1. ITV Report

NHS in Cornwall halts cuts to patient monitoring service after legal challenge

Telehealth is a service allowing patients to send health data from home to a nurse. Photo: ITV West Country

The NHS in Cornwall has halted plans to axe a patient monitoring service, after one of its users threatened legal action.

Ian Wyness from Davidstowe was among hundreds of patients to be told they would be losing access to Telehealth.

NHS Kernow had decided to cut the service without openly publicising their plans.

That has now changed, and a public consultation is underway.

Telehealth allows patients to send health data to healthcare staff. Credit: ITV West Country

NHS Kernow says Telehealth is "a remote health monitoring service that allows people with a range of long-term health conditions to send electronic readings of their blood pressure, blood glucose levels and weight readings from their home to a nurse".

The CCG, which brought in the service, now wants to end the contract over funding issues.

Mr Wyness believes he is only able to live at home thanks to the service.

Among other conditions, he suffers from heart disease so chronic his chest is fitted with a defibrillator.

His heart is monitored by equipment and each day, he submits other test results via an app.

All of the data is monitored by health teams whom he says have saved his life on more than one occasion.

Heart monitors and other equipment send data to health experts. Credit: ITV West Country

Mr Wyness formed a campaign group after letters were sent out to patients ordering their equipment to be returned.

In response to the threat of legal action, the CCG is now extending its period of consultation.

NHS Kernow says it intends to gather more evidence:

Supporting people with long term conditions to manage their condition is one of our top priorities and it has always been our intention to invest in more evidence-based support for people that is linked to GPs and community nurses.

– Dr Iain Chorlton, NHS Kernow Chairman
The consultation over Telehealth is currently open. Credit: NHS

At a time when the Royal Cornwall Hospital has been put under special measures, users argue the Telehealth service eases pressure on the hospital and should save money.

A final decision is expected in December.