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To support its work in progressing telecare service development and to help provide better services to users, the Scottish Government has opened up four new funding opportunities to telecare service providers across health and social care.

The new funding supports the Scottish Government’s TEC Programme and Local Government Digital Office to progress their telecare work, ensuring the approximately 180,000 users in the UK who currently rely on telecare services can continue to access them.

Now, telecare service providers across health and social care, local authorities, housing associations and housing cooperatives can apply for funding to support the government in one of the four following areas:

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  • The transition from an analogue to a digital telecare service
  • Proactive outbound calling as an enhancement of an existing telecare service
  • Remote working for telecare staff
  • Implementation of a telecare minimum data set

The funding application forms can be found on the TSA’s website

Applicants can apply for funding in more than one of the focus areas, but will need to fill out each form separately.

Applications should be submitted to nss.tec@nhs.scot by Friday 25th September. The Scottish Government says that there is a short window of opportunity to apply for this funding as it is looking to release initial funding in October/November 2020.

Transition from analogue to digital telecare services

£10k – £80k in funding available

The first funding area is the national Digital Telecare Programme, which continues to provide best practice, strategic guidance and operational support to Scottish telecare service providers for the planned transition from analogue to digital telecare.

Telephone providers’ plans to conclude their digital migration programmes have recently been accelerated, in some cases to 2023, and analogue telecare equipment cannot be guaranteed to operate reliably over digital telephone lines following this date.

According to the TSA, the move towards digital telecare helps address this challenge, whilst opening up opportunities to redesign services around the user and make better use of the data that will become available.

Proactive outbound calling & remote working

Funding of up to £20k is available for a 180-day service innovation study

The Scottish Government adds that the rapid response of telecare services to the COVID-19 outbreak has been a catalyst for accelerating two new work streams: proactive telecare and remote working, enabling remote access to the Alarm Receiving Centre platform for telecare staff.

Implementation of a telecare minimum data set

Funding is available for up to £5k to backfill a member of staff to engage in data improvement activities

The final funding focus area is the TEC Programme’s telecare definitions, data and reporting work stream. This is the first phase of a combined TEC and Digital Telecare programme of work to support telecare services to maximise the use of data now and in the future.

Helping shape the TEC sector, the TEC Services Association (TSA) is the representative body for technology enabled care (TEC) services, working on behalf of and advising organisations including telecare and telehealth providers, suppliers, housing associations, care providers, emergency services, academia, charities, government bodies and health and social care commissioners.

Launched in late 2014, the TEC Programme is a Scotland-wide programme overseen by the Scottish Government, designed to significantly increase citizen choice and control in health, well-being and care services. The Programme was set up to respond to the need for TEC service transformation in the context of rising demand for health and social care.

Working in partnership with Scotland’s local authorities, the Scottish Local Government Digital Office aims to drive digital transformation across the country, delivering a digital-first approach that enables councils to provide better services to their citizens.

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