TSA appoints new chair

Significant comments follow, including a response from the TSA’s Managing Director

Following their earlier request for applications that we covered, the Telecare Services Association today announced the appointment of Andrew Gardner as its new chair, saying that by appointing from among the giants of the healthcare industry it has taken another big step towards making its vision for health, housing and social care a reality.

The statement continues: “The move came shortly after TSA set out a bold 3-year growth plan to challenge the ‘status quo’ in health and social care by leading, representing and promoting Technology Enabled Care & Support (“TECS”) services including telecare and telehealth. New Chair Andrew Gardner has worked as CEO for the largest independent provider of primary care to the NHS, and is currently Managing Director of a group including Careline UK, Cirrus Communication Systems and Appello Telehealth.  He will help to drive the growth of TECS in his new position as Chair at TSA:

“TSA’s focus on solutions for the 21st Century and improving self-management really excites me.  It’s in everyone’s interests to get more out of their technology and improve their services” Andrew begins.

“My passion is building a sector that makes people’s lives happier, healthier and safer. TSA’s vision – people choosing technology enabled care and support to enrich everyday life – makes perfect sense.  Having built such close links to the NHS in previous roles, I can see the urgent need for TECS and the significance of TSA’s plans.”

Andrew’s experience in technology also includes senior roles at Siemens and ICL.  The news will interest commissioners of health and social care, who prize TSA’s quality standards as a vital guarantee of quality during a period of rapid change.

Andrew continues: “The fact TSA’s standards have been developed in partnership with the Government and other key stakeholders is crucial. TSA already has around 370 member organisations supporting over 1.7 million people.  It’s a world leader in TECS.  If we want to develop what the industry can offer and increase the number of people benefitting from technology, we need to make the most of these links we have with the topmost decision makers.  I’ll be driving TSA to follow its plans and develop its business towards that key aim.”

Andrew will be formally announced as TSA’s new Independent Chair at the International Telecare & Telehealth Conference on 17th November at Celtic Manor Resort in Wales. The event, including the prestigious Crystal Awards, focuses on “21st Century Solutions for 21st Century Care” and showcases a new emphasis on combining technology with individualised support services.  Sir Bruce Keogh, National Medical Director of NHS England, headlines an array of high-ranking speakers from health, housing and social care and national-level Government, with special guests Esther Rantzen CBE and Olympic medallist Colin Jackson CBE. Delegates will be able to find out more about Andrew’s role and TSA’s plans, prioritising support for the provision of high quality TECS services and a commitment to leading, representing and promoting TECS, being fit for purpose to deliver TSA’s vision and growth.

The plans include ambitious targets for growth, engagement and revenue for reinvestment as a not-for-profit body.  Ambitions also include a new standards framework including the TSA Code Of Practice, new services and opportunities for members and a shift towards individually tailored services for supported people and their carers, not just traditional “button and box” models of telecare. With increasing demand for services and ever increasing pressure on budgets, TSA’s wake-up call for the TECS industry is perfectly timed and the latest steps – including Andrew Gardner’s appointment – are a clear signal to members, commissioners and providers that the industry is rising to the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

More information about TSA and the International Telecare & Telehealth Conference 2014 is here.

Categories: Latest News.


  1. Heraclitus

    Charles Lowe’s report makes interesting reading.

    TSA from publicly having declared they wanted an independent Chair have now appointed someone from not only within the industry, but the MD of a parent company of one of the TSA Conference sponsors. For those companies that the new Chair does not have operational oversight of in his day-to-day role, there could be potentially varying degrees of unease. Observing the Chair demonstrating impartiality will be an interesting spectator sport.

    Further, given what the TSA claim is required of the post of Chair, it is interesting that such a high flying individual will have the time to devote to members’ needs even from a strategic perspective. This will require, as with all boards, the other board members briefing him appropriately. The fact that these same board members, with the exception of the CEO, but including the MD, come from, or are working in, the same industry, and thus will be potential competitors to the Chair, will possibly pose occasional tensions. This may require a Herculean balancing act to be performed if “ridicule in the ranks” is to be avoided.

    Had this appointment been on the basis where the Nolan Principles applied then perhaps members at this year’s TSA conference could sit more easily. Demonstrating even some of the 7 principles, namely selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership, could provide a particular challenge for the new Chair and his Board. However, we must remind ourselves that TSA is not a public body. TSA represents the industry, supplier and service providers, who collectively seek work from Commissioners who are managing public monies. And who, perhaps surprisingly, amongst a raft of other requirements, need to demonstrate compliance with the Nolan Principles. Had the UK Government got its act together around the ‘tele-technologies’ sooner, then perhaps the role of the TSA and their competitor organisations, would be better defined and thus prevent the proverbial tail wagging the dog.

    As delegates welcome their new Association Chair next month at their AGM in Newport, Wales, one can only hope that there is a degree of introspection as to whether appointing from “within” is the most appropriate way to demonstrate to the outside world that TSA meets the governance expectations that many others, including the purse string holders, are required to comply with. If there is unease, then perhaps it is time to reinstate some of the tanks that were left on the lawn when the G8 summit was recently hosted at Celtic Manor.

  2. Donna Cusano

    ‘Tanks on the lawn’
    For our ex-UK readers, it means ‘to bring pressure on”. It is not quite as extreme as the American English ‘to get in one’s face.’
    Quite literally there were tanks on the lawn at Celtic Manor just recently at the G8 Summit!

  3. Thank you for your feedback, as a member organisation we really value views from a variety of perspectives and Telehealth & Telecare Aware is a great forum to enable this type of dialogue.

    We appreciate and understand your comments about independence however we are confident that the skills Andrew brings from his experience outside of the industry will be a huge benefit to the TSA and our members. Andrew has a proven track record of working together with NHS clinicians and commissioners at the highest levels and having worked at PBT for a year now, also has the benefit of understanding our industry and its challenges. Crucially, this adds to his strengths in helping our industry meet the challenges of the next 3 years, where commissioners will look for even more assurances of the benefits that Technology Enabled Support and Care can bring. We’ve listened to our members and brought in an expert with knowledge of both sides, to help strengthen the links our members need.

    We feel strongly that Andrew is the right choice to help us accomplish our mission: to lead technology enabled care and support to enhance people’s independence and quality of life by inspiring, promoting and driving strategy, innovation and standards.

    The TSA Business Plan 2014 – 2017 has very specific objectives relating to maintaining robust governance and management. As we are not a public body we are not required to sign up to the Nolan Principles however our Business Plan and the TSA Values ensures the same level of probity that the Nolan Principles strive to achieve. Our values are:

    – Committed to making a difference (We can, we do; driving quality; transforming lives)
    – Inspiring trust and confidence (Open and honest; responsive and respectful; building relationships)
    – Strong together (Bold, brave and accountable; shared learning; challenges into opportunities)

    We remain committed to openness and transparency and recognise that our strength lies in representing all of our members whole-heartedly. We hope you’ll join us at our conference in Newport in Wales and see how this translates into our plans – we’re very excited to be in a position where we can begin to support our members to turn the challenges in the sector into opportunities.

    Please feel free to contact me personally if you would like any further information or if you have any further feedback on this matter.

    Very best regards

    Alyson Bell
    Managing Director, TSA