Birmingham City Council has today launched its large-scale, city-wide telecare service in partnership with Tunstall. The service, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, will benefit up to 25,000 people over the next three years and marks a significant milestone in how the city council is supporting more adults to remain in their own homes for longer, reducing the need for hands-on home care or a move into residential care.
As keynote speaker at the event, Paul Burstow MP, Minister of state for Care Services, discussed how telecare can alleviate pressure on services and family members and improve people’s quality of life whilst maximising their independence.
Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said:
Birmingham should be proud that it is pioneering this new approach, which is set to improve the quality of care for service users and increase their independence and dignity, as well as reducing the time they spend in hospital.
It is only by the telecare industry working together with partners such as Birmingham City Council that this will be possible. Their collaboration illustrates the kind of partnership between industry and service providers that the Three Million Lives campaign is seeking to encourage.
Birmingham City Council has invested £14million into its city-wide telecare initiative, which embodies the Department of Health’s recently announced ‘3millionlives’ approach. The approach will aim to transform the lives of three million people with long-term conditions and social care needs over the next five years, through the use of telecare and telehealth.
Staff from the Birmingham Telecare Service will be available to provide health and social care professionals with an opportunity to hear first hand experiences from Birmingham Telecare Service users, and offer an insight into how the telecare service will support older and vulnerable residents whilst maximising their independence.
Councillor Sue Anderson, cabinet member for Adults and Communities, said:
We are proud to provide services that mean vulnerable adults across the city can continue to live independently, with the additional reassurance that support is available whenever needs, 24 hours a day. Our partnership marks a significant milestone in how we are improving the lives of adults we support throughout the city and will ensure more adults can remain in their own homes, reducing the need for hands-on home care or a move into residential care.
The Birmingham Telecare Service combines a response service with a range of telecare solutions from Tunstall, including motion detectors and temperature sensors to support older people and those with long-term needs. By extending telecare service provision to more people, the city council intends to create a systemic shift towards early intervention and preventative services, to meet growing demand for increasingly personalised care packages.
The telecare service will be delivered across chosen care pathways, which include enablement of service users, prevention services and assessment and support planning. A Birmingham Telehealthcare Delivery Centre has been set up to ensure services are available locally and developed in conjunction with the voluntary sector. In addition, an independent Citizen’s Quality Assurance Group will be established to monitor effective outcomes for users and deciding the future direction of the service.
Tunstall UK managing director Simon Arnold said:
Our commitment to Birmingham City Council is truly innovative in terms of its partnership approach. The Mears Group, for example is supporting us in the delivery of this programme. It brings together parties from the public, private and voluntary sectors to deliver community-based services that will enhance residents’ independence and promote self management, whilst ensuring 24-hour care is available.
Alan Long, Executive Director from Mears Group who will be assessing and installing the equipment said:
Mears are delighted to be supporting Tunstall in the delivery of this programme. We are firm believers in the benefits of telecare and telehealth and we applaud Birmingham City Council for leading the way and making independent living for older residents a reality.
To see telecare case studies about the service, please visit http://www.tunstallwsd.co.uk/service-users