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News : BT Plans to Make Cornwall its ‘Telehealth Hub’
Jan 31, 2014 -- The company in charge of managing users of telecare and telehealth services in Cornwall has revealed it intends to use the county as a base for all its future telemonitoring work in England.
BT Global Services, which last year signed a deal with Cornwall Council and a number of NHS bodies to run services in the county, also disclosed that it is to merge its telecare and telehealth functions into a single service operating from one site.
Martin Ellis, the firm’s telehealth and telecare practice lead, said: "The aim in Cornwall is to move the two services into one building as a purpose built call centre."
The move is scheduled to be completed by April and involves the installation of a new operating system, Mr Ellis told HSJ.
The strategic partnership, which officially came into being last July, involved BT taking over the management of the county’s telehealth users and telecare users in a joint venture.
It took over principal responsibility for managing the services from Peninsula Community Health, formerly an NHS organisation, and now a non-profit body.
The 10-year BT-Cornwall partnership involves BT, Cornwall Council, Peninsula Community Health and Cornwall Partnership Trust. It is expected to create 500 jobs, although no additional ones will result from the latest developments.
The partnership deal faced opposition from members of the county council and faced initial delays.
The row, which put the initial offer by BT for the shared services in doubt, resulted in the then council leader being ousted after losing a vote of confidence on the issue.
A group of councillors voiced concerns over whether performance and savings targets promised by BT would be achievable, with one member describing the proposals as "too good to be true".
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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BT is provider of communications services and solutions for everybody in the UK and for corporate customers in the rest of Europe, with global reach through partnerships. BT provides services for all UK customers, network services and solutions for communication companies, worldwide business solutions, internet services, and advanced research and technology.
Published: Friday, January 31, 2014