Alistair Burt sees first hand how technology supports elderly at Tavistock Court

MBTC Alistair Burt visit  to Tavistock Court
MBTC Alistair Burt visit to Tavistock Court

Alistair Burt, North East Beds MP, paid a visit to Bedford’s Tavistock Court, a 32-bed Extra Care scheme, yesterday. (May 19)

The visit included meeting staff and residents at the Dementia Friendly scheme, to find out how technology supports carers, and people living with a range of needs.

Mr Burt, Minister of State for Community and Social Care, said: ““This is an exciting time for the care sector, with advances in technology helping people to lead more independent, safe and dignified lives. It has been fascinating to see these new devices in action and meet the residents whose lives are being improved by them.”.”

Julie Wittich, director of service delivery at bpha, said: “With nearly one in four people in the UK expected to be aged over 65 by 2040, providing housing with care support is vital to bpha. Our Extra Care schemes enable some of the most vulnerable people to live as independently as possible in a safe, secure environment. bpha’s future vision is to build more homes for older people in the communities we serve and we are currently developing 4 new Extra Care schemes including one in Wootton in Bedfordshire.”

Ali Rogan, external affairs director, Tunstall Healthcare said: “It is often difficult to imagine how technology can play a part in the care of a loved one. However being able to see it in action is so powerful, particularly for carers. Technology enabled care, such as telecare has the potential to transform lives for the better – not only for carers but also of the people they care for – by reducing safety issues, enhancing quality of life and dignity, and even enabling carers to continue employment.”

Technology on display during the Minister’s visit included telecare safety, environment and sensory sensors for example bed occupancy, epilepsy, medication and movement; the UK’s first IP housing communications system – Communicall ViIP with hi-tech touch screen app based phone; and Remote Patient Monitoring for example BP monitor, glucometer, pulse oximeter with tablets and support app based systems.

bpha is a housing association that manages 17,600 homes in the Oxford and Cambridge arc and manages 18 Extra Care schemes, providing varying levels of care support tailored to individual needs. During the visit, the Minister heard about bpha’s future vision for the provision of affordable retirement living, and how bpha plans to make digital technology more accessible to its customers.