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“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee


eHealth Insider Telehealth benefits realised

A Yorkshire project proves the cost benefits of telehealth, says a report on the scheme by think-tank 2020health.

The report evaluates the Yorkshire and the Humber Telehealth Hub, which was set up in 2011 as a partnership between Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Hull and South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The aim was to reduce hospital admissions and prove cost benefits. Despite struggles with clinical engagement and very low uptake in some areas, more than 2,000 patients were enrolled.

The author of the report, John Cruickshank, told eHealth Insider he had been very impressed with what he saw. “There’s some pretty clear evidence of cost benefits," he said.

Cruickshank added that the project had shown more cost benefits than had been shown by the Whole System Demonstrator project.

This was a major, three site telehealth project set up by the Department of Health to make the case for the technology, which has so far issued only a limited number of contested reports.

“We’re on course to show improvement, and that can be built upon,” he said.

While the hub managed to enrol more than 2,100 patients throughout the year of the scheme, the report says the hub was “overly ambitious, evidenced by a relatively low uptake of the services beyond the partners.”