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Hillingdon Council realises savings of £4.7m through mainstreamed telecare and reablement services

Posted: 7/3/2012 11:44:11 AM

Provision of telecare service from Tunstall dramatically transforms service delivery, halves residential care home admissions and improves reablement for residents.

Hillingdon Council has reported on the success of its TeleCareLine and reablement services following an evaluation after 12 months, demonstrating cost savings of £4.7m and a 50% reduction in residential care home admissions. The service is part of the council’s efforts to reduce dependence on long-term residential care and enable people to remain living independently at home for as long as possible.

With the third highest proportion of gross expenditure in London for older people on residential and nursing care placements, Hillingdon Council wants to shift the proportion of the budget spent in these areas by focusing on home-based support, risk prevention and early intervention, and the Council has put in place a robust system and financial modelling to evaluate its success.

Hillingdon has made significant progress over the last 12 months by surpassing its target of 750 new TeleCareLine users in 2011/12, with over 1120 additional people benefiting for telecare in year one. It is expected this will rise to a total of 3000 additional people by 2015.

An evaluation of 195 service users with enhanced packages of telecare support over the last twelve months, found that in 48% of cases telecare delayed the need for further services, a further 42% resulted in a smaller homecare package and in 10% of cases a delay in residential care placements has occurred. Admissions of older people to residential placements have halved and are at their lowest level since April 2008.

The following 2 case studies are examples of the difference telecare is making to people’s lives:

The daughter of one TeleCareLine user said “TeleCareLine saved my mother’s life”.  Her mother was able to press the telecare button, whilst collapsing during a stroke, enabling prompt emergency medical attention. 

Arthur is 96 years of age and lives with his wife, Pamela.  He has vascular dementia, which has led to instances of him leaving home and finding himself confused and unable to return, putting himself at risk.  TeleCareline provided a portable motion sensor linked to a pager, which alerts his wife if Arthur tries to leave the house during the day.  The pager also tells Pamela if her husband leaves his bed at night so she can help him go to the bathroom, avoiding accidents and meaning she can now go to sleep without worrying. 

Pamela said:

I now feel rested and have more freedom around the home.  I tell all my friends about this amazing equipment and wouldn’t be without it.

Linda Sanders, Corporate Director for Social Care Health and Housing at Hillingdon Council said:

When I joined Hillingdon Council some 18 months ago, we set an ambitious target to reduce reliance on institutional care across all adult social care user groups from 51% of our budget in March 2011, to an average of 30% over the period 2011-15. We have made strong progress in year one of a four-year programme.

The success of our telecare service has been underpinned by the support of key ‘champions’ within the Council, including the Leader of the Council, and this has ensured the necessary vision and strategy to ensure strong member and officer buy-in. For us, it is about positioning telecare at the forefront of our care provision to ensure no one is admitted to residential care without being afforded the opportunity for telecare support at home. Our partnership with Tunstall marks a significant milestone into how we are improving the lives of Hillingdon residents.

 As part of its objectives, the council is seeking to provide more integrated care for its older residents, working with the health service, voluntary organisations and other local bodies to develop a personalised care service that could keep people living in their own homes for longer.Health linkages are continuing to grow, with high rates of telecare referrals coming from Hillingdon Hospital.

Hillingdon’s TeleCareLine service is part of a mainstream offer and is free to anyone over 85, or as part of a reablement package.  In the last year, the service received more than 165,000 TeleCareLine calls from around 5000 residents now using telecare. The service provides varying levels of support, ranging from the standard service package to the highest level of assistance, with full access to a range of telecare sensors, such as fall detectors and bed occupancy sensors, to address residents’ individual needs.  A 24-hour, 365 days a year responder service is a crucial new offer to support people in their homes who do not have relatives able to respond to emergency calls.

David Cockayne, Health and Social Care Director at Tunstall said:

The deployment of telecare in Hillingdon has enhanced reablement for people across the area and delivered significant cost savings. Telecare provides vital support to residents with a range of care needs, and with excellent leadership from an in-house monitoring and installation team and mobile response service, we are proud to provide a service to Hillingdon that has created a unified, preventative telecare service to encourage early intervention and support independence.

Whilst those over 85 can claim for free telecare, any Hillingdon resident can apply to use the TeleCareLine service for a small monthly cost. For more information about the service, visit

Whole Systems Demonstrator

Tunstall Healthcare (UK) Ltd Head Office
Whitley Lodge, Whitley Bridge
DN14 0HR

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