The survey was conducted by a research team from three UK universities and a highly respected national housing and telecare network, led by staff from the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London. All English local authorities with social services responsibilities were contacted. The overall response rate was 75%.
The findings are up-to- date and the response rate means they are likely to be reasonably reliable.
Local authorities have continued to invest in telecare despite continuing public sector austerity and evidence from a large Department of Health funded clinical trial that found that telecare did produce better outcomes for recipients.
There was significant variation between local authorities in the way telecare services were designed and managed.
Given the strategic importance many councils now place in the use of telecare, the study raises concerns about the robustness of the infrastructure needed to implement and maintain telecare services.
It is possible that telecare outcomes could be improved if local authorities invested more in training staff to assess for it, for assessors to have access to a wider range of devices in some local authorities, and for it to be used for a wider range of problems than safety and family carer support.
The full survey report can be downloaded free from https://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/policy-institute/scwru/res/utopia/output.aspx
Further details from John Woolham, Senior Research Fellow, at email@example.com