The national Telecare Development Programme (TDP) for Scotland was launched in August 2006 as a policy initiative to drive the adoption of telecare by local social and health care service providers. Over the period to March 2011, some £20.35 million was made available by the Scottish Government under the programme.
Almost 44,000 people began a telecare service through TDP funding over the period 2006-2011; around 13,000 subsequently stopped receiving a service.
Around 2,500 hospital discharges were expedited as a result of TDP funding 2006-11. 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;
- 109,000 hospital bed days through facilitated discharges and unplanned admissions avoided;
- 48,000 nights of sleepover/wakened night care;
- 444,000 home check visits.
Overall, the gross value of TDP funded efficiencies over the period 2006-11 was approximately £78.6 million at current prices. It should be noted however that, unless actual care home bed reductions, hospital ward closures and other service adjustments were subsequently made, these efficiency gains will not have resulted in cash releasing savings.
In overall terms, the Telecare Development Programme has also shown that telecare can have a transformational effect on service user and carer quality of life and that it has the potential to play an important role in continuing efforts to shift the balance of care.