Last Updated: 07 October 2010
Created: 07 October 2010
At this week’s Conservative Party Conference, Swindon North’s MP Justin Tomlinson checked out new gadgets that could transform the lives of older people and those with long term needs as well as saving the local council and health services money. Visiting the Carers UK/Tunstall Healthcare exhibition stand Justin (pictured with Ali Rogan from Tunstall) volunteered to have his vital signs checked.
Using the latest telehealthcare equipment provided by world leaders Tunstall Healthcare meant Justin’s readings could be immediately available to a nurse, paramedic or GP, even if they were hundreds of miles away - allowing them to discuss his condition with other medical professionals and call out help if required.
In Swindon there are 4,238 people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), which includes emphysema and bronchitis, and is the most common cause of hospital admissions. Technology which monitors people’s health at home can be an early warning system and prevent older people from falling ill and having to go into hospital or residential care.
Justin Tomlinson MP said: “As we get older we all hope to stay in our own homes as long as possible. This kind of technology can be a win-win for everyone, taking the pressure off families, hospitals and social care services by helping people to stay independent for longer.”
Telehealthcare can also give families, who care, unpaid, peace of mind and much needed breaks from their caring duties and can allow them to return to work on a part or even full-time basis.
Tunstall’s communications director Ali Rogan said, “Telecare ticks many boxes. For the person using the technology, it provides choice, dignity, empowerment and independence. For the carer or family member it offers reassurance and peace of mind 24 hours a day. For local authorities it offers cost effective, person centred care. For the health service, it enables earlier discharge, reductions in hospital admissions and a more joined up service with social care.”
Carers UK Chief Executive Imelda Redmond CBE said, “Technology can play a key role in giving the families of older and disabled people peace of mind and the chance to live their own lives alongside caring. The increasing use of telecare not only means older and disabled people can stay in their own homes for longer but it also comes at a fraction of the cost of the alternative - care homes and hospital beds. This is, of course, of vital importance in light of the increasing strains on NHS and local authority budgets.”