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Health Services: Pilot Schemes

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he expects the NHS Whole System Demonstrator pilots in (a) Newham, (b) Kent and (c) Cornwall to go live; (202722)

(2) which parties are involved in the delivery of the NHS Whole System Demonstrator pilots in (a) Newham, (b) Kent and (c) Cornwall;

(3) which services will be offered to patients in the NHS whole system demonstrator pilots in (a) Newham, (b) Kent and (c) Cornwall.

Since summer 2007, the three successful whole system demonstrator (WSD) sites (Kent, Cornwall and Newham), have been engaged with a consortium of leading United Kingdom research institutions in a period of detailed methodology and process planning in order to define the evaluation design for the programme. In addition, the sites have been working to finalise their detailed implementation and delivery plans.

The WSDs are now undertaking work at a local level to inform, engage and recruit general practices to the programme and press ahead with implementation of their delivery plans. Eligible individuals are being written to in order to gain their consent to involvement in the trial. As people agree to involvement in the trial they are being assessed and enrolled on the programme.

From April 2008, people have started to provide their consent to involvement in the trial and implementation is now under way. Following the consent of an individual there are several steps before mainstream service begins, e.g. eligibility confirmation, home visit, base-line evaluation interview, installation of equipment and training. The roll-out is planned to build month by month over the first year, with the lessons learned in the early phase helping to optimise the process.

Each of three WSD sites (Newham, Kent and Cornwall) is working with a variety of parties to implement local delivery plans.

The key delivery partners, as set out in the plans from the sites, are listed in the following table. Each site however, has to work with a large number of stakeholder organisations. Age Concern, Breathe Easy and the Alzheimer's Society are also informing the roll-out. Similarly, a number of software suppliers provide the site legacy systems and are involved in the implementation.


Key delivery partners

Kent county council—Kent Adult Social Services (KASS)

East Kent and Coastal PCT

West Kent PCT

Viterion (supplier of TeleHealth)

Tunstall (supplier of Telecare)


Key delivery partners

Cornwall and Isle of Scilly PCT

Cornwall county council DASC

HTL/WebVMC (supplier of Telehealth)

Tunstall (supplier of Telecare)

Carrick Life Line

Caradon Life Line

Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust

Cornwall IT Services


Key delivery partners

London borough of Newham (LBN) and Newham primary care trust (NPCT). Service provision for LBN and NPCT is under the auspices of Integrated Adult Services (IAS).

Newham Homes

Newham University Hospital NHS Trust (NUHT)

Tunstall (supplier of Telecare)

Philips (supplier of Telehealth)

T+ Medical (supplier of Telehealth)


NHS Direct

The WSD Programme is driven by the need to understand the true benefit of integrated health and social care supported by advanced assistive technology (telecare and telehealth).

The research design for the evaluation of the programme is a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT), with allocation to intervention or control group determined by randomisation of participating GP practices (the clusters). Those in the control group will continue to receive ‘usual care'. Participating users with the intervention group who meet the eligibility criteria will be offered Telehealth, Telecare or a combination of the two in addition to their ‘usual care’. The exact nature of the technology package that an eligible participant receives will be determined by the cluster to which they belong and by assessment.

The population groups who do not receive telecare/telehealth immediately will be reassessed to see if they are still eligible for these devices 12 months after their initial participation in the programme. In this way the control group have the opportunity to receive an intervention after a 12-month delay.