The impact of rapid response and telecare services on elderly and vulnerable residents

Watson, Pat, Bearpark, Terry and Ling, Jonathan (2020) The impact of rapid response and telecare services on elderly and vulnerable residents. Health and Social Care in the Community. ISSN 0966-0410

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An ageing population, government funding cuts and pressures on local authorities to provide services that meet the needs of elderly people, particularly those with complex needs, has resulted in challenges for service providers and service users. This study examined the impact on service users and other stakeholders of rapid response services for elderly and vulnerable residents living in social housing in north‐east England. The housing provider has a rapid response team for residents as part of its organisational infrastructure. This includes a 24/7 emergency response service combined with a telecare service, funded by the local authority for vulnerable clients with complex needs and self‐funded by others. The study utilised semi‐structured qualitative interviews to collect data. Participants included service users, commissioners, service providers, adult social care and family carers. Thematic analysis was used to identify key issues. Service users reported feeling safer and more confident knowing someone would be there at times of need. Family carers reported improvements in their own health and well‐being, as they no longer felt on call all the time. The number of requests for ambulances as a consequence of falls was reported to have reduced by the rapid response team. Vulnerable people with electronic monitoring/telecare support were able to remain in their own home for longer, reducing the need for residential funding by the local authority. The partnership between the housing association and the local authority resulted in a service able to respond to changing needs as well as identifying deterioration in residents’ health status. In conclusion, the use of a combined rapid response and telecare service resulted in elderly people remaining independent in their homes for longer, which improved their reported quality of life and relieved stress on carers and pressures on other service providers.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Social Sciences > Health and Social Care
Divisions: Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Nursing and Health Sciences
Depositing User: Jonathan Ling
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2020 08:22
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2020 10:43
ORCID for Jonathan Ling: ORCID iD

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