Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and a telehealth provider have both thanked volunteers from British Gas who helped deliver equipment across the city during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In response to coronavirus, the NHS invested more than £850,000 to expand the telehealth system to monitor the health of more vulnerable people in Liverpool.

One of the challenges of stepping up the programme during lock-down was how to deliver the equipment to thousands of people.  British Gas volunteers stepped up, and engineers have been distributing packages of equipment since mid-April.

As the British Gas volunteers gradually return to their normal activities, the telehealth service partners, NHS Liverpool’s Clinical Commissioning Group and technology partner Docobo offered their heart-felt thanks.

John Webb, NHS Liverpool CCG’s commissioning lead for the service, said: “At a time when thousands of high-risk patients are being advised to stay at home and to socially shield themselves, telehealth has the advantage of reducing the need for face-to-face consultations, with the inherent risks that can bring.

“The team at British Gas have helped us to rapidly provide remote support to thousands of vulnerable people during this worrying time – and I can’t praise them enough.”

Liverpool is a leading adopter of telehealth – a technology-led nursing service which provides home monitoring for patients with long-term health problems such as respiratory, heart and diabetic conditions.

Patients use a smartphone, blood pressure monitor and pulse oximeter to record vital signs and symptoms which a team of nurses monitor and triage.  The nurses provide advice, support and onward referrals for patients, as required, identifying and solving any issues.

Rob Halhead, chief operating officer of Docobo, which supplies the telehealth software and patient equipment, added: ”One of our team at Wavertree contacted British Gas to see if they might be able to help – and indeed they offered up to 10 volunteer engineers every day to help deliver the kit –  it’s been fabulous.

“The collaborative effort in Liverpool is extraordinary and during such difficult times, it’s really heartening. It means that so many more people are being protected by the NHS. The British Gas volunteers deserve to be recognised for their efforts for a good job well done. Thank you.”