Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Technology supports independence and security for Hampshire's vulnerable

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Hampshire County Council has signed a contract with the Argenti Telehealthcare Partnership, led by PA Consulting, to deliver telecare services to vulnerable adults across the county for up to five years.

Telecare uses wireless sensors to help people remain independent in their own homes by minimising risks, promoting a sense of security and giving peace of mind for their families and friends. Telecare systems, which are much less intrusive than traditional home care, range from devices mainly focused on preventing problems - such as a fall or forgetting to take medication - to intervention monitors which check sleep and activity. If the service user requires help, the 24-hour monitoring centre is alerted to respond appropriately.

Telecare provides a bespoke solution for individuals but is only one of many tools available to choose from when designing a care package. Telecare can be used to complement traditional care or be used to replace it. For example someone who requires help with tasks such as gardening will be visited by a carer but they may also have Telecare to remind them to take their medication and detect any falls. Through the contract Telecare will be free for all critical and substantial users making it a more viable choice for people who are looking into different care options.

The wider roll out of Telecare will also offer good value for money for the County Council at a time when funding from government is being dramatically decreased and demand for care is increasing due to an ageing and increasingly frail population with more complex needs. Mainstreaming Telecare is part of the Council's work to transform Adult Services to meet these challenges and sits alongside other new ways of delivering social care - such as Extra-Care schemes to ensure that Hampshire residents continue to receive quality services at the lowest cost.

Councillor Anna McNair Scott, Executive Member for Adult Social Care at Hampshire County Council said:

"People want to stay in a home of their own for as long as possible and Telecare can provide the confidence to enable them to do this. Telecare can significantly improve people's sense of dignity and quality of life, and complements traditional care. For example, someone who remains in a home of their own, but has help with washing or dressing, may also use Telecare to remind them to take their medication or detect any falls. Telecare can also offer people with a learning disability much greater independence as it enables them to travel safely on their own.

"As the average age in the UK rises, due to better health care and nutrition, it will become increasingly important to find more effective ways to care for older people and help them enjoy their lives in the way they choose. Telecare, as part of an overall package of care, is sure to play a more prominent role in future care plans."

Steve Carefull of PA Consulting and the Argenti Programme Director, comments:

"It is tremendously exciting to be partnering with Hampshire County Council on this journey to deploy Telecare at scale. We have brought together a world-beating consortium consisting of PA Consulting Group; Tunstall; O2; CareCalls; Medvivo and Magna Careline. Between us, we have unmatched industry experience and expertise, operating to Telecare Service Association Platinum Standards. As importantly, we all share a passion for assistive technology, believing it to have been long under-exploited as a way to deliver significant benefits to vulnerable people and their carers."

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