Paul Burstow, the Minister for Care Services, today launched Birmingham City Council’s initiative to reach 25,000 users of telecare and telehealth over the next three years. [TA Oct. 2011] Like Cornwall’s 30,000 aim, that’s just under 1% of the 3millionlives (3ML) uncounted and uncountable ‘target’, so there are only 98 more councils and NHS organisations to sign up… How much of the £14m mentioned in Tunstall’s press release (PDF) is new funding is not clear.*
In participating in the event Paul Burstow reaffirmed the Government’s enthusiasm for the 3ML scheme, where the industry bears all the costs (and blame if it fails) and the Government takes all the credit if it succeeds. But do not expect to count yourself amongst the 3 million if you are detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure. Except he didn’t say those things, of course.
Paul Burstow MP and Cllr. Sue Anderson at today’s launch (Photo: Context PR)
* NEAR INSTANT UPDATE: The answer, I’m told by a little bird (and I don’t mean Twitter), is ‘none of it is new’ and that the £14m represents a reduction in the £18m that the council had been planning to spend on telehealth and telecare before it lost a legal challenge on changing their FACS criteria. So, in the context of the October announcement which pre-dated 3ML, this is best seen as a lesson from Birmingham on how to jump on a bandwaggon. Ed. Steve
Why does the Minister have a man’s elbow in his ear? This picture is clearly ripe for a caption competition…no prizes, but leave your observations in a comment.
UPDATE Friday 3 Feb: The Guardian reports it…Tunstall gets two mentions…someone will surely get a bonus this year!