Published: 14/04/2005, Volume II5, No. 5951 Page 12

The UK should have a national body to push forward progress in the use of telemedicine, according to a leader in the field.

Dr David Cartlidge, clinical director in accident and emergency medicine at Conwy and Denbighshire trust in Wales, said telecommunications and IT technology to diagnose patients at a distance could deliver significant benefits but was not being rolled out fast enough.

Speaking at the Scottish NHS Confederation conference, Dr Cartlidge described how telemedicine was used successfully at his trust in minor injuries and dermatology.

He said: 'Telemedicine is a highrisk capital investment but someone, somewhere, has to have the vision to make it happen.' Long-term investment, an all-systems approach and local champions were essential to make the projects work, he added. 'A manager with a target and a clinician with an interest is a powerful combination, ' he said.