Call: 0300 421 8147

Telehealth is a specialist service for heart failure and respiratory patients. It uses an electronic monitoring device in the home to monitor a person’s vital signs, including blood pressure, weight and blood glucose. The patient may use the device daily, or more frequently, depending on their needs. The easy-to-use device asks a range of health and quality of life questions which the patient answers on a key pad or touch sensitive screen. Physiological data can also be recorded, such as:

  • Blood pressure
  • Weight
  • Heart rate
  • Oxygen levels

Once obtained, the data is transmitted using either the patient’s home phone connection (using encrypted messaging on a free-phone number) or via GPRS mobile phone connection to a central computer server.

The data is compared against pre-set parameters and any areas of concern are reviewed by a specialist nurse and action taken as required.

Using telehealth, patients learn to manage their own condition, which often results in fewer visits to their home from clinicians and fewer visits to GPs.

Telehealth is not an emergency service and patients will still  need to contact GPs or emergency services if necessary. However, the number of hospital admissions is reduced and care can be managed, and trends analysed.

How referrals are made

Currently, we only accept referrals from the specialist heart and respiratory services.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What is telehealth?
Telehealth is the remote monitoring of a patient's vital signs, health and well-being through monitoring equipment located in the patient's home.

How does telehealth work?
The monitor along with various peripherals, e.g. blood pressure monitor, is installed in a patient's home. At a time agreed with the specialist nurse the patient will take their vital signs readings and answer symptomatic health questions.

What vital signs can be measured using telehealth?
Vital signs include blood pressure, oxygen pulse oximetry, weight and heart rate.

Can anyone apply to join the Gloucestershire Care Services’ specialist telehealth programme?
No, currently specialist telehealth is being used with patients already known to the Heart Failure (HF) and Respiratory services. Referrals are not taken from outside these services.

Does the service cost the patient?
No, the equipment is provided on loan from Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust. Data is transferred on a free 0800 number. There is a small cost to the patient for electricity used by the equipment.

Is there a formal agreement between Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and the patient/carer?
At the time of installation a consent form is signed by the patient, acknowledging that the equipment is owned by Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and may be removed at any time.

How long will the equipment remain in the patient's home?
The equipment will remain in the patient's home for as long as it is deemed necessary by the clinician. However, it will be reviewed every 13 weeks and withdrawn on clinical or other grounds.

What are long term conditions?
Long-term conditions are defined as chronic conditions that require on-going management.

Does the patient need to have a broadband connection?
No, the equipment currently being used in Gloucestershire works on either an analogue landline telephone or through a GPRS system.