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West Sussex Innovative Telecare Partnership

Welbeing works in partnership with West Sussex County Council and NHS West Sussex to deliver an innovative telecare service which is provided free for 13 weeks for eligible service users.

Over a 5 year period the telecare service has supported 15,000 residents to become telecare users.

People are referred for the free service by a doctor, health professional or care professional. Users can also be assessed by staff from Welbeing, who will install the most appropriate telecare equipment depending upon the individual’s needs.

Most users (80%) will receive a Lifeline home unit and pendant, but some will also have additional sensors such as a falls detector, bed/chair occupancy sensor, temperature extreme sensor or smoke, gas or carbon monoxide detectors, depending on their needs.

At the end of the 13-week period, service users can choose whether to have the sensors removed, or continue with the service as a private customer. Around 70% of customers decide to keep the service because of how important it has become to their peace of mind.

This was the case for West Sussex pensioner Mrs S, who had a Welbeing Lifeline system installed just before her return from hospital following a stroke.

While recovering she was asked whether she wanted to stay longer in hospital or return home.  She wanted to get back home and was referred to Welbeing for the free 13-week trial package of telecare support provided by the County Council and the NHS.

The system includes a pendant alarm that she wears around her neck and will allow her to alert the Welbeing office in case she has fallen.

Mrs S, 77, was so pleased with the service she received that she wrote a letter of thanks to the team for ensuring she could keep her independence.

“It’s security and peace of mind. I’m very happy with it,” she said.  “When I first came out of Worthing Hospital I had no idea how I would manage. I was in the hands of my family and the hospital. All the arrangements were made for me – the carers, Meals on Wheels. The whole lot was taken care of.

“It means I can stay in the bungalow so I’ve got my neighbours and people I know all around me. That’s really important to me. If I had been forced to move I would have been heartbroken.”

When the 13 weeks had ended she decided to pay for the service out of her own pocket for her peace of mind.

She added: “I’ve been to the Welbeing office and seen where all my calls would go – if necessary. The staff are very caring.”

Prior to hospital discharge, Mrs S’s home was also fitted with other pieces of equipment including aids in the bathroom.

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