Telecare with proactive calling – new report from Birmingham

Posted on 02 Jun, 2016

Tunstall Health has produced a new report on combining telecare with proactive calling to support wellbeing.

Over 16,000 people currently benefit from the Birmingham Telecare Service (BTS) which was established in 2011 with the aim of supporting residents to live independently in their own homes.

In winter 2015/2016, the service began a ‘Winter Chills’ initiative covering nearly 1300 people.

Temperature extremes sensors were included in telecare systems for all hospital discharge referrals, and these service users, along with those already using temperature extremes sensors as part of their telecare package, also received a copy of Age UK’s ‘A Guide to Keeping Warm this Winter’ and a room thermometer.

People receiving the Winter Chills service also received two telephone calls from BTS operators, spaced 2-3 weeks apart to cover a number of key messages and signpost or escalate people to appropriate services if needed.

41% users (403) raised concerns, such as struggling to heat their homes, during the calls which were then escalated for action.

The winter months see a higher proportion of older people requiring A&E assessment and stays in hospital.

It is estimated that 3.6% of patients, mostly frail or elderly people, account for over a third of all bed capacity in acute hospitals, often because alternative accommodation and care is not available, despite their medical treatment being finished.

The new report includes five helpful service user case studies.

The majority of service users were happy to engage with the BTS operators, with only a small percentage (13%) opting out of future calls.

Many calls resulted in educating people on entitlement to help with fuel bills, care and support services or aids and adaptations, particularly for people with long term conditions and disabilities.

Many people were struggling but simply didn’t know where to turn and were grateful to be signposted to other services.

125 escalations resulted in interventions that could have prevented a hospital admission, representing a potential cost saving of £178,000 (based on an average admission cost of £1,424)