Whilst there will always be a need for higher intensive care packages and care homes, new methods of care delivery closer to home need to be properly supported by commissioners to ensure people receive the support they need and prevent them from moving up the care pyramid. The majority of people would rather continue living independently in their home, if given the right support to do so[i].

However despite the growing evidence base for the success of assistive technology, such as telecare, in improving care for users and in delivering care more efficiently in the community, the take-up of telecare nationally is not yet achieving full scale mainstreaming, as in other countries such as Spain.[ii]

A survey was undertaken of ADASS members last year to ascertain what would most help them and their directorates’ to utilise and further embrace assistive technology. This included the identification of areas of concern and need for support that would be helpful to address these.  

Work undertaken since then has been wholly informed by that feedback and I’m proud to announce the first phase of a brand new project - a web-based interactive toolkit to demonstrate the role of assistive technology in different contexts. 

Four topics were identified as being of priority interest:

  • High cost packages
  • Learning Disability
  • Prevention and early intervention
  • Demand management

This project has commenced with a focus on a small number of authorities, drawing out different approaches and lessons learned whilst also capturing “the art of the possible”, outcomes achieved and benefits realisation. 

 The toolkit that has been developed explores the extent to which technology has been integral to integrated approaches.  The programme examples developed to date relate to Blackburn with Darwen MBC regarding high cost packages of care, Gloucestershire CC with regard to learning disabilities, proactive calling as per the Spanish model and also being trialled by several local authorities in the UK with regard to prevention and early intervention and Leeds City Council/Assisted Living Leeds with regard to demand management.

This toolkit is directed at DASS’s with the hope that it will be shared within departments in order to help to more fully realise the potential of technology enabled care and support. 

This is an ongoing project and further contributions will be sought with a view to the final toolkit being launched at ADASS Spring Seminar in 2017.

I believe adult social care has not yet realised the full potential of technology enabled care and I hope that this toolkit goes some way in enabling commissioners to understand the art of the possible.

If you would like to get involved, please do contact us by email -  linda.sanders@wolverhampton.gov.uk

 

 

[i] Department of Health, Building telecare in England, July 2005

[ii] Barcelona – unique proactive ‘teleassistance’ centre model