Date Published: 20 July 2005

UK: New Guidance Published to help Local Authorities provide Telecare Services

Health News from the United Kingdom (UK).

Telecare is the term used to refer to a range of different technologies that, together, can help older people and other people who have special needs to live independently in their own homes - conveniently and with confidence.

Examples of the technologies used in telecare systems include sensors placed around the home to detect movement and others that monitor physical parameters such as blood pressure.

New advice published Re. UK Government 'Preventative Technologies Grant'

In July 2004, as part of the 2004 Spending Review, The UK Chancellor (Government Minister responsible for Finances) announced £80 million funding for a social services’ Preventative Technologies Grant over two years from April 2006.

The purpose of this is to extend the benefits of new technology, with the aim of reducing the number of avoidable admissions to residential care and to hospital.

On Tuesday 19th July 2005 while speaking at a telecare services conference in London, Liam Byrne (UK Government Minister for Care Services), published new practical advice to help Local Authorities decide how best to commission telecare services using the Preventative Technologies Grant. This material was developed by the Telecare Policy Collaborative and the Department of Health.

He said,

" Older people and those living with long term conditions have the right to choose their services and how they are delivered. This grant is designed to help local authorities rise to the challenge of providing services in a changing and ageing society with increased expectations."

This new publication about telecare services includes case studies describing the benefits of telecare to people in categories such as:

  • Older people ;
  • People with dementia ;
  • People with long term conditions ;
  • Patients in intermediate care.

What Benefits may telecare bring to these people

Examples of possible consequences of increased government support for telecare services include:

  • Avoidance of some hospital admissions, and timely discharge of others.
  • Falls prevention strategies.
  • Saving lives through more reliable fire/smoke detection for older people.
  • Timely information to inform people’s care package reviews.
  • Improving quality of life and reducing care costs for people with long term conditions and with strokes.
  • Better monitoring of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes which can alert to changes in condition and significantly reduce out-patient attendances.

 

Source: UK Dept of Health, www.dh.gov.uk.
For further information see also http://www.changeagentteam.org.uk/_library/docs/Housing/Policy_collaborative_telecarepolicy110105.doc.

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