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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-04979: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 23 November 2016

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has any evidence that community alarms and telecare services can reduce the demand on other health and social care services by providing a preventative service.

Answered by: Shona Robison 8 December 2016

Community alarms and/or telecare have been in use in their most basic form for over 40 years, with the latest Scottish Government statistics showing that over 126,000 people are being supported at home with telecare. In 2006, following the well-documented benefits of the use of more enhanced telecare as a preventative service in West Lothian, the Scottish Government launched the Telecare Development Programme to spread the approach across Scotland.

This ran until 2011, and independent evaluation carried out by the York Health Economics Forum showed that, overall, almost 44,000 people began a telecare service through the Programme. Around 2,500 hospital discharges were expedited as a result of national funding, whilst at the same time around 8,700 unplanned hospital admissions and over 3,800 care home admissions were also avoided.

By achieving the above outcomes, partnerships saved around:

  • 546,000 care home bed days;

    • The average number of care home bed days saved per care home admission avoided was 143 (or roughly 20 weeks).

  • 109,000 hospital bed days through facilitated discharges and unplanned admissions avoided;

    • The average number of hospital bed days saved per reduced delayed discharge was 11.

    • The average number of hospital bed days saved per unplanned hospital admission avoided was 9.

  • 48,000 nights of sleepover/wakened night care;

  • 444,000 home check visits.

See for more. Further embedding of telecare as a preventative measure is now being progressed by the Scottish Government through the Technology Enabled Care Programme.