NHS Connecting for Health’s assistive technologies programme manager has called for all healthcare organisations to provide their patients with access to assistive living technologies, or to be forced to do so.
George MacGinnis made the plea as he addressed an audience at a Mobile Healthcare Industry Summit in London.
MacGinnins later told E-Health Insider that he wanted to see a bigger push towards telehealth technologies from the centre.
“There’s enough there now to start implementing; there’s already a business case and these organisations need to be incentivised, if not forced, to implement.
“If Whole System Demonstrator [the largest telehealth pilot in the UK] came up with the answer tomorrow and the policy was there then I think the bulk of the NHS would use these technologies immediately.
"There appears to be cross party support for these systems but the question seems to be how we move this along and how much investment we need to do that,” he said.
When asked what his “ideal Christmas present” would be, MacGinnis said: “My Christmas parcel comes out of the credit crunch; we face such an immediate situation that the waiting to see if perfect answers come out is no longer acceptable.
"We would expect every healthcare organisation in the UK to set up some form of outreach operation for its patients.
He said that the kind of technology that trusts needed to invest in was insignificant and that only around 30% of NHS organisations are using assistive technologies and often on an incredibly small scale.
MacGinnis added: “The organisation could choose the patient types that they wanted to go for and the technology but they have to move now in order to create capacity and knowledge around how to deliver these services at a scale beyond this next stage. I would really like to see 10,000s of people being monitored in the UK in the next year or two.”
MacGinnis also commended local authorities, such as Essex, for taking the lead in telehealth and helping to tackle its rapidly ageing population.