), ambulance and university facilities (Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth).

 

Timescale

Started April 2011 and ends March 2013

 

Contact details and further information

Further details of this and other change programmes managed by Wessex HIEC can be found at http://hiec.wessexhiecpartnership.org.uk

Contact: Katherine Barbour, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, k.j.barbour@soton.ac.uk

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