Council invests in helping vulnerable adults stay independent

By on 22/09/2011 in News

A service that helps vulnerable people improve their independence and stay safe is being rolled out across the city. 

Birmingham City Council has invested in a £14million contract with Tunstall to provide a city-wide telecare service. The contract, which should benefit up to 25,000 people over three years, includes a new Birmingham-based call centre.

Telecare combines a response service and a range of technology and equipment for elderly people and those with disabilities, such as movement detectors, temperature sensors and push-button alarms.

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 but with the additional reassurance that they are being monitored for emergencies 24 hours a day.

“The contract marks a significant milestone in how we are improving the lives of adults we support throughout the city. It will mean more adults can remain in their own homes, helping to prevent the need for hands-on home care or a move into residential care.”

Carol Jarvis from Sheldon in Birmingham has MS and epilepsy and has a telecare package to support her in managing these conditions. She said: “I feel a lot safer now I have this service. I am more relaxed and it's given my family more freedom as they can do more things without having to worry about me all the time.”

Previous use of telecare in the city has involved separate provision, installation and management; under the new contract Tunstall will provide all aspects of the service. It is now expected that there will be far greater use as the system will be an integral part of adult social care provision, maximising people's skills and supporting them safely within community. A citizens' assurance panel will support the monitoring and effectiveness of the telecare service.

Tunstall UK managing director Simon Arnold said: “This contract is truly innovative in terms of its partnership approach, involving parties from the public, private and voluntary sectors, to deliver services that will benefit citizens by being cared for in the environment of their choice for longer, through combined services being available 24 hours a day.”

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