This news item, Technology To Help Promote Independence, prompts me to ask a couple of questions that I hope Telecare Aware readers will be able to answer:
1) Is Welsh council Neath Port Talbot one of the last in the UK to introduce a telecare service?
2) Am I out of touch to think that a charge of £7.60 a week for what reads like a standard Tunstall package is rather high?
Neath Port Talbot telecare
Neath Port Talbot council should be applauded for launching a telecare service which sounds as if it will be sustainable in the future.
Equipment provision is only one of many costs involved in providing a proper telecare service – others include assessment, prescription, installation, monitoring, maintenance, response and review. While the cost of the kit is likely to fall quickly in the future, the other costs, which are more labour intensive, are likely to increase. Therefore local authorities must ensure that they understand these costs when developing a charging strategy, otherwise their council tax payers will be left with an expensive service to fund.
Perhaps NPT is one of the first local authorities to understand the true cost of provision, and has not wanted to publicise their telecare service until they know that they have got it right. Don’t forget that £7.60 per week buys less than 30 minutes of home care.