"If people want to do it, say you have two or three local authorities who believe the benefits are there, what tends to happen is that the complications fall away.”
KAREN CHERRETT, PA LOCAL GOVERNMENT expert
Hampshire County Council, with PA Consulting Group, has made savings of £1.1m through telecare and it helps people rely less on paid carers
PA Consulting Group’s Steve Carefull, an expert in adult social care, has been quoted in an article in The Guardian. The article looks at the work of the Argenti Telehealthcare Partnership. This is headed up by PA and delivers all the Council-funded telecare in Hampshire.
The article explains that, before Argenti, telecare provision in Hampshire was piecemeal and involved several different suppliers. This was confusing for social care staff, was time-consuming and resulted in few referrals. Argenti developed and implemented a new approach in August 2013, which has resulted in many more older people benefitting from the 24/7 security telecare provides. It has also led to substantial net savings for the Council. The initiative also helps younger users who are physically disabled, or have learning disabilities or mental health problems, the article reports.
The article goes on to explain that when social workers see a new service user, they carry out an assessment of their needs in conjunction with both the user and their carer: “If it is agreed that telecare would be appropriate, the social worker fills out a referral request using a simple online form. They are not asked to decide which technology is needed.” According to Steve, this “has contributed to the project’s success. It is the Argenti team, whose members sit alongside the adult social care team in the council offices, who carry out a detailed assessment in the user’s home and install the appropriate equipment.”
The article goes on to talk about the telecare options that are available for service users in Hampshire: a lifeline pendant (connecting the user to the 24-hour monitoring centre); automatic medication dispensers (for service users who may forget which medication to take, and when); for dementia sufferers, door sensors that can trigger an alert if a user leaves the house outside a pre-programmed time and; GPS devices to help locate ‘wanderers’ if they leave home and get lost.
You can read the article in full here.