Exploring how technology can be truly integrated into adult social care

TSA infographics

Not enough local authorities or care providers are using available technology within social care to keep people safe, happy and healthy at home, according to the final report of an ADASS/TSA Commission exploring the issue. Launched at the 2021 ITEC conference, the Commission found pockets of best practice but concluded that projects are rarely joined up and turned into intelligence to prevent people reaching a crisis. It is calling on Government to fund a two-year programme of 10 social care innovation projects to begin the process of normalising the use of digital within social care.

Over the past five months, Commission Members have heard evidence from nearly 60 people including individuals and their relatives who access social care support, front line care professionals, directors of adult social care, housing and health leaders and technology suppliers. Its resultant report sets out 4 overarching themes with a series of associated recommendations in each, as follows:

  1. Technology enabled services need to be proactive and co-produced with people, their families and carers
  2. Digital infrastructure, skills and approaches in social care must improve so individuals and the care workforce can maximise digital opportunities
  3. People must own and control their health and social care data and enable access by the right people at the right time
  4. More collaboration is needed in care and support across all levels so services and policies are joined-up and contribute to the wider wellbeing of people, their families and carers.

The Commission is also urging Government to urgently invest £450m to replace current care and housing technology infrastructure, much of which is outdated and reliant on analogue phone lines. The Housing LIN was delighted to be on the Commission and to give evidence on its TAPPI project.

Speaking at the ITEC conference, the Housing LIN’s Jeremy Porteus said:

We have an agenda nationally to improve the design and build quality of our new and existing homes but how do we ensure that housing is better integrated within our health and care environment? While technology is often siloed in our building management and housing management systems, it should be used more effectively to deliver a shared agenda that not only supports system change but also achieves greater personal improvements.”