The Department of Health has issued new guidance to local authorities advising them that funds from the Preventative Technology Grant, used to finance investment in telecare, can be extended into the next financial year.
The Preventative Technology Grant is worth £80m and has been allocated over two years from April 2006. The grant is be allocated in the proportion of £30m in 2006-07 and £50m in 2007-08.
It is paid as a specific formula grant with no conditions attached, and councils are allocated funds using the relative share of older people’s Relative Needs Formulae (RNF).
Prior to this new guidance, it was unclear as to whether or not unused funds will be able to be carried over into the next financial year.
However, the DH has now issued new guidance to councils to ensure that leftover money does not go unspent.
They write: “Any unspent allocation from this year’s Preventative Technology Grant can be carried forward into 2008/9 (and must be spent within that year). The grant is provided to enable councils to invest in telecare and help an additional 160,000 older people to remain independent at home.”
The PTG was created in response to the DH white paper “Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community services” which directed organisations towards providing better prevention services, earlier intervention, and more support for people with long-term needs and promoted a “whole system” approach to care that enables people to live more independently in their own homes.
A DH spokesperson told EHI Primary Care: “Effective use of this grant will help local
authorities and their partners to achieve key targets around supporting people with long term conditions and improving the patient and user experience, in particular supporting older people to live at home.
“Councils in England with social service responsibilities are expected to work with partners in the NHS, housing and district authorities, voluntary and independent sectors and service users and carers in developing telecare services. Telecare will be most effective where implemented as an integrated service.”
It is hoped that the PTG will initiate a change in the design and delivery of health, social care and housing services and prevention strategies to enhance and maintain the well-being and independence of individuals.
Councils will be responsible for allocating their own funds towards investing in telecare after the grant runs out.