Burstow, Tunstall, Mears and the £14m 1% 3ML target for Birmingham (UK)

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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.

burstow and clr. anderson

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!


  1. Interesting picture, is that a Tunstall badge the cllr is wearing? Is it now official that the Govt is being sponsored by telecare?

  2. Cathy

    Not a caption (Guy and Bobz are far better at that than me) – but a comment on the Guardian report added Friday 3.2.12 … could someone translate it for me please? what a poorly written piece – it appears to have words missing in several places – and that is before one gets to the point of thinking “that sounds like buying equipment for equipment sake”.

    Is anyone else noticing a trend (in some of the recent articles added here) for telecare seemingly being set up as a separate Local Authority service (references to inviting people to ask for telecare) rather than a mainstream service assessed for as a matter of course?