General, HP, Innovation, Supporting our vulnerable adults, Surrey County Council

Pioneering hi-tech home care for people with depression

People with severe depression will get care via a revolutionary app in the country’s first scheme of its kind being launched in Surrey.

Adults who usually need to attend mental health clinics can now monitor their own progress with the help of a tablet computer and expert healthcare support via Skype-style video conferencing.

Surrey County Council and local GP groups are paying for around 100 selected patients in the Runnymede and Spelthorne areas to get the treatment over a two-year trial.

Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust, which is leading the project with specialists Medvivo, is also planning to widen the scheme to other areas of the county in future.

Known as telehealth, the project’s goal is to give patients more choice over where they get treatment, and for them to learn to manage their condition better without needing as many hospital visits.

The groundbreaking mental health trial comes after the county council and local GPs paid for heart and lung patients to get the easy-to-use electronic telehealth equipment from last September.

Councillor Mel Few, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “The county council is always looking for innovative ways to protect vulnerable adults, which is why we’re more than happy to extend our funding for telehealth after it successfully helped more than 300 people in Surrey manage serious long-term conditions from home.”

For more information, visit the Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust website.

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