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Wrexham Telecare Strategy

Executive Summary

Telecare services support the independence of vulnerable people in their own homes by providing remote management of risk and of activities performed and monitored within the home environment. They therefore have an important role to play in encouraging people to choose their location of care, and to elect to “stay put” if this is their wish.

The Welsh Assembly Government supports the need to use technology to make health and social care delivery more efficient. It recognises the need to pump prime the system to help reengineer the delivery of care services. The Welsh Telecare Capital Grant provides a total of £8.92 million for the purchase of telecare sensors and equipment across Wales. Wrexham’s share of this grant is £374,189 which covers the period up to the end of March 2008 and is designed to enable over 400 additional vulnerable people to be supported in their own homes using a telecare service.

A new Wrexham telecare service is proposed based on the infra-structure and resources already available through the Wrexham Care Call service. It will also capitalise on the expertise of Occupational Therapy staff who have provided items of electronic assistive technology to people with dementia for a number of years, enabling them to remain safe in their own homes rather than having to move into institutional care at a premature stage.

The new service will be offered at two levels:

  1. A Home Safety package to people whose risks and levels of unmet need may be described as low to moderate and will support any vulnerable person who is at risk of losing their independence.

  2.  A fully assessed and tailored telecare package for people who may be in, or approaching, a position of crisis and for who telecare may be part of a care plan designed to avoid unscheduled care in hospital or unnecessary admission to residential or nursing homes. It might also support the independence of people with learning disabilities and other vulnerable groups. The full service will be targeted at people with dementia, those at risk of falling, frail elderly people recently discharged from hospital, and other groups identified by the stakeholder advisory group. People with physical, sensory or learning disabilities may also be helped to achieve their potential in living independently through an extended use of technology.

The Telecare Capital Grant will be used to purchase the equipment needed in the homes of service users and to buy additional technical and software resources needed to support the development of the service. A new charging policy will be developed to ensure that the telecare service is sustainable and consistent with national and regional agendas. It will be the subject of agreement between partners, each providing financial and other support consistent with the level of benefit to their services. A need for local coordination of services and responses is recognised.