As the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, unveils a new system to assess success in the health service based on the quality of care patients receive, KPMG Partner, Roberta Carter, comments:
“With an ageing UK population and increasing numbers of people with long-term health conditions (LTCs), it is not understating the case to say that the NHS is staring down the barrel of one of its biggest ever challenges. The current rate of increased activity in our acute hospitals is economically unsustainable yet this trend is set to continue, unless there is a change in care models.
“That’s why it’s exciting to see positive action from the Government. By unveiling headline findings from telehealth trials this week, the Health Secretary is making a clear statement that the NHS needs to challenge its way of thinking and operating.
“The fact is that patient care doesn’t just begin and end at the door of a hospital. That’s why the DH, parts of the NHS and the private sector have invested in the development of telehealth and other assistive technology in recent years. If one thing is clear from these efforts, it is that technology can now be used effectively to monitor patients remotely and enable timely interventions, resulting in better outcomes.
“Some people may fear the impact of telehealth as a replacement for the human touch. But from the vantage point of providing programme management support to the Whole Systems Demonstrator trial, it is clear that telehealth has enormous potential to enable carers to do more with less if they redesign services and use the advances in technology to time and target patient care more precisely.
“Both the NHS and private sector understand this. They recognise that just providing boxes of electronics is not the answer and that it is the combination of redesigned care pathways and telehealth that offers huge opportunities to meet patient demands and expectations.
“Ultimately, by using technology to integrate health and social care provision, carers on the front line can be better informed and less stretched, meaning patients will be the real beneficiaries. After all, it’s not just delivery that counts – where and how it is done can have a dramatic effect on patient well-being and help reduce costs.”
Mike Petrook, KPMG Press Office
020 7311 5271 (t), 07917 384 576 (m) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with nearly 11,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.6 billion in the year ended September 2010. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 150 countries and have more than 138,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. KPMG International provides no client services.