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New NHS service launched to support people with dementia and carers across Surrey during pandemic

Date: 

Friday, 11 September, 2020

(News source: published on behalf of Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust)

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is urging people across Surrey who have dementia, and their carers, to apply for a new, free of charge remote monitoring service that will provide them with increased support during the coronavirus outbreak.

The new TIHM (Technology Integrated Health Management) monitoring service is based on an award-winning remote monitoring system to reassure people about their health, alert them to potential health issues and, where necessary, ensure they receive prompt treatment and support.

People receiving the service are provided with easy to use devices that track their temperature, pulse, oxygen saturation, general wellbeing and changes in activity in the home. If any of the readings indicate there could be a health issue, an alert is flagged on a centralised system and followed up by a clinically led monitoring team. The team will provide prompt advice and support. If necessary, they will also arrange for coronavirus testing and liaise with111, hospital services and GPs.

The service is offered by local NHS provider, Surrey and Borders Partnership, smart home monitoring provider, Howz, Surrey County Council and Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership. It is available to anyone with a diagnosis of dementia living at home in Surrey, and their main carer.

Professor Helen Rostill, Chief Innovation Officer and Director of Therapies at Surrey and Borders Partnership said: “We are encouraging people with dementia and their carers to apply for the TIHM monitoring service so they can benefit from the increased support we are offering. The Service will enable us to reassure people about their health to reduce anxiety and if health problems are identified, our monitoring team will quickly intervene to provide support. This is a personalised Service that will make a real difference to people’s emotional and physical wellbeing.”

People signing up for the service are provided with a digital thermometer, oximeter, tablet, environmental sensors and smart plug to regularly monitor health and wellbeing. The readings are automatically analysed using data analytics and machine learning. If any of the readings are out of a person’s normal range or activity in the home declines, an alert is flagged on a centralised digital dashboard and the monitoring team follows up. The Team has support from GPs and Surrey County Council Adult Social Care teams and is available daily, from 8am to 8pm. All information collected by the devices is kept confidential and stored securely.

People can apply for the service, by completing an online form at www.sabp.nhs.uk/tihm or they can call the monitoring team on 0800 448 0786 or email rxx.tihm2@nhs.net. The service is initially being offered to 2,000 people. It is not available to people in care homes.

Commenting on the launch of the new service, Sinead Mooney, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “The TIHM monitoring service is another example of how we’re working with partners to embrace technology and enhance residents’ independence, by enabling our residents to live healthily in their homes for longer, while ensuring they and their families feel safe and supported.”

Louise Rogerson, Chief Operating Officer at Howz, said: “We understand how difficult life can be for people with dementia, their carers, and families. It is a privilege to be part of an NHS service that supports carers and recognises the amazing work they do.”

There are more than 17,000 people with dementia living in Surrey and about 10,000 are estimated to be living at home, often with the support of a regular carer.

Comments from people using the new TIHM monitoring service:

Carol Hudson, who is 74, cares for her husband Russell, who is 83, and has Alzheimer’s disease. Carol Said: “I think it’s amazing. I find it very simple to use, I usually take the readings early in the morning. It’s nice to have a safety net. If something did go wrong, somebody will call you and that’s a nice feeling to have. It’s also reassuring that the Service is monitoring my health too.”

John Bruce, who is 74, lives in Frimley and cares for his wife, Jeanette, who is 73, and has Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. “I’m very pleased with the response I have received from the Monitoring Team who are very professional. As far as I’m concerned, this equipment is great and I’ve had no problems at all. It’s reassuring how quickly the Team responds if there is a concern about a reading and I’m pretty impressed.”