Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for Community and Social Care today visited Tavistock Court, a 32 bed Extra Care scheme owned by bpha in Bedford.

During the visit, the Minister was able to visit the Dementia Friendly scheme, meet with staff and residents and explore how technology is supporting carers, and people living with a range of needs.

Minister for Community and Social Care Alistair Burtsaid:

“This is an exciting time for the care sector, with advances in technology helping people to lead more independent, safe and dignified lives. It has been fascinating to see these new devices in action and meet the residents whose lives are being improved by them.”

bpha is a housing association that manages 17,600 homes in the Oxford and Cambridge arc and manages 18 Extra Care schemes, providing varying levels of care support tailored to individual needs.

During the visit, the Minister heard about bpha’s future vision for the provision of affordable retirement living, and how bpha plans to make digital technology more accessible to its customers.

bpha works closely with Tunstall Healthcare Group, the leading provider of technology enabled care which supports older people and those with living with dementia, learning disabilities, mental health and chronic health conditions, to live independently, securely, healthily and happily as they are able.

Julie Wittich, Director of Service Delivery at bpha, said:

“With nearly one in four people in the UK expected to be aged over 65 by 2040, providing housing with care support is vital to bpha. Our Extra Care schemes enable some of the most vulnerable people to live as independently as possible in a safe, secure environment. bpha’s future vision is to build more homes for older people in the communities we serve and we are currently developing 4 new Extra Care schemes including one in Wootton in Bedfordshire.”

Ali Rogan, External Affairs Director, Tunstall Healthcaresays

“It is often difficult to imagine how technology can play a part in the care of a loved one. However being able to see it in action is so powerful, particularly for carers. Technology enabled care, such as telecare has the potential to transform lives for the better – not only for carers but also of the people they care for – by reducing safety issues, enhancing quality of life and dignity, and even enabling carers to continue employment.”

Technology on display during the Minister’s visit to Tavistock Court included telecare safety, environment and sensory sensors for example bed occupancy, epilepsy, medication and movement; the UK’s first IP housing communications system – Communicall ViIP with hi-tech touch screen app based phone; and Remote Patient Monitoring for example BP monitor, glucometer, pulse oximeter with tablets and support app based systems.

About bpha

bpha is a housing association which is committed to providing its customers with high quality, value for money services whilst continuing to develop energy efficient, sustainable and affordable housing. Based in Bedford and operating across the Oxford and Cambridge arc, bpha owns c17,800 homes, employs over 350 staff and has an annual turnover of c£120 million.