Dr Ros Altmann
Over-50s group Saga has welcomed news that three million patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes or heart conditions will get hi-tech equipment to monitor their health at home.
The telehealth plan will allow crucial health checks to be carried out and results sent electronically to patients’ GPs without the need for an appointment or visit to home or clinic. It will be rolled out across the country over the next five years following a successful pilot scheme.
“This is one of the missing links in putting in place better care pathways for people living at home with chronic health conditions, and which is key to reducing unnecessary hospital admissions and improving quality of life for those people,” said Dr Ros Altmann, Director-General of Saga.
“It is a crucial development for both the elderly and the NHS: While it may involve a substantial investment, it will be repaid many times over as a result of the efficiencies it will drive, and cutting the amount of travel and inconvenience older people have to go through for what are relatively quick-to-carry-out health checks.
“Any development which removes unnecessary GP or hospital visits will save time and cost. In these circumstances not only will it vastly reduce the unrelenting pressure on the public health sector and its resources, but will mean that the health services get in control and start to lead progression of our healthcare, rather than constantly fire-fighting.”