The Transformational Potential of Telecare: White Paper Summary and Evidence Report

This research published by Tunstall Healthcare reveals technology keeping older people independent for longer, delaying a move to a care home by nearly nine months and enabling hard-pressed local authorities to redeploy millions in social care funding.

Drawing on three separate studies, the research includes analysis by health economists and academic researchers in York and Barcelona. It considers the benefits of proactive, reactive, and personalised use of technology to support people in their own homes, in the UK and Spain.

Within the UK, it features Lancashire County Council’s advanced reactive (emergency response) telecare programme - one of the largest of its kind in the UK. The research conducted by York Health Economics Consortium found that £4,500 per person per annum was avoided in home care and other social care costs by Lancashire Telecare Service when reactive telecare was included as part of the care services. Based on the 6,000 service user numbers at the time (which has since doubled) this equated to £13.3m per annum.

And in Barcelona, older people offered proactive and personalised technology (preventative) were able to stay independent at home for on average 8.6 months (262 days) longer, before having to move to a care home facility, equating to a potential cost avoidance of £5,900 per person. Furthermore, proactive and personalised telecare also reduced pressure on emergency services. Emergency calls for help were reduced by 54% and ambulance mobilisations by 36%. There were 256,000 service users in Spain at the time of the study (which has since increased to 320,000). Lastly, proactive telecare service users reported feeling significantly safer (96%) and more self-sufficient (78%) – with 98% feeling it gave peace of mind to their family, including family members caring for them.