Telecare Soapbox: Britain’s Got Pendants

With this headline everyone – in the UK at least – will know what I was watching last week but it set me thinking: where did the English telecare initiative that started in 2004 go wrong? Why has it failed to deliver the stunning performance that seemed so certain after such a strong second round and getting through to the final?

Was the Telecare Policy Collaborative just a flash in the pan?

Did Building Telecare in England hit some wrong notes?

Was the Preventative Technology Grant a flawed act?

Has the PASA National Telecare Framework Agreement lost its glitter?

In short, why is it that

most of Britain is still suffering the same jaded routine (pendant alarm systems) as 10 years ago, albeit re-branded as ‘telecare’, when the Policy Collaborative was trying to boil up something fresh, daring, diverse and dynamic?

Can telecare, as originally envisaged, be rescued from the sidelined losers?

Put yourself in a judge’s seat and have your say in a comment.

Telecare Soapbox: Northern Ireland’s ‘unhappy first birthday’ approaches

We are now approaching a year since Northern Ireland’s Centre for Connected Health published its Prior Information Notice (PDF) for a large-scale, province-wide remote patient monitoring service.

It’s not a happy first birthday because, as far as anyone can tell, the procurement process is not likely to come to a satisfactory conclusion any time soon.

For us on the outside it is hard to tell whether this is due to the complicated nature of the task, or incompetence, or a mixture of both.

However, as a matter of opinion, it didn’t help that the tender invitation did not include information that the selection criteria would exclude ‘small’ suppliers with relevant experience, some of whom committed resources to prepare a bid for a process in which they later discovered they would not be allowed to participate… (more…)

Telecare Soapbox: When is a healthcare company a healthcare company?

Steve Hards asks “What questions should telehealth commissioners be asking suppliers?”

Now that the laughter in the UK’s telecare/telehealth community over Tunstall’s name change in the UK to ‘Tunstall Healthcare’ has subsided into a rather nervous giggle, it’s an appropriate time to raise the question of what criteria does a company have to meet to be recognised as a healthcare company? (more…)

Telecare Soapbox: Council runs liability risk with inappropriate telecare provision

James Batchelor, MD of Alertacall, raises a serious issue for councils and other telecare suppliers: what risk is a council running when its employee substitutes a ‘standard’ but inappropriate equipment package for a privately-funded one that was more suitable for the client? Would the person’s consent to the course of action be a defence if the consent were based on inappropriate advice? (more…)