Mainstreaming Telecare in Hampshire
Thursday, 28 June 2012
Hampshire County Council is looking to mainstream its telecare service by seeking a business partner and making it a more appealing and affordable first choice for care.
Telecare can range from devices mainly focused on preventative support to avert problems, such as a fall or medication not being taken, to intervention monitors which check sleep and activity. Sensors are placed throughout a home and can detect, remind or control other equipment - if a sensor is activated it will send a message to a response centre who will respond appropriately.
The County Council currently uses five providers to supply telecare to a small proportion of people across the County a business partner would look at vastly increasing the take up of telecare through working directly with Hampshire County Council staff and service users.
Under new proposals telecare would become free for all critical and substantial users making it a more viable choice for people who are looking into different care options.
The use of telecare benefits the whole care system by allowing people to remain independent in their own homes for longer and delaying admission to residential care and reducing stays in hospital beds.
The use of telecare is much less intrusive than traditional home care, enhancing people's sense of dignity and quality of life, it can provide significant levels of confidence for family members and provide carers with levels of respite not possible or affordable through traditional care services. For example, the provision of monitoring equipment may allow a carer to tend to the garden with the confidence that should their help be needed they will be alerted immediately.
The wider roll out of telecare would also provide savings for the County Council at a time when funding from government is being dramatically decreased. Savings would be made through less requirement for more expensive care provision such as domiciliary care and admittance into residential care.
Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Felicity Hindson, said:
"Used in the right way technology has a huge part to play in helping us provide people with greater choice, control, independence and dignity when receiving care. Telecare can help improve confidence and minimise risks for older people living at home. It can also provide peace of mind to carers and their families.
"It provides a bespoke solution for individuals but is only one of many tools we can choose from when designing a care package. Telecare can be used to compliment traditional care or be used to replace it. For example someone who requires help with tasks such as washing or dressing will be visited by a carer but they may also have Telecare to remind them to take their medication and detect any falls.
"People want to stay in a home of their own for as long as possible and If we are to help people stay independent in their own homes we have to offer them support that will maintain and build their confidence and in turn help them to enjoy their lives in the way that they choose, Telecare is one way we can do this."
Councillor Felicity Hindson will be presented with the business case to mainstream telecare at her decision day on Friday June 29.