The Department of Health has identified its target groups and released more information for prospective participants about its telecare pilot covering one million people.
The DH says it wants the Whole System Long Term Conditions Demonstrator Programme to focus on two groups of patients – the frail elderly with complex health and social care needs and patients of any age suffering from chronic heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or type two diabetes.
Applications will be invited “in the near future” from NHS and local authority partnerships but the DH says it has released more detail about the programme in the interim to allow interested parties from the NHS, private, voluntary, social care and charity sectors to liaise and scope how they might deliver a demonstrator site.
The DH has also identified the key elements that are likely to be needed in an application. They include an existing track record in health and social care partnership working to provide care for those with long term conditions (LTCs), evidence of work with the voluntary, independent and acute sector on LTCs and existing investment in telecare/telehealth and plans for the future.
The health department expects there to be up to three pilots covering at least a million people from a variety of geographical and demographic contexts. The pilots will run for a minimum of two years and will be subject to a rigorous ‘real time’ evaluation process.
The DH adds: “The pilots will be on a scale significantly greater than anything undertaken in England to date; in the region of several thousand telehealth and telecare installations over the two year period across all of the sites.”
The technology used by the pilot sites is expected to be a mix of telecare, telehealth and information integration and the DH says pilots will need to demonstrate that installations are in areas and populations where they can make a significant difference to health and social care outcomes.
Pilot sites will be able to use the Telecare National Framework Agreement, which the NHS Purchasing and Supplies Agency (PASA) has recently negotiated with 15 suppliers, to source potential suppliers of telehealth and telecare equipment. NHS PASA will also provide support to pilots through the procurement process.
The DH adds: “For people with complex long term health and social care needs, we plan to bring together knowledge of what works internationally, with a powerful commitment to new, electronic assistive technologies to demonstrate major improvements in care and support.”