Service Overview

The Telehealth and Hospital In-reach Team consists of Telehealth Care Support Workers and Community Matrons, who work with patients diagnosed with a long term medical condition(s) to help them to monitor, manage and control their own health.

Long term conditions include high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing problems (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD) and heart problems that need to be managed carefully to avoid periods of illness and unnecessary hospital visits and admissions.

Telehealth simply means providing health care at a distance rather than face to face. In Newham, we are leading the way in using telehealth technology to support people to help manage their condition, maintain their health and well-being and live independently.

Why we use Telehealth

Our Telehealth services aim to do three things:

  • Support people in understanding their long term condition and acquiring the skills and habits of self management needed to achieve the best outcomes in terms of their health.
  • Reduce avoidable hospital admissions and inappropriate A&E visits through improving the information available to patients, carers and clinical staff.
  • Minimise the waste of time and resource consumed by face to face interaction where the patient would prefer support to be provided remotely and where this support can be done effectively.

Please remember that our Telehealth services are not emergency services rather they aim to help you understand how best to manage your condition and that includes knowing the best way of handling an emergency.

Our approach to Telehealth

We have a step up/step down approach to providing Telehealth that aims to give you the support you need it when you need it.

If you have severe health problems and would like to learn more about your condition and how to manage it with the aid of videos, questionnaires and reminders we have a Telehealth system that uses your TV.

If you understand your condition and how to manage it but feel you would benefit from reminders and feedback on how well you are looking after yourself, we also have a Telehealth solution that uses your mobile phone to provide a free to use text based service.

Finally if you fully understand your condition and how to manage it but feel that you would benefit from a periodic call to enquire as to how you are coping we have a telephone based service.

All our Telehealth solutions are supported by clinicians. This means that a nurse will discuss your condition with you, give you more information about the services available and help you decide the best Telehealth option for you. They will also be able to offer advice and support remotely as needed.

Our Telehealth Services

As of June ’14 we have two telehealth services. The Diabetes Specialist Nursing (DSN) Service uses an NHS created telehealth technology called Florence to help some of their patients and the Telehealth Team uses Florence, a TV based system called Motiva and structured phone calls to support patients.

The Telehealth Team supports people with Diabetes, Heart Failure, Hypertension and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The DSN service only uses telehealth to support people with diabetes.

Florence

Florence is a simple telehealth text messaging service that helps you take a more active role in your health care and gives you the freedom to get on with your life. Florence can give personalised health tips, provide valuable advice to help you stay on track and send medication reminders - so you’ll never need to miss another pill again.

It’s quick to set up, and takes less than a minute. It’s easy to use and it’s right there on your own mobile phone.

How does it work?

Once you have registered you can start to use Flo right away on your mobile phone. You just simply key in your information and Flo does the rest. You may be loaned or given equipment so that you can take your own readings. Flo sends these to a nurse who can monitor your health, leaving you to get on with your life. This means you won’t need to visit your doctor or nurse so often, and if you become unwell, this can be picked up before things become more serious.

In ELFT we are using it to help patients monitor:

  • heart failure
  • hypertension
  • chronic lung disease
  • diabetes

Some local GP practices are also using Flo to help their patients.

Does it cost me anything?

On most phone networks in the UK Flo is free as the NHS meets the cost. Before signing you up to Flo we will test to make sure that you can access the free service on your phone.

Where can I find out more about Flo?

There is a lot more information about Flo, also referred to as Simple Telehealth, at

http://www.digitalhealthsot.nhs.uk/home