Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Cabinet Meeting: 22nd April, 2013


Cabinet Member for Adult Services


Telecare Services


Purpose of the Report

1.         To update Elected Members regarding the development of assistive technology services such as Telecare within the Vale of Glamorgan and to seek approval not to proceed further with discussions about possible participation in a proposed regional hub, intended to provide a monitoring service for some local authorities in the South East Wales Improvement Collaborative (SEWIC).


THAT Cabinet

1.         Notes the work being undertaken to deliver Telecare services within the Vale of Glamorgan.

2.         Approves the proposal that the Vale of Glamorgan will not seek to join with some of the other local authorities in the South East Wales Improvement Collaborative (SEWIC) in exploring the potential for establishing a more regional Community Alarm, Telecare and Telehealth monitoring centre.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure that Elected Members are aware about developments that are helping to promote independence and enabling vulnerable people to remain in their own homes.

2.         To ensure that the Council does not proceed with a service change which is unlikely to deliver sufficient benefits for the Vale of Glamorgan.



2.         Telecare is a means whereby care and support can be provided to people in their own homes through the use of assistive technology based on telecommunication.

3.         The objectives for Telecare services in the Vale are to:

·           allow people to maintain or retain their autonomy;

·           provide them with greater flexibility and choice in the care and support they receive;

·           help them to live safely at home;

·           help to reable people following a crisis such as a fall or hospital admission;

·           improve service user confidence and mobility;

·           promote healthy lifestyles;

·           improve and make safe the living environment; and

·           enable service users to maintain their dignity and self respect.

4.         These services are being developed in ways that will benefit not only people who depend upon help from social services but also the wider community.  Telecare services in the Vale are known as TeleV and TeleV+.  TeleV is a self referral service and offers the service user a choice of packages aimed primarily at safety or security.  The users of the service do not have to be clients of social services.  The TeleV service provides the option of three safety packages with a different fixed combination of equipment in each package.  This enables the customers to determine which set of equipment will best suit their individual needs around personal and environmental safety.

5.         The TeleV+ service is tailored to the individual needs of more vulnerable groups who have been assessed as requiring community care services or are in receipt of health services.  The target groups for TeleV+ include:

·           older people who are in hospital and who may need support and reablement to enable them to return home and live independently;

·           people with poor mobility who are at risk of suffering a fall and being left on the ground for a long period of time;

·           people with long term conditions or chronic diseases who are likely to be admitted to hospital on a recurrent basis as a result of exacerbations of their disease;

·           people who have a cognitive impairment which makes it unsafe for them to live alone or without continuous supervision; and

·           adults with learning disabilities so that they can maximise their independence.

6.         With the support of Leaders and Chief Executives in each local authority, ten Directors of Social Services (Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend, Cardiff, RCT, Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Newport and Monmouthshire) have formed the South East Wales Improvement Collaborative (SEWIC).  The Vale of Glamorgan Council is an active member of the collaborative.  On 19th January 2011, Cabinet endorsed a number of improvement projects proposed by SEWIC.

7.         One of the work streams is the development of a more collective approach to the provision of assistive technology.  The project aim is to examine the collaborative benefit and opportunity to plan, develop, commission and deliver assistive technology services on a partnership basis.  A business case consolidation paper was developed, exploring the merits of possible regional options for providing a community alarm and Telecare call monitoring service.  This has been reviewed by officers in the Council.

Relevant Issues and Options

8.         The number of TeleV installations has increased steadily in recent years. In the third quarter of this year, 49 packages were installed, taking the total number of installations since 2008 to 840. Currently, there are 499 packages in place.  Work is being done to look at the equipment that is provided and to review what would meet the requirements of customers more effectively.  This may involve the provision of a very basic package with additional bespoke equipment being provided at additional cost to the customer.

9.         There has also been an increase in the number of targeted TeleV+ packages, with 98 now in place.  21 of these were installed in the third quarter of the year.  More complex packages are being supported now in part because intense support from the Telecare Specialist Adviser has helped social workers and occupational therapists to become increasingly confident in making referrals for equipment.

10.      The Telecare team has been running a pilot scheme at Barry Hospital that involved working with reablement staff and senior Occupational Therapists to ensure that they understand the benefits of assistive technoilogy.  The pilot was successful and also facilitated the trial of new bed sensor equipment, which will be used in the community to provide a better service to TeleV+ clients.

11.      Officers from across the Council have evaluated a proposed regional Telecare monitoring service, developed by SEWIC.  The evaluation determined that, for this Council and some of the other local authorities, the business case did not demonstrate the level of savings or benefits needed to proceed.  In addition, the Vale of Glamorgan is moving to more collaborative working with health, so that customers have a seamless service as they transit between health and social care and back.  This has been achieved through a number of initiatives such as the GP emergency line hosted by Contact1Vale.  There are concerns that focusing on collaboration/merger with other providers of Telecare monitoring services across a wide region would have a negative impact on the local service developments with the UHB.  For these reasons, it is proposed that the Council does not enter into an agreement with SEWIC with regard to regional Telecare monitoring services.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12.      The Council charges £4.75p per week for the basic Telecare packages, which can be paid either on a monthly or an annual basis.  Assessed clients in receipt of a TeleV+ package are charged £7.90 per week, although this is subject to a financial assessment to determine if an individual is able to pay that amount.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

13.      There are potential benefits in using technology if, after the completion of an assessment, an individual can be safely supported thereby avoiding unnecessary monitoring visits..

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.      There are no legal implications as a direct result of this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.      The Telecare security package helps to reduce the likelihood of distraction burglary and door step crime.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.      The basic TeleV package is available to all the residents of the Vale of Glamorgan.  The TeleV+ package is available to those individuals who are assessed, following a Unified Assessment, as having either substantial or critical social care needs.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.      Social services meet the corporate objective 'to make the Vale a safe, healthy and enjoyable place in which individuals, children and families can live their lives to the full'.

Policy Framework and Budget

18.      The report is in accordance with the Council's policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.      There are no matters in this report which relate to an individual Ward.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.      Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee.

Background Papers

Cabinet Meeting 19th January 2011: The South East Wales Improvement Collaborative (SEWIC)


Contact Officer

Carys Lord, Head of Business Management and Innovation


Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team


Responsible Officer

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services