Updated_Health_Ministers_visit.jpgThe Telemonitoring NI Centre managed by TF3 Consortium was delighted to welcome Health Minister Simon Hamilton to the Telemonitoring NI Centre.

TF3 Consortium comprising of Tunstall Healthcare, Fold Telecare and S3 runs the Telemonitoring NI Service on behalf of the Centre for Connected Health and Social Care (CCHSC), part of the Public Health Agency (PHA) and the five Health & Social Care Trusts.

The Telemonitoring NI telehealth service enables people with long-term conditions, such as diabetes, heart or respiratory conditions and post-stroke management to keep a daily check of their vital signs including pulse, blood pressure and blood glucose. Users take their readings at home using a small electronic hub, and then transmit them to the telemonitoring centre where they are reviewed by a team of professional nurses.

Mr Hamilton said: “The opportunity to speak to staff here at the centre has given me a much clearer insight into how the service operates and interacts with staff on a day-to-day basis. The support it provides gives patients and their carers reassurance, as well as more confidence in managing their conditions.”

The centre also runs telecare services across Northern Ireland, whereby sensors are used to enable people to continue living independently at home with reduced risks associated with falls and other emergencies.

During the visit, the Health Minister also met with Hugh Harrison, a Respiratory Specialist Nurse from South Eastern Trust who has been using the telehealth with his patients since 2007.

The Minister added: “There can be no question that in the context of our ageing population, we need to be maximising the potential of solutions such as telemonitoring, telecare and other assistive technologies which can support independent living. To be fully effective in this, we need to work in partnership with other agencies, housing providers, councils and the community and voluntary sectors.”

Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency, said: "We know that telemonitoring services not only help people to be more active in managing their specific health conditions, but also build their general confidence and independence. These services have a vital role to play in improving the health and wellbeing of our community."

Concluding Minister Hamilton said: “The TF3 consortium must be commended for their efforts in recent years to develop and grow this service, which has undoubtedly improved the lives of a great many people here in Northern Ireland.”

Photo: Left to Right, Triage supervisor, Margaret Broome (Fold Group NI), Minister Simon Hamilton, Hugh Harrison (Respiratory Specialist Nurse, South Eastern Trust).