Telehealth Specialist Tunstall Teams up with Sheffield Primary Care Trust to Celebrate World COPD Awareness Day

November 15, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Telehealth and telecare specialist Tunstall is teaming up with Sheffield Primary Care Trust to celebrate World COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Awareness Day at a special event at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough football ground.

COPD is an umbrella term for conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The event, which takes place on Wednesday 14th November, between 10.30am and 4.30pm, is an opportunity for people to learn about COPD, how to improve the quality of life for people affected by it and to meet people from key services like the Community Respiratory Team, support groups and voluntary groups.

The event will feature stalls that represent what Sheffield can offer for people with COPD. Those exhibiting will include the British Lung Foundation, Tunstall, Activity Sheffield, the Expert Patient Programme (EPP), yoga for COPD and the Housebound Library.

Earlier in 2007, Sheffield PCT conducted a successful pilot using telehealth solutions from Tunstall as part of a pioneering initiative designed to provide remote monitoring for people with COPD. The aim was to support independent living and an improved quality of life, while also helping healthcare professionals to manage their caseloads more effectively and reducing the need for hospital admissions.

Tunstall’s Genesis monitors were installed in patients’ homes to monitor a range of vital signs including blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen saturation levels and body temperature, enabling case managers to monitor their condition remotely and alerting them if any information is outside the designated, so that timely, preventative support can be given.

Nurses working at Sheffield PCT reported that as a result of using the monitoring solution from Tunstall, readmission rates to hospital have been cut by 50%, significantly reducing the burden on primary and secondary healthcare providers and supporting early discharge from hospital.

Jan Sobieraj, Chief Executive of Sheffield PCT, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating World COPD by putting on this event that allows the people of Sheffield to see what local COPD services are available across the city. The opportunity to hold the event at Hillsborough Football Ground means we can open the event in an area in the city closest to where there is higher than average rate of respiratory disease and unscheduled care admissions to hospital. Our aim is to involve, patients, families, health care professionals and the public in raising awareness of this disease and what we can do to combat it using the services we have in Sheffield.”

COPD is a highly prevalent disease and has a large impact on the quality of life for the patient, their families and carers. The early stages often go undetected and early interventions can make a difference to prevent further deterioration in lung function. By providing appropriate treatment and preventing further lung decline the Sheffield PCT aim to work towards reducing deaths, the number of unscheduled care admissions to hospital and reducing the prevalence of COPD.

Telehealth solutions are playing a pivotal role in supporting healthcare providers and people with COPD, enabling patients’ vital signs to be monitored remotely and promoting a greater degree of independence, whilst also reducing some of the burden on healthcare providers and preventing hospital admissions.