NHS England has axed the 3millionlives industry group as it “redefines” its vision for the campaign to have 3m patients using telehealth and telecare by 2017.

The industry group was set up to promote the government’s effort to recruit patients. It has 19 contributors, as well as four trade associations, including Intellect and the Telecare Services Association.

The organisations have all committed financial resources to the 3millionlives initiative.

The industry group will be replaced by a new group, called the Integrated Care for 3millionlives Stakeholder Forum, which will focus less on the technology industry.

Dr Martin McShane, domain director for long term conditions at NHS England said the organisation had decided the industry group would no longer “operate in its current form”, but that representatives from the technology industry would still have a “significant presence.”

“A rapid review of its delivery to date has shown that stakeholders, including those in industry, felt the industry group’s existing model needed to change, to enable the 3millionlives brand to be associated with a much broader range of technology solutions and organisations," he said.

“The group will bring them together with clinical leaders, providers, the third sector and local government, to focus on several key priority issues around delivery and implementation of integrated care for 3millionlives.”

3millionlives was set up by the Department of Health, but responsibility for the scheme was transferred to NHS England shortly after the April shake-up of the NHS.

NHS England released a vision statement for the project, saying that to achieve “true integration” 3millionlives will need to be delivered to a “genuine partnership across NHS England."

“Under the overall leadership of NHS England Medical Directorate, 3millionlives will be delivered going forward by combining clinical advocacy, service improvement and technology strategy,” says the statement.

Andrew Hartshorn, chair of Intellect Health and Social Care Council, told EHI that NHS England’s take-over of the 3millionlives campaign has given it broader focus.

“Technology plays an important part in realising the ambition for 3millionlives, but it is only a part; the benefits and value will come from a fundamentally different approach to the commissioning and delivery of care for people with long term conditions,” he said.

“The new stakeholder forum will continue to have significant industry presence on it. I expect Intellect to continue to play a lead role in this on behalf of industry, as we do with other initiatives led by NHS England,” he said.

The TSA has also welcomed the “new direction” of the scheme and told EHI it was an “ideal opportunity to review the significant progress already made and determine the business priorities.”

“Partnership and stakeholder engagement is key to the success of any complex change programme – and 3millionlives will continue to tackle the complex issues relating to the transformation of health and social care, and the vital part that technology enabled services have within this transformation,” said the TSA spokesperson.

EHI reported earlier this year that the pathfinder scheme, where health secretary Jeremy Hunt identified seven pathfinders which would each enrol 10,000 people in telehealth this year, was strugging to achieve its targets.

This was to be the first step in the project, but so far only one of the pathfinders has gone out to procurement for a telehealth service and none of the seven are close to having 10,000 users.

O2 Health, one of the former 3millionlives industry contributors, recently announced it was exiting the telehealth market after failing to get enough uptakes of its telehealth and telecare products.