COPD patients remotely monitored at home in rural Scotland
28 February 2014
Tunstall Healthcare has partnered with Putting you First to
implement a remote monitoring service for patients with chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the Annan area of Dumfries
and Galloway, Scotland.
The Annan Remote Monitoring (ARM) 'test of change' project is
being introduced as part of the ‘Putting You First’ five-year change
programme, implemented as a partnership approach between the NHS,
local councils and the independent sector, to transform care
delivery in the region.
The ARM project will involve patients with COPD who are currently
registered with two local GP practices and would benefit from remote
monitoring to improve self-management and potentially reduce
unnecessary hospital admissions.
Dumfries and Galloway is one of the most rural areas of Scotland
and has 25% of older residents living in remote locations where
access to emergency services can be impeded. Current estimates
indicate that approximately 23,000 people over the age of 65 are
living with at least one long-term condition, with the recorded
episodes of COPD in the area rising by almost 50% from 2007 to 2013.
Dr David Byers, local GP and ARM 'test of change' project leader
based at Annan South Greencroft Surgery, said: “This is an exciting
test of change and it will be interesting to see how the use of this
technology helps to improve the quality of life of our COPD
Dr Fergus Donachie, a GP based at Annan North Greencroft Surgery,
added, “We are still in the early stages but patients are finding
the equipment simple to use. We hope we will be able to treat
symptoms earlier and prevent patients needing to be admitted to
hospital, as well as enabling patients to better manage their own
COPD patients recommended for the service are those who have
experienced two or more exacerbations within the last year which
have led to a hospital admission. Each patient will be provided with
Tunstall’s mymedic system, which supports integrated and
fully-managed patient-centred care at home.
People taking part in the test are provided with electronic
monitoring devices which relay blood pressure and temperature
readings to a response centre where specialist staff can check for
any early signs of deterioration in their condition. If there are
any signs that someone would benefit from medical intervention, the
response centre staff alert the appropriate nurse or doctor so they
can take action quickly.
By widening the choice of services available, the GP-led
programme hopes to transform the way patients living with COPD
manage their condition, which in turn can improve their quality of
life by enabling them to live more independently in their own homes.
In implementing a remote monitoring service, patients are becoming
more aware of how their behaviour affects their condition, and
adjusting it accordingly to improve health outcomes.
The Annan Remote Monitoring project programme was implemented
following previous work with heart failure patients to determine the
most appropriate model of care. It will initially run for twelve
months, after which the success of the test will be evaluated and a
decision made as to whether the service will be extended further.
David Cockayne, Managed Services Director for Tunstall said:
“Putting You First is demonstrating its commitment to providing
sustainable, high quality care using the latest advancements in
treatments and technologies, and supporting people to remain in
their own homes for as long as possible. Our consultants have been
very busy ensuring processes, stakeholder engagement and training
are in place and early feedback has been really positive, with
clinical teams enthusiastic about offering their patients a more
local model of monitoring.”