CCN Blogs | 07 September 2023
The recent report launched by County Councils Network (CCN) and Tunstall Healthcare; ‘Adopting the right technology to transform social care’, explored three specific areas around investment in technology and where it might be targeted; enabling the right systems and solutions, delivering quality care to citizens and ensuring the right devices work in citizens’ homes.
Gavin Bashar, UK&I MD at Tunstall Healthcare, discusses how technology can be adopted by local authorities and where digital solutions are best targeted.
Integrating digital solutions
In a rapidly changing social care landscape, the need to accelerate the adoption of digital solutions to help manage demand and improve quality of life has come into greater focus. Using the right solutions can enable systems and processes to be streamlined effectively, including access and assessment, data and GDPR, and integration with partner systems.
Advances in technology can open up new horizons. For example, ensuring platform consistency across care provision to give professionals the information they need to administer the right care to the right people at the right time.
As detailed in ‘Adopting the right technology to transform social care’, in October 2018 Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) established a managed telecare service. This saw specialist digital solutions deployed in the homes of vulnerable people to provide individualised support. The team and technology support vulnerable people across the district to provide monitoring and response services, giving reassurance 24 hours a day. Between October 2018 and December 2019, the service avoided a high and immediate risk of admission to residential care in 289 cases. Delayed transfer of care was avoided in 739 cases.
There is huge potential for infrastructure improvements to enhance services. It is important that local councils are aware of the possible impact that the ongoing national upgrade of our communications infrastructure may have on the people they support.
There are vulnerable people across the UK who are currently dependent on these services that are at risk of interruption as we transition to digital. Local authorities will want to work closely with technology and telecom providers to ensure a phased approach to the effective implementation of solutions. This will help to prevent citizens experiencing disruption and any potentially associated risk.
When designed correctly, digital infrastructure can enable service providers to deliver care more efficiently, and existing infrastructure can be redesigned to help people achieve better outcomes. ‘Adopting the right technology to transform social care’ provides practical options to show local authorities how they can effectively invest in the right infrastructure.
For the benefits to be fully realised, it is important that collaborative processes are encouraged to ensure that we understand how to deploy technology so that tailored care can be provided to every citizen.
Embedding technology for change is likely to enhance the capacity of adult social care and help us best meet the needs of our future population. Digital technologies can improve citizen experience, support improved service quality, reliability and provide enhanced services which are tailored to meet specific needs, enabling citizens to live independently for longer.
However, in order to effectively embed change it’s important that local authorities consult citizens and their families when developing digital strategies. As detailed in ‘Adopting the right technology to transform social care’, technology isn’t a one-size fits all approach. What works for one citizen may not work for another. Project teams will want to work together to ask the right questions to ensure that the most effective solutions are deployed.
UK&I MD at Tunstall Healthcare
For more information, please visit www.tunstall.co.uk.