UK Government

Department of Health: Innovation to be at the heart of care and support services

Press Release   •   Feb 08, 2010 11:34 GMT

A sensor that switches on the lights when you get out of bed, a temperature detector to stop your house getting too hot or too cold and a flood detector are just some of the assistive technologies on display at a state of the art ‘wise home’ that Phil Hope Care Services Minister visited today in Harrogate.

Telecare could prevent 160,000 people from entering residential care per year, with potential cost savings of £2.0 billion per year, according to Department of Health estimates.  However, 98% of UK adults are unaware that assistive technologies are an important part of social care, new research commissioned by the Department of Health has revealed.

Telecare is one of a range of innovative services currently available, yet most people still associate care and support services with home care or day care for older people. Half of UK adults mention home care/day care for older people when explaining social care and thirty percent mention home care/day care for people with disabilities.

The Department of Health has selected North Yorkshire County Council as an exemplar provider of innovative prevention services. The Council has saved over £1 million through telecare over the last year that would otherwise have been spent on domiciliary or residential care. This cut the average person’s care costs by 38%, which is an average saving of £3,600 per person.

Phil Hope Care Services Minister

“High quality care and support should enable people to remain independent for longer, developing their skills and interests so they can get more out of life.

"Telecare has an important role to play. North Yorkshire is a great example of innovative support that is breaking the mould and challenging perceptions of care. But there are many more. Individual budgets are helping people personalise their own services – whether it’s rediscovering their love of horse riding or employing a personal assistant to help them get out and about.

“We will soon set out a blueprint for a new National Care Service that is fair, simple and affordable for all. Innovative, personalised services will be a central pillar of the new system.”

Notes to editors

Case studies available

Key stats

  • We are an ageing society.  For the first time ever there are more people over 65 than there are under 18.
  • Over one and a quarter million adults receive local authority funded social care today
  • Over one and a half million more adults are expected to need care and support services in 20 years time.

About the research

1039 UK adults asked what ‘what do you understand by the term social care? What else?’ Key findings are as follows:

  • 50% mentioned home care/day care for older people
  • 21% mentioned residential/nursing care for older people
  • 30% mentioned home care/day care for people with disabilities
  • 15% mentioned residential/nursing care for people with disabilities
  • 13% mentioned day/community/luncheon centres for older people
  • 10% mentioned day/community/luncheon centres for people with disabilities
  • 3% mentioned assistive technology

About images of care

Department of Health is inviting you to send images illustrating how care and support touches your life. We will display the pictures on this website, and consider the best pictures for inclusion in the care and support White Paper. http://careandsupport.direct.gov.uk/images/upload/_http://careandsupport.direct.gov.uk/

About care and support

The Green Paper Shaping the Future of Care Together can be found at www.careandsupport.direct.gov.uk

The Green Paper, Shaping the Future of Care Together, published on 14 July, set out a vision for a National Care Service. A service which is fair, simple and affordable for all adults. Everyone in England will be guaranteed:

Prevention services - the right support to stay independent and well for as long as possible and to delay care needs getting worse.

National assessment - care needs will be assessed and paid for in the same way across the country.
Joined-up services - all the services will work together smoothly.
Information and advice – the care system will be easy to understand and navigate.
Personalised care and support - services will be based on personal circumstances and need.
Fair funding - money will be spent wisely and everyone will get some help meeting the high cost

Contacts

NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk