Telehealth Trial Starts On Scilly

St Mary’s Health Centre

The mainland journeys we make for expert medical opinion may soon be unnecessary if enough consultants agree to use technology for initial diagnosis of islands’ patients.

Yesterday, the first trials allowing consultations between islanders and clinicians in Cornwall on a webcam began at St Mary’s hospital.

Gastroenterology, ear, nose and throat, and dermatological conditions are the first areas of medicine covered in the trial.

Aisling Hick of the Council says the trial been made possible because the Town Hall has bought three video conferencing units on the online auction site eBay.

Aisling says children would benefit most from the trial because they are most comfortable with technology and traveling to the mainland for examination is disruptive to their schooling.

If the experiment works, they hope to expand the service to take in other areas of medicine if consultants are willing. Aisling says they’ll approach the Kernow commissioning group, which takes over from the Primary Care Trust in April, for funding.