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Research project: National Evaluation of Whole Systems Demonstrator Sites

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The Department of Health in England published a white paper in 2006 focussed on health and social care for people with long term needs. The strategy proposed a series of demonstrator pilots to drive whole systems redesign, supported by advanced assistive technologies. These technologies included telehealth, along with a system of remote, automatic, and passive monitoring for patients with social care needs (known as telecare). The result was the Whole System Demonstrator project, funded by the Department of Health, which tested the benefits of integrated care supported by telehealth and telecare in three sites in England (Cornwall, Kent, and Newham). One of the project’s aims was to test the effect of telehealth if delivered at a larger scale than existing pilot schemes. A pragmatic trial was designed, to recruit and randomise large numbers of patients and assess the effect of a broad class of telehealth and telecare technologies in the context of routine delivery of care provided by the United Kingdom’s health service.

The evaluation focussed on four main themes. One of the themes is concerned with the impact on patients and carers the aim being to understand the experience of patients in using AATs, identifying both facilitators and barriers to their use, and the impact of AATs on patient outcomes.

The study involves a number of universities and organisations it is led from City University by Professor Stanton Newman with contributions from the Nuffield Foundation, King’s Fund, Imperial College, London School of Economics, Universities of Surrey Oxford and Manchester.

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