Newham and Milton Keynes Receive Prestigious European Awards for Pioneering Use of Telehealthcare
Newham and Milton Keynes were two of only seven winners from 469 entrants across Europe to receive the 2008 European e-inclusion award, which were presented at the e-inclusion Ministerial conference in Vienna on 2nd December, the concluding event of the Commission’s ‘Be Part of it!’ campaign.
The Ageing Well award was presented to the London Borough of Newham as a result of its innovative use of telehealthcare to promote social inclusion. Over the past 18 months, Newham has installed more than 2,400 telecare systems as an integral part of its Newham Advanced Telecare (NeAT) and Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) programmes, to improve the quality of life of older and vulnerable people, helping them to remain in their homes and play an active part in the community for longer.
Telehealthcare solutions from leading provider Tunstall Healthcare monitor risks and automatically alert healthcare providers so that timely and proactive support can be provided. This has helped lower the number of admissions into long-term residential care by more than 40%, reducing some of the burden on social care providers.
Martin Scarfe, WSD programme director at Newham said: "Telecare is crucial to us. Not only do we have our existing 2,400 telecare users, but we are also attracting an additional 1,000 critical needs service users into the programme as well. We know from our existing users, who we surveyed earlier this year, that Newham Telecare is a significant service for them and their carers, and we are working hard to build on this."
Milton Keynes’ received the Cultural Diversity award, recognising the success of the council’s innovative Connect MK and Digital MK projects, which were set up to help create a digitally and socially inclusive modern city.
As part of these projects, the council partnered with Tunstall to introduce a telehealth service to improve the quality of life with long-term conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Telehealth monitors from Tunstall have been provided to patients with COPD to support a more proactive and preventative model of care. The monitor lets patients measure their own vital signs such as heart rate, weight, blood pressure and oxygen levels and also asks a series of clinical questions to further determine a patient’s condition, to ensure proactive medical intervention can be taken at an early stage to avoid hospital admission.
Steven Jewell, head of IT and e-Government at Milton Keynes Council said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been recognised in Europe for the council’s contribution to enhancing the lives of those residents less able to help themselves or those that have been previously excluded from the benefits that new technology can bring.”
Over 1000 delegates from across Europe attended the award ceremony at Vienna’s Belvedere Palace. David Kelly and Eric Pol, Tunstall’s managing directors for Scotland & Northern Ireland and France respectively, were both invited to give presentations on how telehealthcare is supporting the European drive for more flexible, integrated health and social care delivery.
According to David Kelly, “To be involved in two of the seven winning projects – especially with so many strong entrants - is a reflection of how Tunstall’s telehealthcare solutions are making a real and tangible improvement to people’s lives.”
For more information on Tunstall’s work with the London Borough of Newham and Milton Keynes Council visit www.tunstall.co.uk/casestudies
Tunstall Healthcare Group is the market-leading provider of telehealthcare solutions, with over 2.5 million users globally. Tunstall’s solutions support older people and those with long-term needs, to live independently, by effectively managing their health and well-being. Tunstall provides technology, expertise and advice to millions of people enabling them to lead independent more fulfilling lives. For more information on how telehealthcare can improve quality of life, visit www.tunstallhealth.com
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