Consortium of Tunstall, Fold and S3 Group secures 6-year contract for telehealth services to improve care for patients with long-term conditions
16 March 2011 – The TF3 consortium has been chosen to provide a Remote Telemonitoring Service to Northern Ireland (RNTI) and during the course of the contract, the managed service will support in excess of 8000 patients.
The consortium, comprising Tunstall Healthcare, Fold Housing Association and S3 Group, is the largest provider of remote telemonitoring solutions in Northern Ireland and is actively involved in over 80 dedicated telehealth initiatives in both Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The contract was awarded by the European Centre for Connected Health (ECCH) in the Public Health Agency of Northern Ireland, with a £18M investment in the management of long-term conditions.
The Minister for Health, Michael McGimpsey made the announcement at a launch event today. The Minister said: "This is a wonderful achievement for the health service in Northern Ireland. The demographic and budget pressures we face mean that the health service is going to have to find new and better ways to ensure that we continue to provide a high quality service. There is no doubt that remote telemonitoring is a prime example of the innovation that will be required going forward.”
The Minister went on to congratulate all those involved in bringing the contract to this point, including the European Centre for Connected Health in the Public Health Agency, Trust staff who helped develop the service and TF3 as contract winners. He said: “This new service will mean a better experience and better outcomes for many of our patients, with earlier interventions when they have a flare-up and fewer spells in hospital as a result."
TF3 will begin implementation of remote telemonitoring services for people with heart and respiratory conditions, diabetes and those who have suffered a stroke, from March 2011.
Jon Lowe, TF3 managing director said: “This is a truly large-scale initiative aimed at modernising health and care delivery in Northern Ireland, and improving outcomes for people with chronic diseases. We are honoured that ECCH has chosen us as a long-term partner. The managed services that the TF3 Consortium will provide are key to minimising unplanned hospital admissions, accelerating discharge and enabling clinicians to improve patient care through remote monitoring.”
Dr Eddie Rooney, Public Health Agency added: “The use of this technology will give people more information, and hence control, over their health while supporting them to live independently in their own homes for longer. Families and carers will also benefit from the reassurance that chronic health conditions are being closely monitored on an ongoing basis.”
Patient and clients accessing the new services will be identified by a variety of methodologies appropriate to each disease area. Identifiers include those patients who frequently access the service and whose care will benefit from home monitoring; those whose conditions are deteriorating and those whose discharge from hospital could be facilitated by access to the service. It is anticipated that over time the concept will be further applied to patients with other conditions such as stroke, palliative care, cancer treatment and other neurological disease.
Northern Ireland’s predicted population increase in people over 75s and 85s is steeper than predictions for the rest of the UK, adding to cost pressures on its health service, as its health budget is unlikely to be adjusted accordingly. In order to provide sustainable, high-quality care in an environment of increasing demand and constrained resources, it was necessary to devise a new system to monitor chronic illnesses, providing better care to patients and reducing admissions to hospitals and nursing homes.
Remote monitoring (telemonitoring) is a clinical practice that involves remotely monitoring patients who are not at the same location as the health care provider. It is a convenient way for patients to avoid travel and perform some basic healthcare functions for themselves, allowing health and care professionals to look after vulnerable people without the need for frequent face-to-face consultations unless the need for these is clinically demonstrated.
TF3 is a group of three companies with a 30-year track record in providing patient-centric technology solutions:
For more information, visit: www.tf3consortium.com