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GPs to begin implementation of telehealth drive under new DES

GPs will be tasked with rolling out the Government’s flagship telehealth project under a new DES designed to provide remote care monitoring for patients with long-term conditions.

The DES will incentivise practices for providing remote monitoring in one disease area from April 2013, and will be expanded to other areas in future years said the Department of Health in a letter to the GPC published today.

The DH suggested the first group of patients – to be chosen by the NHS Commissioning Board – could be those with hypothroidism.

The draft specifications for the DES say GPs will have to ‘proactively’ offer remote care  monitoring to all the patients on their list who are diagnosed with the prescribed long term condition and support them by offering them information and tuition so they participate in the scheme successfully.

Where available, the remote monitoring system could be provided by CCGs.

The proposed DES  directions say: ‘We envisage that such an approach should provide practices with the confidence to tackle conditions that are more complex in future years, extending the benefits to more patients and further expanding capacity fro practices by reducing unnecessary routine attendances.’

The DES will be funded by the cash released from the abolition of the organisational domain of QOF.