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Swindon PCT Launches Mainstream Telehealth Monitoring Service for COPD Patients

08-29-2008 03:21 PM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: Tunstall

/ PR Agency: Context
Swindon PCT has mainstreamed its use of telehealth solutions, to provide more timely and preventative care and support for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

The Telehealth service gives greater independence and improves the quality of life for COPD patients, enabling them to receive enhanced care in their own home and reducing the need for repeat hospital admissions.

Swindon PCT is using telehealth monitors from leading telehealthcare specialist Tunstall to monitor the health and well-being of people with COPD. The machines help patients to spot problems early on, which can then be dealt with before a person reaches the stage of hospital admission. As a result a patient could potentially avoid a serious decline in health and the stress of visiting hospital. This in turn reduces unnecessary pressure on primary and acute care providers and ensures best use of healthcare resources.

The decision to mainstream the PCT’s use of telehealth follows a successful pilot in 2007, which improved patients’ quality of life and reduced hospital admissions for patients with COPD by increasing their ability to self-manage the condition.

Jan Tretheway, Deputy Director of Service Development & Acute Services, commented: “Patients report that the Telehealth service has helped them develop a better understanding of their condition, and how to manage it more effectively on a day-to-day basis. As a result, patients are being admitted to hospital less often, require less input from community nurses and therapy teams and have more freedom to enjoy life.”

The monitors have helped to significantly improve the model of care for COPD patients in Swindon. Clinical staff have round-the-clock access to accurate information about the patient’s conditions ensuring more preventative care and reducing the need for hospital admissions.

Stephen Durant, Telehealth Project Manager at Swindon PCT said: “As a result of telehealth monitoring, patients have experienced a reduction in anxiety due to daily monitoring and have also felt more engaged with clinical staff. This also makes them feel less isolated, which has had a positive effect on their mental well-being and control of their condition.“

Matthew Marshall, Director of Health at Tunstall said: “COPD is one of the most common respiratory diseases in the UK and represents a high proportion of health and social care expenditure, costing the NHS £818m and 1 million inpatient days per year.

“As we have witnessed in Swindon, the latest telehealth monitors are playing a key role in addressing this challenge, detecting changes in patients’ conditions at an early stage to enable timely medical intervention when needed and leading to a reduction in the number of acute admissions.”

The ability to educate patients about their own condition, so they are confident when talking to clinicians, has also had a significant impact on the PCT. Telehealth has empowered patients, who can use the readings from the monitor to discuss any changes they have experienced. This in turn allows clinical staff to make better-informed decisions on what level of care a patient needs.

Swindon PCT is planning to further extend its use of telehealth monitoring for patients with other chronic conditions such as diabetes, to continue to lessen the burden on primary and acute care providers and ensure NHS resources are used effectively.

To watch a video about Swindon PCT’s mainstreaming of telehealth monitoring for COPD patients visit

Tunstall /
Context Public Relations / 01625511966

About Tunstall
Tunstall is the market leading provider of telecare and telehealth solutions, with over 2.5 million users globally. Tunstall’s solutions support older people and those with long-term needs, to live independently, by effectively managing their health and well-being. Tunstall provides technology, expertise and advice to millions of people enabling them to lead independent more fulfilling lives. For more information on how telecare and telehealth can improve quality of life, visit

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