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GP looks to telecare for future of healthcare at home

1st August 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

International self-care day has recently passed, leading GP Simon Fradd to consider ways in which people can continue to live independently at home whilst having long-term health conditions. The article, which was published as part of The Guardian's Healthcare Professionals Network, can be read here.

Like many others, Dr Simon Fradd had said that the current way that healthcare is delivered by the NHS is "not sustainable", and with figures from the Royal College of GPs stating that the country currently has 8,000 doctors less than it needs, other ways of delivering successful healthcare need to be found.

The problem of not having enough trained and skilled healthcare professionals and the funds to pay for them can be found across the globe, and it is something which led to the creation of international self-care day in China on 24 July 2012. In considering this day and how the NHS could improve care in the future, Dr Simon Fradd is appealing for patients to be given the tools they need to be fully involved with the management of their illnesses, particularly in terms of older people with long-term conditions.

Whereas independent-living aids such as a walk in shower can already help people care for themselves at home, telecare is now emerging as a way in which GPs and other healthcare professionals can get involved with helping a patient deal with their condition at home. This technology can be part of a whole care package that delivers uninterrupted care at home, providing patients with both the healthcare support they need and the independence that they deserve.

As well as benefiting patients, telecare can also help lower a GP's workload as they can monitor patients remotely and reduce the number of hospital admissions by identifying problems and tackling them earlier. Dr Simon Fradd stresses that for telecare to work well across the country there need to be "skilled, trained individual[s]" who will monitor the data and interact with patients, ensuring that advice on medication, diet and other areas that affect the patient's health can be delivered as soon as possible.

Telecare is emerging as a possible way forward for all elderly people to get the care they need in the future, enabling healthcare professionals to help people manage their own health at home and adding to the list of independent living aids, such as riser recliner chairs and stairlifts, that already enable people to take appropriate steps towards managing their health at home.

Image Credit: caroline_1 (flickr.com)