£400,000 will support development of 24/7 health care at home

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Published Date: 

28 Apr 2015 - 11:45

More people in Argyll and Bute will have their health and social care monitored at home through the use of new technology which will be developed to become the norm, providing 24 hour, seven days a week access to services.

During the coming three years, beginning this month, the development of Technology Enabled Care (TEC) will increase to include mobile phone apps, instant messaging and access to web based resources. These will help people to actively monitor their conditions, enabling them to remain at home and in their communities while receiving the home and health care they require.

Training in the use of the new technology enabled care will be provided to all the staff who will be involved in the diagnosis and treatment of people at home   – including social work and mental health services, dementia services, housing providers , care homes, day centres, carers centres and community groups.

This is being made possible after Argyll and Bute Council and NHS Highland successfully applied for grant funding of £400,000 from the Scottish Government’s Technology Enabled Care Development Programme. The success of the application rests with the commitment to support innovative telecare and telehealth services to Argyll and Bute’s most remote and isolated island and mainland communities.

In Argyll and Bute the challenges of providing services to remote and rural communities have already embraced technological advances as the best way to support services across all areas. Despite issues with bandwidth in some areas the use of instant messaging, home monitoring, web based services such as Living it Up and Telecare have proved successful and will now be rolled out to provide direct contact into people’s homes, community groups and  organisations.

The TEC project was launched at Arrochar on Thursday 23 April, when care providers from public, private and voluntary organisations heard more about the funding award.

Argyll and Bute Council’s executive director of Community Services, Cleland Sneddon, said, “There were enthusiastic contributions from all who attended the launch about how we deliver our ambitions for technology enabled care across Argyll and Bute.

“The aim of this project is to transform provision of home care as part of the Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership planning process by removing the barrier of distance in providing person centred care, giving people a greater choice and control in health, care and wellbeing services.”

Christina West, chief officer of the Health and Social Care Partnership, said, “The technology enabled care award is an exciting opportunity for us to build on our current use of technology in Argyll and Bute and to implement new solutions to meet the challenge of delivering care in remote and rural communities. An increased use of technology will allow us to provide greater choice and control in health and care services so that people can remain at home and in their communities.”/…

Rob Snodgrass from Grey Matters in Helensburgh, trying out home health monitoring at the launch, said, “This is a great way to remain independent in your own home.”

The Living it Up project, an online self-help programme launched in Argyll and Bute in 2014, has increased awareness within communities and staff of how technology can support people in different ways.

In partnership the council and NHS Highland are also building on successes and learning from the Telecare development programme that Argyll and Bute was involved in as a pilot project for both telecare and telehealth.