UK hospital signs telehealth framework agreement

Friday, October 1 2010

Telehealth is a growing field in the United States and Australia, and now Great Britain's Airedale Hospital is joining the healthcare revolution.

Telehealth uses video conferencing to connect patients in remote locations with doctors who have access to all the resources offered by large, urban medical centers. The technology has received government backing in the United States and Australia, where large segments of the population live in rural areas that are underserved by healthcare professionals.

Now, Airedale Hospital has become the first NHS trust to be awarded a framework agreement for technology that includes telehealth video conferencing services, the Keighley News reports. The medical center has been involved in offering alternative healthcare solutions that help treat people in their own homes for more than seven years, but will now enjoy the funding to deploy it on a larger scale.

The agreement, which was awarded by the national procurement partner Buying Solutions, will be valid for two years and is designed to simplify the delivery of products and services to local authorities and NHS organizations.

"I am delighted that we have been awarded the framework agreement," Bridget Fletcher, interim chief executive at Airedale, said. "We look forward to working with patients, local authorities and NHS trusts to develop and redesign services that meet our communities' needs."