Bravo! Mears Group installs telecare for free (UK)

Hats off to Alan Long, Executive Director of the housing maintenance and home care services provider company Mears Group for putting his company’s money on the line to demonstrate his confidence that the provision of telecare pays. According to the story Will free installation convince doubters of the benefits of telecare? by David Brindle in the Guardian, a group of 50 older people receiving home care in Hertfordshire will have telecare equipment installed in their homes by Mears. The value of each package will run up to about £1,000, with the council paying nothing up front and resulting savings after a year split between the council and the Mears Group. That is, the equipment is free to the council. Perhaps it is worth reminding readers that it is illegal for councils to charge users for equipment they provide to them and that costs under £1000. (Also note comment on the Guardian item by Mike Clark.)

The move comes after the recent publication of a report calling for telecare to be provided by councils free of charge. (TA item.)

[A good thing about this is that it will concentrate minds wonderfully on the selection of the recipients. It will also be interesting to see if telecare suppliers take up the challenge and follow suit with similar deals. Ed. Steve]

2 thoughts on “Bravo! Mears Group installs telecare for free (UK)

  1. Bravo & well done to Mears I wish them every success with this venture. I’ll be watching the outcome of this one. On the face of it a bold creative move that could go either way but looks like it really could be a winner. Particularly once PCT’s can be convinced to come out to play. Interesting strategy of using a control group to quantify savings. Also be interesting to see how some of the other major players respond to this potential threat developing under their noses… Game on!

  2. This isn’t the first free telecare initiative – but probably is the first to be offered by an organisation that offers other parts of the support spectrum too. My hope is that the assessments are good and holistic and they don’t end up offering expensive packages (£1000 is a very expensive package!) to relatively low risk people. I also hope that they don’t limit telecare to a dispersed alarm unit and a few sensors from a single vendor. If we’ve learned nothing else in recent years it’s that the outcomes are best when the service user is offered standalone equipment alongside connected stuff.

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