2013-Roberta Bernardi

The Role of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in fostering the adoption and diffusion of telehealth in the UK

Dr Roberta Bernardi, University of Bristol (previously Royal Holloway, University of London) 

Dr Mark Exworthy, University of Birmingham  


Private companies such as telehealth technology suppliers are among the key actors that can make telehealth a workable solution. Increasing competitiveness among these companies is one of the factors that may bring capital investment costs down and, therefore, have a positive impact on the cost-effectiveness and return of telehealth. In the context of recent patient-focused health sector reforms in the UK, the research aim was to investigate the potential of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in designing and implementing sustainable and scalable telehealth services in partnership with the private sector. Drawing on a narrative analysis methodology, this objective was achieved by analysing the identities of medical practitioners sitting in CCGs as “managerial professionals” and their influence on the quality of relationships with technology suppliers, health care providers and other stakeholders of telehealth projects. The research provided an increased understanding of the role of clinical leaders in facilitating IT innovation. In particular, we found how clinical managers’ perception of their hybrid role in relation to their profession influences how they respond to the conflicting institutional demands that challenge IT innovation in healthcare.