DUDLEY Council in partnership with Dudley Primary Care Trust has launched the pilot of a new Telehealth monitoring system.

Telehealth systems are set up in patients’ homes, enabling their health to be managed remotely by nursing staff.

The pilot will run for a twelve-week period. If it proves successful then it will be rolled out throughout the borough.

Telehealth monitors have been offered to patients with two long term health conditions – heart failure and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The monitors are installed in the home by Dudley Council’s Dudley Community Alarms team.

The units quite simply measure the individual’s health, in the comfort of their own home. People are trained to use the monitor by staff. They then take their own blood pressure, oxygen levels, weight and temperature, on a daily basis. This information is automatically transferred, via the monitor, to Dudley Community Alarm’s monitoring centre, where the information is checked and any problems can then be raised with PCT nursing staff.

Councillor Lesley Faulkner, cabinet member for adult and community services said:“The Telehealth partnership between the council and the PCT offers a whole range of benefits to the patient.

“By deploying the system for community based care we are empowering patients, reducing anxiety, promoting independence and so improving overall quality of life. Telehealth also educates patients to be aware of their symptoms, to proactively manage them, reducing part of the burden on health care providers”.

Rachel Harris, Chair of Dudley Primary Care Trust said: “This is an excellent example of the innovative partnership work being undertaken by the PCT and the council. We always look to provide the most appropriate care, as close to home as possible and this project really does build on these principles. I’m sure that many patients throughout the borough will benefit from Telehealth”.