The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has set the bar high for all others in the running for Telecare Aware’s Bizarre Decision of the Year Award.
As reported in the Nursing Times under the headline Telehealth system slashes hospital admissions in COPD patients, the Trust has been running what its own monitoring has revealed is a stonkingly successful and cost effective pilot telehealth programme using 40 Docobo units. It calculates that it has saved “around 144 unnecessary hospital admissions, potentially saving the trust around £259,000 over the course of a year.”
So have they taken that money and reinvested it in more telehealth to increase their savings? No!
Worse than that, they have pulled the plugs on the machines and put them back on the shelf!
Apart from the bizarre financial decision, it is surely unethical to withdraw the system that keeps current patients safer at home and thereby increases the risk of them returning to hospital and of picking up hospital acquired infections, etc.
Oh, wait a minute… perhaps it makes perfect financial sense in the tospy-turvy world of NHS finance where hospitals are paid more for admissions than to keep people well at home.