Merthyr Tydfil CBC – The role of telecare in integrated care delivery
“Kier Hardie Health Park is all about thinking differently, and providing a new way of delivering high quality care. Telecare is just one of the ways in which we’re being more innovative in the services we offer, helping people to be more independent, and remain at home connected to their communities.”
Sonia Lloyd-Williams, Independent Living & Review Manager, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council
Kier Hardie Health Park at Merthyr Tydfil represents a breakthrough in the delivery of integrated care services. The £35m three-storey development, funded by the Welsh Labour Government, has been designed to address health inequalities for people living in Merthyr Tydfil by bringing together health, wellbeing and social care services under one roof for the first time.
Kier Hardie Health Park is home to:
- Community health and GP services
- Outpatient clinics
- Therapies including occupational therapy
- Community Mental Health Team
- Children’s services
- Learning disability services
- Dementia Day Care Service
- Community dentistry
- Initial Support Services
- Voluntary organisations, eg Alzheimer’s Society
What role can telecare play in supporting the delivery of integrated services in the community?
Kier Hardie Health Park is the only health centre of its kind in Wales to integrate health, wellbeing and social care on such an extensive scale, under one roof.
Incorporated within the park is Number 24, a demonstration and assessment unit which gives users and professionals the opportunity to review a range of aids and specialist equipment. Number 24 comprises of a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room fully equipped with daily living aids, security equipment and telecare.
Number 24 gives the public the chance to view and try equipment before it’s installed in their own homes. It also provides a focal point for the delivery of training and awareness days to professionals, ensuring they are up to date with available solutions that may be of benefit to service users.
The demonstration suite is also used as an assessment facility, enabling OTs to work with users to decide which solutions will work best for them.
Number 24 also houses a sensory room, where people with sensory needs can try out appropriate Equipment, such as vibrating under-pillow pads linked to a telecare system which will alert them if a smoke detector is activated during the night, for example.
- Co-location has enabled integrated assessment and care
- Co-ordinated care is delivering efficiencies and better outcomes
- Demonstration suite has led to a rise in telecare assessments
- Telecare is delivering significant cost savings – over £32,000 for one individual
The co-location of community teams has enabled assessments to be integrated and NHS staff to record on the same client database as social care staff, which improves communication, planning and reduces duplication. This arrangement has produced most of the advantages of integration from the service users’ perspective, without a costly and protracted structural integration.
Co-location is also giving better co-operation between the hospital teams and reablement, providing efficiencies and better outcomes for patients. Delivering co-ordinated, preventative care provides a responsive and proportionate intervention which means that people’s individual situations do not deteriorate to the point where they need longer term support.
Number 24 has played a key role in raising awareness of the benefits of telecare with health and social care professionals, and has led to a rise in referrals and assessments. Having this demonstration suite available at Kier Hardie Park also makes it easier for the general public to find out about telecare and how it could support them.
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.
Tunstall Healthcare (UK) Ltd
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