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Birmingham-wide telecare service helps independent living at home

Tunstall Group : 05 October, 2011  (Company News)
Birmingham City Council invests £14 million in a large-scale, city-wide telecare service in partnership with Tunstall.

The deployment, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, will ensure safety and support for older and vulnerable residents whilst maximising their independence.

The telecare service, which is planned to benefit up to 25,000 people in Birmingham over three years, combines a response service with a range of telecare solutions from Tunstall, including motion detectors and temperature sensors to support older people and those with long-term needs.  By making the strategic decision to extend the telecare service provision to more people, the Council expects to create a systemic shift towards early intervention and preventative services, to meet growing demand for increasingly personalised care packages.

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 with the additional reassurance that they are being monitored 24 hours a day. This partnership marks a significant milestone in how we are improving the lives of adults we support throughout the city and will ensure more adults can remain in their own homes, reducing 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. Jarvis said: "I feel a lot safer now I have this service. I am more relaxed, and it’s given my family more freedom to do more things without having to worry about me all the time."

Tunstall Healthcare will provide Birmingham City Council with a complete range of telecare packages and the Council plans to make telecare an integral part of adult social care provision, maximising people's ability to manage their own condition and supporting them within the community.

Tunstall UK Managing Director Simon Arnold said: "Our commitment with Birmingham City Council is truly innovative in terms of its partnership approach. It brings together parties from the public, private and voluntary sectors to deliver community-based services that will enhance residents’ independence and promote self management, whilst ensuring 24-hour care is available."

The telecare service will be delivered across chosen care pathways, which include reablement of service users, prevention services and assessment. A Birmingham Telehealthcare Delivery Centre will be set up to ensure services are available locally and developed in conjunction with the voluntary sector and an independent Quality Review Board, who will oversee resident outcomes, quality assurance and milestones.

The contract for the provision of telecare and telehealth services was awarded to Tunstall due to their extensive knowledge and expertise in managed service provisions. It was awarded following an extensive tender, which covered all six factors of the Buying Solutions National Framework Agreement, an OJEU tested procurement exercise to ensure best value practice.

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