The first round of funding has been awarded to South Ayrshire, Glasgow and Shetland Island Council to help create community projects that benefit local residents

18th August 2015 – Three Scottish councils have each been awarded grant funding from Tunstall Healthcare to enable them to create projects of their choosing, all of which are designed to benefit their local communities.

Tunstall is a supplier on the Telecare and Healthcare Technologies framework, put in place by Scotland Excel, a Centre of Procurement Expertise for local government. The fund is supported by community benefit clauses which are embedded within Scotland Excel contracts. These encourage suppliers to offer a number of social, economic and environmental benefits as part of the tender process. In this instance, Tunstall came up with the innovative idea to create a community fund as part their tender for the framework.

South Ayrshire Health and Social Care partnership will use the money to create an enclosed garden for patients staying on the rehabilitation ward, many of whom are elderly and may have cognitive impairment.

Lorraine Sheridan, Clinical Nurse Manager at Biggart Hospital said:

The garden project will be completed in phases, and we will be using this portion of the funding to purchase flowers and a seating area, creating a space that is safe and tranquil for patients who are recovering from illness or trauma. We are grateful for the support from Tunstall and Scotland Excel and look forward to showcasing the results later this year.

Glasgow City Council has invested the money in its community hub which is situated within a housing scheme on Nitshill Road. The hub, which is available to residents and people living in the local community, offers drop-in services for residents and access to technology-enabled care services (TECS). The council has used the funding to invest in additional equipment which will be installed in one demonstration flat to showcase the technology as part of an education and training service. Residents will have the opportunity to visit the facility and learn more about what telecare can do for them.

Sandra Blair, Senior Officer-Adult Services at Glasgow City Council said:

We want to help older people feel part of the wider community and live independently. The funding enables us to fully equip one flat to showcase the functionality of telehealth and telecare in a real-life setting. We look forward to showing visitors how technology can change lives.

Shetland Island Council will be using the funding to hold an appreciation and support day for their community of responders, who voluntarily offer assistance to older and vulnerable people using the council’s community alarm system.

The appreciation day will give responders the opportunity to visit the Independent Living Centre, run by Shetland Island Council and NHS Shetland, where they can learn more about the solutions available to older people and get advice on how to respond to day to day questions that may arise. The council will also use the funding to reach out to service users and responders in remote areas.

Clint Sentance, Telecare & Telehealth Project Manager at the Independent Living Centre, said:

Our community alarm system is a multi-cog wheel, a key part of this is the reliance upon our responders to provide help on the ground when a resident is in distress. We want to use the funding to help create a fun and interactive event where we can thank our responders for all of their support. At the same time, it gives us an opportunity to raise awareness of alternative methods for supporting independent living.

We want to build a strong responder community through a series of events, the first of which is only possible due to the financial support from Scotland Excel and Tunstall. We will use our appreciation days as a platform to communicate with the responders face-to-face and encourage more volunteers to join. The funding will enable us to create the necessary promotional material we need to actively encourage our responder community to take part and join in.

Nicola Burleigh, Procurement Co-ordinator said:

We worked with councils to develop a framework that met their needs and delivered savings through collaboration. The framework also provided suppliers with the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to a wide range of social, economic and environmental benefits.

Council spend through the framework has enabled Tunstall to support community initiatives across the country. Their fund is a great example of how suppliers can go the extra mile to make a real difference in local communities.

Sandra Allan, Account Director for Tunstall said:

The Community Fund enables customers and end users to share experiences through relevant, innovative projects or events such as Dementia Cafes or community-based carer events. We are proud to be supporting local councils with the aim of increasing the awareness of technology-enabled care.