Minister sees how technology-enabled care impacts on people’s lives in Bedford

19 May, 2016

The Minister of State for Community and Social Care, the Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, today visited Tavistock Court, a 32 bed Extra Care scheme owned by bpha in Bedford.

During the visit, the Minister was able to visit the Dementia Friendly scheme, meet with staff and residents and explore how technology is supporting carers, and people living with a range of needs.

Mr Burt said: “It was great to see how housing with care, coupled with advances in technology, can enable people to remain independent, and live somewhere safely and with dignity. Technology can enable people to have the care and support they need and feel connected to our families and community in so many ways.”

bpha manages 18 Extra Care schemes, providing varying levels of care support tailored to individual needs.

During the visit, the Minister heard about bpha’s future vision for the provision of affordable retirement living, and how bpha plans to make digital technology more accessible to its customers.

bpha works closely with Tunstall Healthcare Group, the leading provider of technology enabled care which supports older people and those with living with dementia, learning disabilities, mental health and chronic health conditions, to live as independently, securely and happily as they are able.

Julie Wittich, Director of Service Delivery at bpha, said: “With nearly one in four people in the UK expected to be aged over 65 by 2040, providing housing with care support is vital to bpha. Our Extra Care schemes enable some of the most vulnerable people to live as independently as possible in a safe, secure environment. bpha’s future vision is to build more homes for older people in the communities we serve and we are currently developing 4 new Extra Care schemes including one in Wootton in Bedfordshire.”

Ali Rogan, External Affairs Director, Tunstall Healthcare says “It is often difficult to imagine how technology can play a part in the care of a loved one. However being able to see it in action is so powerful, particularly for carers. Technology enabled care, such as telecare has the potential to transform lives for the better – not only for carers but also of the people they care for – by reducing safety issues, enhancing quality of life and dignity, and even enabling carers to continue employment.”

Technology on display during the Minister’s visit to Tavistock Court included telecare safety, environment and sensory sensors for example bed occupancy, epilepsy, medication and movement; the UK’s first IP housing communications system – Communicall ViIP with hi-tech touch screen app based phone; and Remote Patient Monitoring for example BP monitor, glucometer, pulse oximeter with tablets and support app based systems.