WSDAN launched by Ivan Lewis MP

Mike Clark

On 9 July 2008, WSDAN was launched to a packed audience at The King’s Fund by Care Minister, Ivan Lewis MP (read an extract from his speech below).

Mr Lewis outlined how the significance of telecare and telehealth in helping transform people’s quality of life and better manage their long-term conditions had yet to be realised. However, Mr Lewis reiterated the point made in the government’s concordat, Putting People First, of the need to prioritise telecare and telehealth as integral to how we look at supporting people to remain independent and healthy. There was also recognition of how technology-based services could continue to support carers. 

Mr Lewis said much will be learned from the three Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) pilots, but that there was nothing to stop local authorities and PCTs simply getting on with innovations that improved health and well-being in the community. He considered it important that robust and persuasive evidence for the use of telecare and telehealth should be generated from an early stage. Such evidence would help inform future policy and the Minister looked forward to hearing the lessons learned from the three WSD pilot sites and WSDAN.

There was also a talk from Tim Ellis, WSD Programme Manager at the Department of Health, who outlined the overall context for the WSD Programme and how WSDAN would provide a databank of knowledge and best practice to share learning.

Jeremy Porteus of CSIP Networks welcomed WSDAN's launch and stressed the wider importance of partnership and integrated working to deliver goals related to prevention, early intervention, personalisation and performance management.

Nick Goodwin from The King’s Fund showcased the WSDAN website and its current resources, together with plans to develop a searchable database of evidence for the impact of telecare and telehealth. Future plans for the action research element of WSDAN were also outlined.

Mike Clark is CSIP Networks co-project lead for WSDAN.

Extract from Ivan Lewis' speech

'Increasing the use of technologies in health and social care will help transform the lives of those with long-term conditions like diabetes, heart and chest problems, but it’s essential the information from the pilot schemes is shared among the experts. This is exactly why the Demonstrator network established today is so important. I’m confident the network will help make hi-tech health care a reality for many more people.'