Hampshire County Council – Tunstall supports increased delivery of telecare in Hampshire
“Telecare can significantly improve an older person’s sense of dignity and quality of life, and is the perfect complement to traditional care. Traditionally, take up of telecare has been slow, but our partnership with Argenti has proved very successful with people signing up for telecare at a greater rate and feedback showing that the service is delivering high quality effective social care.”
Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Hampshire County Council
Hampshire County Council estimated that it currently spends around £1m a day supporting older people. With Hampshire’s over-75s population expected to grow by 80% by 2030 this figure is set to rise. With this in mind, and with Government funding being dramatically decreased, the Council reviewed new ways of delivering social care which could also offer greater choice and independence to its older residents.
The Council’s management team recognised that increasing its use of telecare could offer a solution that would reduce costs without putting the users of its services at risk. In October 2014, the Argenti Telehealthcare Partnership (led by PA Consulting and including Tunstall Healthcare, CareCalls, Medvivo and Magna Careline) was appointed to help to transform Adult Services in Hampshire by increasing the number of people being supported using telecare.
What strategies has the partnership employed to help increase the number of telecare users, and what benefits has this brought?
The new telecare service has been introduced to help prevent unnecessary hospital admissions or readmissions, and reduce the need for domiciliary care and delayed admission into residential or nursing care by providing unobtrusive support for people in their own homes. Services are offered free to users with critical and substantial needs, improving wellbeing for those with the greatest or most complex needs, including the increasing numbers of people with dementia.
It was identified that one of the reasons telecare had not become a mainstream service already was that the social care teams were not aware of the benefits of telecare and were unsure of the referral process. Where it was used, there was no feedback system to demonstrate its effectiveness and promote future use.
The Tunstall team, as part of the Argenti partnership, worked with the Council to develop a bespoke awareness and training programme, developed to meet local needs and which focused on identifying risk and solutions to mitigate risk whilst promoting a new online referral process.
Bespoke materials including slide decks and exercises were developed and delivered by a dedicated lead trainer, with the support of two other trainers, over a 4-month period to ensure all relevant staff were trained.
- Telecare proven to be a key enabler of independence
- An increase from an expected 5-7 referrals per week to over 50 per week over 5 months
- Over 700 social care staff trained across Hampshire
- Net savings of £800,000 achieved in the first year
- Continued commitment to telecare investment of £20.7m over 5 years
The awareness and training programme undertaken by the Tunstall team has played a vital role in changing staff behaviour and supporting the cultural change needed to make the telecare service a success. Staff now understand the benefits of telecare for the people they support, and have confidence in using it appropriately.
More than 700 staff were trained over an 8-month period, from November 2013 to the end of July 2014.
An initial target of 630 telecare users was exceeded, with almost 2,000 systems installed within the first full year of operation.
A benefits tracking system devised by PA Consulting recorded more than £800,000 in net savings to the Council, over a twelve month period as a result of the increase in telecare referrals. This effectively means the telecare service is self-funding, yet achieving the Council’s goal of helping people to retain their independence, dignity and well-being and live in the place of their choice.
Our Connected Care solutions have been designed to support a wide range of people, including older people, people at risk of falls, people with limited mobility, people with learning disabilities, people with dementia and people with conditions such as epilepsy.