People with dementia who live in Surrey, and their carers, are being offered a free NHS service that will remotely monitor their health and ensure they receive increased support during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new TIHM (Technology Integrated Health Management) Monitoring Service is based on an award-winning remote monitoring system using digital technologies and is the first of its kind to be offered by the NHS. It uses remote monitoring devices installed in people’s homes to track temperature, pulse, oxygen saturation and general wellbeing. Health issues identified by the technology are flagged on a centralised system and followed up by a clinically led Monitoring Team who will provide users with prompt advice and support and, if necessary, arrange for coronavirus testing. They will also liaise with 111 and hospital services.
The new Service is provided by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, smart home monitoring provider, Howz, Surrey County Council and Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership (Integrated Care System). It is available to anyone with a diagnosis of dementia living at home in Surrey, and their main carer.
As part of the launch, people receiving the Service will be invited to participate in research looking at the impact of the coronavirus on people with dementia. This is being led by Surrey and Borders Partnership and the UK Dementia Research Institute’s Care Research and Technology Centre. Launch of the Service follows new research from the London School of Economics and University College London showing people with dementia account for 25% of all Covid-related deaths in England and Wales. There are more than 17,000 people with dementia in Surrey and 10,000 are estimated to be living at home, often with the support of a regular carer.
Professor Helen Rostill, Chief Innovation Officer and Director of Therapies at Surrey and Borders Partnership said: “We know people with dementia and their carers are feeling especially vulnerable during this very difficult period. We are encouraging them to apply for the TIHM Monitoring Service so they can benefit from the increased support. 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 receiving the Service are provided with a range of free, easy to use remote monitoring devices, including a digital thermometer, oximeter, tablet, environmental sensors and smart plug to regularly monitor health. 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 changes, an alert is flagged on a centralised digital dashboard and the Monitoring Team follows up. The Team has support from GPs and 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 with dementia and their carers can refer themselves for the Service by completing an online referral form at: www.sabp.nhs.uk/tihm or they can call the Monitoring Team on 0800 448 0786 or email them at email@example.com. The Service is initially being offered to 2,000 people. It is not available to people in care homes.
Comment from couple who are one of the first to receive the technology in their home
Carol Hudson, who is 74, and President of the Grafham and Smithbrook Women Institute, cares for her husband Russell, who is 83 and has Alzheimer’s disease. They have lived in Bramley, near Guildford all their lives. Russell ran his own paving business and Carol was a dental nurse.
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 any of the readings are of concern, somebody will call you and that’s a good feeling to have. It’s also reassuring that the Service is monitoring my health too in case I were to become unwell.”
Commenting on the launch, Sinead Mooney, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “The TIHM Monitoring Service is 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.”
Notes to Editors:
- The TIHM Monitoring Service is based on the TIHM for dementia system. It has won several awards, including:
- HSJ Awards 2018: winner of the Improving Care with Technology category; NHS70 Parliamentary Awards for the south of England 2018: Winner of the NHS Future category; ehi awards 2017: Winner of Best Mental Health initiative; Innovate Guildford Innovation Awards 2018: Winner of Most Outstanding Innovation
About Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
We are providers of mental health, learning disability and drug and alcohol services for people of all ages. We provide a broad range of community and hospital services, mostly in Surrey and North East Hampshire but also extending across Hampshire, Croydon and Sussex. Our high-quality care focuses on enabling people and their carers to live well.