Row over hi-tech telehealth initiative

Robert Goodwill visiting Eskdale School''w120218e
Robert Goodwill visiting Eskdale School''w120218e

SCARBOROUGH’S MP has hit out after NHS bosses were accused of wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash following serious failings in a trailblazing programme to bring hi-tech telehealth to vulnerable patients in Yorkshire.

Latest figures reveal barely a fifth of 2,000 state-of-the-art telehealth devices are being used in North Yorkshire to monitor vital signs of patients in their homes nearly two years after a £3.2 million initiative was launched.

The programme is the biggest telehealth project ordered by a single organisation in England but an internal audit report by North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust (PCT), has failed to find any evidence to justify its scale.

The project in North Yorkshire has been hampered by a reluctance of GPs to get involved, prompting managers to offer payments to doctors to take part.

Latest figures reveal only 410 telehealth units being used.

Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill said the project had been “very badly managed” by the PCT.