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Wales pledges £250,000 to improve telehealth

Health minister Mark Drakeford has pledged £250,000 to improve telehealth technology in Mid-Wales as part of plans to make patient care more cost effective.

The region is largely rural and is sparsely populated, and so telehealth is very important in ensuring that patients receive the care they need, he said.

More patients will have access to dermatology services in which images and patient details can be examined by specialists remotely. There will also be an expansion in the use of electronic transferral of X-rays.

Plans to improve telehealth services are being led by the Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative, a partnership of healthcare organisations across Mid Wales which includes GPs.

Professor Drakeford said: ’Telehealth already means orthopaedic specialists in Abergavenny can look at X-rays from Brecon to avoid unnecessary travel for patients. This investment will take stock of all practices which use telehealth across NHS Wales and look at how, within the Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative region, we can scale these projects up to benefit more patients.’

The £250,000 is part of a £10m ‘efficiency through technology’ fund designed to bring more efficient ways of working