A £10 million fund to increase the number of people receiving diagnosis and treatment at home will support the roll-out of new technology across Scotland’s NHS.
In a speech at the Scottish Telehealth & Telecare Conference, Health Secretary Alex Neil said that the Technology Enabled Care programme will double the number of people receiving technology-enabled clinical consultations and home health monitoring by 2016.
Technology gives people, particularly older people in remote communities, improved access to the NHS while cutting unnecessary hospital admissions.
The fund, announced in March, will be used to fund five key areas:
- The substantial expansion across Scotland of home health monitoring within integrated care settings;
- Extending the use of NHS video conferencing facilities to other partners, increasing the numbers and range of users and doubling the level of clinical consultations;
- Increasing the numbers of people receiving telecare packages
- Sustaining and expanding on-line platforms to give people direct access to information, advice and assistance
- Exploring the scope and benefits of switching current provision of Telecare from analogue to digital telecare
Health Secretary Alex Neil said:“Telehealth and telecare is here and already working, supporting thousands of people in or close to their home. It can reduce the hospitalisation rate of older people with multiple conditions significantly, and improve outcomes for patients who can find it difficult to travel or those who can self-manage their condition.
“Supporting more people at home and in the community is a key element of this government’s vision for the delivery of future NHS and social care services. Proactively managing a patient’s health in this way can lead to much better outcomes for them, reducing the risk of being hospitalised, and thereby also reducing the pressure on our acute care sectors.
“The £10 million fund will help us double the number of people receiving clinical consultations remotely by 2016 - providing a health service fit for the 21st century.
“This will be done through value for money partnerships that expand home health monitoring, increase the use of video conferencing and build on existing digital platforms that give direct access to advice and help.”