Birmingham City Council today welcomed care services minister Paul Burstow to officially launch its city-wide telecare service in partnership with Tunstall.
The service, which is believed to be the first city-wide deployment of telecare on such a large scale in the UK, is expected to benefit up to 25,000 people over the next three years. It 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 discussed how telecare can alleviate pressure on services and family members, and improve people's quality of life whilst maximising their independence.
He 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 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.
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.”
For further information please contact Sarah Kirby on 0121 303 3885
Notes to editors:
Case studies of telecare service users are available at http://www.tunstallwsd.co.uk/service-users
Tunstall Healthcare Group is the market leading provider of telehealthcare solutions, with over 2.5 million users globally. Tunstall's solutions support older people and those with long-term needs, helping them to live independently by effectively managing their health and well-being. Its solutions have been proven effective in the world's largest telehealthcare trial (www.tunstallwsd.co.uk). Tunstall provides technology, expertise and advice to millions of people enabling them to lead independent more fulfilling lives. For more information on how telehealthcare can improve quality of life, visit www.tunstall.co.uk