Care and support at home: an audit of telecare services in England

Following its recent report on telehealth, the UK’s Good Governance Institute has published the results of a survey into telecare services in England: ‘Care and support at home: an audit of telecare services in England’ (free download on page). Community Care reports more from it: Postcode lottery in access to telecare revealed by national audit. GGI’s press release (PDF). Headline findings:

  • One fifth of councils said they had received no re-ablement funding in 2011/12, despite a national grant from the Department of Health
  • Only £28 million of the additional £648 million allocated to fund home care support went towards funding telecare services
  • 43% of PCTs saw no investment in telecare from the additional £648 million allocated, particularly in the South West and East Anglia

We will be interested to hear what Telecare Aware readers make of it. Heads-up thanks to Peter Range.

4 thoughts on “Care and support at home: an audit of telecare services in England

  1. Tunstall should have saved their money – or given it to a decent university that could actually provide a reasonable analysis and a report (and recommendations) that are based on the results rather than on the views of some arbitrary industry commentator. It beggars belief that they can even suggest that the success or otherwise of reablement depends on whether the council has chosen to include telecare in their care packages. It must be bleedin’ obvious that the differentiator between poorly performing councils and the best is the quality of the hands-on services – something previously discussed in “proper” evaluation studies. Whilst nobody doubts the importance of equipment offered early on to avoid the service users developing more risky coping strategies, a useful exercise would be a comparison of performance in those councils that use telecare and those that don’t. Intuitively, those that use digital reablement strategies should see the effects for several years – especially if they keep their telecare beyond the nominal 6 weeks.

    Dare I suggest that this report is so weak that Tunstall wont want to be associated with it for long. Thanks UpNorthAndToTheRight for pointing out the Tunstall sponsorship which should be noted on the front cover to stop readers thinking that this was an independent piece of work.

  2. @Jo – You may be being a bit hard on the GGI – there is just an acknowledgement in the end that it was supported by a grant from Tunstall. To me it does not have the ‘look and feel’ of a Tunstall-driven report, unlike the one recently for the Chartered Institute of Housing. [url][/url] However, what we are observing is a development in Tunstall’s marketing strategy, which is to fund reports to be published by other people.

  3. I see that the report calls for a definition of ‘telecare’. Hmm… DH did produce one for the Preventative Technology Grant which, even if it was rather looser than many would have liked, has been widely used by ‘officialdom’ since.

    I also noted that the references to East Anglia and the South West could have equally included the North East, where the survey picked up very little. However, I was not surprised at a nil response from Norfolk – don’t they still insist on calling it ‘assistive technology’ there?

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