THE Isle of Wight NHS Trust hopes to use some of its £48 million government funding boost to help patients assess themselves at home.

The trust has not yet decided which specific projects will be funded, but wants to invest in technology such as 'Telehealth boxes.'

The boxes enable patients to take health readings at home, or in their place of care, without going into hospital, to free up NHS staff time.

Readings are then sent straight to healthcare professionals for monitoring.

Telehealth boxes have been successfully trialled in 14 care homes across the Isle of Wight and the new investment will help them be rolled out further.

Brian Martin, who is in charge of technology enabled care at the trust, said: "As a trust we are committed to embedding technology in our service delivery to support transformation of services to ensure we can effectively and efficiently meet the needs of the local population.

"The approach we have taken with technology has also shown that through better monitoring we can be more informed about the improvement or deterioration of the patient and work with the patient to make more accurate and timely decisions about their healthcare needs, especially when it comes to end of life care."

MP Bob Seely visited St Mary's Hospital this week to meet with staff and see how the £48 million would be spent.

Mr Seely said: "The use of technology in healthcare is already helping patients to receive better care on the Island. The ‘Telehealth box’ will be an important part of delivering improved healthcare support for Islanders.

"It should, over the coming years, help reduce visits to Emergency Departments, fewer visits to mainland, more in home and in-nursing home care, fewer crisis, better management of illness, re-assurance in medication, reduce patient anxiety and support better end of life care."

Mr Seely said health secretary Matt Hancock had recently agreed that healthcare costs on the Isle of Wight are increased because it is an Island.

He said: "I will continue to make the case to government for more investment in our healthcare system, but I am glad that technology is helping to overcome the barrier of the Solent for some patients.

"We are the only place in the South-East to win the extra money and I know that the Isle of Wight NHS Trust will use the money wisely to make better use of NHS staff time and improve outcomes for patients.

"Brian has lots of ideas as to how we can use technology to aid patient care and I am so pleased that he has some money from the government to bring some of his ideas to life."