PA’s telecare work for Hampshire County Council is featured as part of a special report on BBC Radio 4 The World Tonight. BBC’s health editor, Hugh Pym, interviews PA’s head of local government, David Rees, as part of the report.
The report looks at social care, with local authorities concerned that even with the cash injection announced in the budget, it will be hard to keep up with demand. Social care experts say long term solutions are needed.
Hugh reports on how the better use of technology and monitoring devices could allow some elderly people to live at home without frequent visits by care staff. He explains that tablet computers and video conferencing are also available to the elderly, to keep in touch with relatives and carers.
Hugh explains that Hampshire has a contract with PA Consulting Group to run these technology services. He goes on to say that David believes that this is just the start of a process that could transform the quality of life for the elderly.
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“There are a number of products in the marketplace that can be used to play music or radio if they're asked, and we're looking at how that might help an individual,” says David.
David continues: “For example, it might remind an individual to take a medicine, or ask how they are, and, depending on their response, if they're not that well, we can alert a loved one or carer about a potential issue at home.”
Hugh goes on to interview Graham Allen, Hampshire's director of adults' health and care, who says that it has helped saved money over three years: “We’ve got more than 8,000 people who are being supported by a range of assistive technologies. We are seeing very positive benefits including a saving of £4.7m. Crucially it has freed up formal care time, doing those tasks that only human beings can deliver to other humans.”