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Agenda Item No. 7

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) : 2nd December 2013.

 

Report of the Director of Social Services

 

Telecare Services

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To update Elected Members regarding the development of Telecare within the Vale of Glamorgan.

Recommendations

          THAT Scrutiny Committee:

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

2.             Receives a further progress report in twelve months on the service take up and the impact on the Council's budget.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1&2     To ensure that Elected Members exercise effective oversight of this key service for

           promoting independence and enabling vulnerable people to remain in their own

           homes.

Background

2.             The Telecare service allows people to get access to care and support in their own homes through the use of technology.  These services are being developed in ways that will benefit the whole community, as well as provide more specialist support for individuals who require it.

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.             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.  Packages can include smoke and heat extreme detectors linked wirelessly to the Lifeline telephone which enables alarm messages to be conveyed automatically to the 24 hour monitoring centre in the event of an emergency.

5.             The TeleV+ service is tailored to the individual needs of more vulnerable groups who receive a range of health services or who have been assessed as requiring community care services.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.             There have been a number of developments in the TeleV and TeleV+ service in the past year.

7.             The number of TeleV installations has increased; 542 active packages now in place, compared with 486 in September 2012.  There has also been an increase in the number of TeleV+ packages with 117 now in place, an increase on the 61 active packages previously reported.  Initially, such packages were quite simple, using standard equipment and focusing particularly on alerts in respect of falls but there are continuous technological advances in the equipment available.

8.             A temporary Telecare Specialist Advisory post has enabled the service to provide better support to the social work teams with regard to Telecare options.  As a result, social workers and occupational therapists are more confident in making referrals for Telecare equipment and significant cost avoidance in respect of more expensive community care packages has been achieved through the use of equipment.  Appendix 1 contains examples of case studies and the benefits people have experienced.

9.             Work with partners, including the third sector, is now well established.  For example, Care and Repair install equipment on behalf of the Council and their staff receive regular updates with regard to the equipment available.

10.        The Learning Disability Team continues to undertake temporary installation of property wide monitoring systems at a number of units within Supported Accommodation.  This is followed by an assessment which allows the most appropriate equipment to be installed to meet the needs identified.  Use of Telecare means that staffing arrangements have been reconfigured at a number of properties whilst improving the independence and quality of life.  Efficiency savings have been found through this work, with fewer staffing hours required at night in supported accommodation settings.

11.        Within this Council, a corporate review of the Telecare service is being undertaken, to developing an overarching strategy.  In the meantime, new initiatives are being promoted including development of a telecare awareness E-Learning module which provides greater accessibility to training to people without significant impact upon staff rotas.  The South East Wales Improvement Collaborative (SEWIC) is taking a keen interest in this development.

12.        With the support of Leaders and Chief Executives in each local authority, SEWIC comprises ten Directors of Social Services (Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend, Cardiff, RCT, Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Newport and Monmouthshire) working to improve the provision and commissioning of social services in the region.  The Social Services Directorate in the Vale is a very active member of this collaborative.

13.        One of the work streams within SEWIC is the development of a more collective approach to the provision of assistive technology.  The project aims to examine the collaborative benefit and opportunity to plan, develop, commission and deliver assistive technology services on a partnership basis.  Following an evaluation of the business case, it was agreed that the Vale would not be part of the regional call monitoring service but it would maintain involvement in the overall work programme.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

14.        The Council charges £4.75 per week for the basic Telecare packages, which can be paid for either on a monthly or an annual basis.

15.        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

16.        The use of assistive technology can support individuals to remain within their communities and close to their families.  It can also reduce the number of calls that have to be made to an individual as remote monitoring can pick up any issues and ensure an appropriate and timely response.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

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

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

19.        Both packages are available to all the residents of the Vale of Glamorgan.  The TeleV+ package is more suitable to those individuals who are assessed as having either substantial or critical needs following a Unified Assessment.

Corporate/Service Objectives

20.        Telecare links to the following objectives:

·         Community Strategy: Older people are valued and empowered to remain independent, healthy and active.  They have equality of opportunity and receive high quality services to meet their diverse needs.

·         Community Strategy: The diverse needs of local people are met through the provision of customer focused, accessible services and information.

·         Corporate Plan: Citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan are healthy and have equality of outcomes and, through appropriate support and safeguards, the most vulnerable members of our community maximise their life opportunities.

Policy Framework and Budget

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

23.        Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Carys Lord, Head of Business Management and Innovation.

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team.

Responsible Officer:

Phillip Evans, Director of Social Services.

 

 

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