COMMERCIAL: A community services provider has warned local patients using NHS-funded telehealth services to be vigilant after fraudsters tricked a patient into paying for the service by posing as a telehealth company.

Gloucestershire Health Services Trust, which oversees 180 such patients, has written to all its service users after the patient was approached by a company calling itself Gloucestershire Telehealth, demanding to be paid for the trust-funded service.

The telehealth service uses electronic equipment placed in patients’ homes, allowing clinicians to monitor users’ health and if necessary bring them in for treatment.

It is understood that the patient made a payment of £90, according to a spokeswoman from Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group. However, the figure was not directly confirmed by the patient themselves.

In a document presented to the trust’s board last month, chief executive Paul Jennings said: “It has been brought to our attention that a Gloucestershire patient has been contacted by a company presenting itself as ‘Gloucestershire Telehealth’ which attempted to charge the patient for the telehealth service they currently receive.

“We have written to all telehealth service users to reassure them that the service is provided and funded by the trust and that if they approached by ‘Gloucestershire Telehealth’ or asked for payment they should not make a payment or disclose personal details and instead contact the trust.”

There is no company registered with Companies’ House under the name Gloucestershire Telehealth.

Only one such incident has so far been reported, according to the trust.

The incident has also been reported to Gloucestershire County Council.