£60m Funding Available to Develop Proactive, Sustainable Technology and New Models of Care for Older

From: Tunstall Group
Published: Wed Apr 20 2005

Local authorities could transform their community services by using the Government’s new £60m Partnerships for Older People Projects (POPP) funding to deploy innovative technology combined with traditional support, according to telecare specialist Tunstall.

The funding aims to assist authorities in developing preventative and sustainable solutions which will offer long-term, low-level models of care, supporting older people in their own homes and helping to avoid the spiral of decline which can lead to hospital or residential care admission.

The Department of Health is providing £60m to council-based partnerships to set up a number of innovative pilot projects. Working in conjunction with relevant stakeholders from health, they aim to provide person-centred, integrated care for older people and encourage investment in preventative approaches to care, which enhance the independence, health and well-being of older people living at home.

The deadline for expression of interest from local authorities is May 12, 2005, with successful applicants invited to submit full plans by September 2, 2005 and funding for the pilot project to be allocated 1 April 2006.

Tunstall, the leading provider of personal and home reassurance telecare solutions, has worked closely with local authorities to provide advanced telecare solutions which offer a proactive approach to care, providing long-term, sustainable support for people in their own homes and enabling carers to offer flexible assistance which encourages mobility and inclusion and maintains dignity and privacy.

The positive impact of telecare is highlighted in West Lothian. The Council was awarded first prize for the best use of IT in primary and community care at the 2005 Healthcare IT Effectiveness Awards.

The Smart Support At Home project, recognised as one of the most advanced social healthcare projects in Europe, was praised for successfully integrating telecare solutions from Tunstall with existing service provision to promote independent living as a cost-effective alternative to institutional care.

Smart Support at Home has helped West Lothian to achieve the lowest proportion of older people blocking beds in Scotland. The mean duration of length of stay in hospital by a patient assessed as being ready to move is 9 days as opposed to the Scottish average of 57 days.

Telecare gives users the confidence and ability to remain in their own homes, which in turn reduces the need for residential care home places and round-the-clock carers. The latest telecare solutions assess the ability to carry out daily activities and identify changes in behaviour in order to avoid potential accidents in the home and identify the onset of any decline in health or well being.

Visual notification solutions and vibrating pillow pads can alert people with hearing or visual impairments to situations such as fire or flood. Temperature extreme sensors and gas shut off valve solutions can also be deployed to provide advanced warning and management of potentially hazardous situations such as when a cooking pan begins to boil over or when a gas tap has been left on. And unobtrusive bed sensors can be deployed to support people at risk of falling or wandering and those who care for them.

In this way, telecare solutions manage some of the risks associated with independent living whilst allowing care and support to be delivered in a flexible and effective way. This can not only improve the quality of life in our communities but can also relieve the increasing pressure on our health and social care system by significantly reducing costs.

Tunstall is already helping some authorities with their bids and is available to support you through the application process. If you require assistance, please email us with your details or call 01977 660289 and we will be delighted to help.

Company: Tunstall Group
Contact Name: Luke Ford
Contact Email: luke.ford@contextpr.co.uk
Contact Phone: 01625 511966

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