In what has been taken by several Telecare Aware readers as evidence that Tunstall employees live on a different planet, Tunstall Australasia has claimed their broadband-based videoconferencing for telehealth as a ‘world first’ and a ‘monumental achievement’. Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and his departmental team lapped it up. Report from Australian Aging Agenda.
Meanwhile, back in the UK, the high-profile Tunstall contract for Birmingham city [TA items October 2011 and February 2012] is running into problems. “Birmingham City Council has been warned that a £14 million TV-based home care system is behind schedule – and could lead to care service cuts…Latest figures show only 32 out of the scheduled 60 Telecare installations per week are taking place, due to both a backlog with the equipment supplier and a lack of suitable patients being referred by GPs or care staff…often installation teams turn up to homes to find out they are not served by a telephone landline on which the system depends. Labour leader of Birmingham City Council Sir Albert Bore said it was worrying that only a few months into the financial year that the scheme was already so far off track.” New home care system failing to make savings for Birmingham City Council.
So this is what a Tunstall ‘strategic partnership’ looks like in practice. [TA Soapbox July 2012] Let’s hope that Hampshire Council takes note when evaluating the potential partners’ bids for its Mainstreaming Telecare In Hampshire tender.
It is little wonder, then, that Tunstall realises that if it is going to achieve its ambition of dominating the UK’s telehealth market it is going to have to try harder to find suitable telehealth patients. Hence the announcement that it is partnering with ‘Health Intelligence’ for risk stratification of patients – press release 10 September. Or perhaps it was prompted by the risk stratification initiative by Docobo and iPLATO.
Thought i would just point out for those who may have any interest in accuracy that the description of the Birmingham Telecare Service in this truly wonderful piece of journalism is totally inaccurate but i do look forward to the development of a TV based home care system in the future on this planet or another ..
Clearly there are some ongoing issues in delivering major change in Birmingham and we expect naturally any under performance to be reported but key to this for those of us actually involved is having plans in place to mitigate the issues and to try and positively move forward to deliver these technologies to those who need them. As Coldplay say “Nobody said it was easy”
My friends down under are also confused by the Tunstall claims regarding video service achievements – especially as their major competitors have been delivering such solutions for quite a while. One assumes that it is a Tunstall attempt to show the locals that they are prepared to offer current solutions in Australia as well as the ones that they serve up about 2 years after the UK.
It can be no coincidence that this corresponds to changes in the funding of teleconferencing available in Australia, and the new tender for telehealth services.
Steve Hards, editor
I’m now wondering if it was the demonstration that was a ‘world first’ and a ‘monumental achievement’.