NHS, North Yorkshire and York
Jacqueline, a fifty-two year old Harrogate resident was diagnosed with Asthma from a young age. Over the past 15 years this has developed into brittle asthma. Jacqueline also has heart disease and hypertension. After needing frequent visits to hospital and her General Practitioner, Jacqueline felt she had no control over her condition. Telehealth was installed into her home in October 2010.
“I first heard about telehealth from my community matron. She showed me a patient case study and asked me if I would consider having it. After reading how telehealth had helped the patient I thought it would be a good idea for me, too.
“At first I was nervous, but I liked the idea of being able to manage my condition from home. Before telehealth I felt like I was in and out of hospital almost every other week. I had very little confidence and felt I had no control over my condition. Originally my telehealth was a three month trial, but I liked it that much I decided to keep it. When it was installed in my home, the engineer only had to show me how to use it once and I was away – it’s a lot easier than I first anticipated, it’s really simple and I’m sure everyone would think the same.”
What is the Telehealth intervention?
Managing multiple conditions in an easier manner
“Since having telehealth I have only been in hospital twice overnight. While there I explained that I have telehealth at home and feel confident about monitoring my condition along with the help from my community matron. I have everything I need here and I would much rather recooperate in my own home where I feel I can get better quicker and I am much more comfortable. Telehealth has changed my life and given me so much confidence. I feel as though I have a new lease of life and am much more at ease. I really like being able to manage my condition from home it has lots of benefits. There is nothing I don’t like about telehealth.
“I particularly like the fact that I can monitor all the different parts of my condition, like my weight for example. I need to reduce my weight to be healthier and to help my heart. Taking my readings three times a week means I can’t slip out of a routine. This really helps motivate and encourage me to stay on track and work towards a goal, which is go back to swimming once a week, this will help with my heart and asthma and I really enjoy it. That’s my goal and I know I’ll get there now with the help of telehealth.
“If any of my readings are high, I get a call the same day either to take a re-test or to ask if I am okay. Telehealth is great because it enables me to have independence and manage my own health but I still have a really close relationship with my community matron. If my readings are okay but I feel ill in myself I can still get in touch with my community matron and she will come straight down, she is always on the other end of the phone.”
Jacqueline’s telehealth experience has also allowed for newly developed conditions to be identified and treated, says Wendy, her community matron. “Hypertension has been identified since usage of telehealth and Jacqueline is now taking appropriate medication. Jacqueline’s medication has been altered frequently so it is now easier to monitor how this is affecting her medical status.”
For further information
For more information about this initiative please visit www.nyytelehealth.co.uk.