…a multi-million pound budget from the government to make an effective impact on the market. And the rewards from cost savings should more than justify this investment. Isn’t that the point of the WSD programme? The government must take the lead – and the risk.”
Without funding from the Government on a scale the Central Office of Information would take seriously, a campaign is unlikely to have the desired effect of multiplying the users of telecare and telehealth in the UK by three (from 1.6m to 4.6m approximately), even over five years.
To look at it another way, suppose that the average cost of acquiring a new telecare user is £10 (surely a gross underestimate now that the ‘low hanging fruit’ of sheltered accommodation residents and many older social housing tenants already have systems installed), then to get 3 million new users is going to cost £30 million. Even that is a large investment for the market-share leader which, it is widely assumed, will be the major beneficiary of the 3ML campaign. It is no wonder that it is keen for other companies to join in and subsidise the costs.
So what indication is there that a re-think of Plan A is underway? It’s slim evidence, but the four 3ML trade associations have just written to their members seeking to recruit two part-time people. (Paid for by their employers, presumably, it is not totally clear – it is not a publicly advertised recruitment exercise.) A ‘communications expert’ is required for 2 days per week and a project manager for a half time or more commitment. Judging from the person specs the pair will, between them, be carrying the burden of the work on the initiative. This has the feeling of a much cheaper (more realistic?) Plan B in the making.
The application process is to send a short CV to Trevor Single, TSA Chief Executive, before the 29th February meeting. [Note to applicants: TS has started to capitalise 3MillionLives, so you may want to too. But do not get the DH 3millionlives initiative confused with the 3 Million Lives – 3 Million Yards campaign on suicide prevention.]
And Plan C?
It involves Telehealthcare Tinker Bell producing large quantities of fairy dust to sprinkle over the media in the hope that it will transform public awareness. Oh, wait!…wasn’t that Plan A?