Estimate and secure the financial resources
Projects can develop difficulties if their budget planners forget to include, or under-estimate, even quite small items. They also need long-term, secure funding if they are to be able to deliver the planned improvements in a sustained way and integrate effectively in wider service provision.
There are some obvious headings and some less so. Project managers should consult other telecare project managers about their experience of the sources of costs – especially unexpected ones. They should also draw on their experience of the early implementation to gather robust evidence about possible cost areas.
Project managers should remember to consider the lifetime of the project, and how costs will vary in later years – some may fall (e.g. replacement equipment), others rise (e.g. maintenance). Budget planning cycles for both NHS Boards and local authorities must also be considered to ensure that financial planning is done timeously, to accommodate future expansion plans.
The following checklist offers the main headings to be considered within the budget plan:
Initial capital costs
- Project management (potentially)
- Building alterations
- Storage facilities if needed
- Accommodation for project team staff
Initial implementation costs
- Re-designing working processes
- Staff training and redeployment
- Support – contact centre staff
- Staff training and re-training – including those in other agencies
- Maintenance, repair and replacement
- Obsolescence and upgrades as improved equipment becomes available.
A simple cost benefit approach
There are various ways of setting out a cost benefit analysis. An example of a simple grid type analysis for telecare is set out in Tool 17 below.
Tool 17 – Telecare cost benefit analysis grid template
Practice examples and further information
Links to examples of related documents produced by telecare partnerships from across Scotland and the UK and further information can be found in the Telecare Resource Bank.
- Implementing Telecare – An Action Guide - Tool 17 – Telecare cost benefit analysis grid template
- West Lothian Council Committee Paper – Proposals to Extend Home Safety Service (May 2003)