The Scottish government has announced that an extra £8m is to be spent on telecare over the next two years.
Public health minister Shona Robison made the announcement during a visit to Inverness, where she said hi-tech devices will be made available to help the elderly and vulnerable live in their own homes.
The money – £4m this year and the same amount next year – will be spent on telecare services for people leaving hospital.
Robison said: “Leaving hospital care can be a difficult time. It is important to reassure people who are anxious about what lies ahead and make them feel safer and more secure.
“That is why I am delighted to announce an additional £8 million for the development of Telecare services across Scotland over the next two years. These services will help people to live independently, while providing peace of mind that help is at hand.”
Robison said the National Telecare Programme has already saved 1,800 hospital bed days and 6,900 care home bed days, worth nearly £3 million to NHS Scotland.
Around 1,300 additional people were able to maintain themselves at home with support, and statistics show 66 delayed hospital discharges and 140 emergency hospital admissions have been avoided, since the programme began in autumn 2006.
“I am looking forward to seeing the results of faster innovation and a new generation of interactive care services which promise far-reaching improvements to the quality of people’s lives. The Scottish government is committed to providing innovative solutions for better care,” she added.
A government spokesperson told E-Health Insider Primary Care: “Over the next two years, local health, housing and social care partnerships will benefit from extra funding to expand telecare programmes which allow people leaving hospital to live with greater independence and safety at home.
“Telecare covers a range of devices and services that harness developing technology and are available to people in their home to help them live with greater independence and safety.”
Partnerships in Highland, Inverclyde and West Lothian will receive an extra £150,000 grant to run housing demonstrator schemes providing a range of housing solutions for care at home.
The announcement follows last week’s news that health boards across Scotland are to receive £201m to spend in areas such as e-health in the next financial year.