Unleashing the power of digital communications: Revolutionising housing with care with life enhancing technologies

This white paper, supported by Tunstall Healthcare, looks at how technology may be used to support the ambitions of delivering first class housing, care and support. Last month, the Housing LIN (Learning and Improvement Network) sought the views of its members on the future of housing with care with a specific focus on the use of technology. This short paper summarises the results from an online survey and lively workshop held with the South West Housing LIN leadership set. We are very grateful to everyone's input and feedback in compiling this paper.

Ali Rogan, External Affairs Director, Tunstall Healthcare and author of this report says "The finding from this white paper ring true for a lot of us who have been involved in transforming services. The barriers to adoption often start with the issue of culture and one of moving from a fear of change and silo working, to a new culture of embracing change and continual improvement - but this takes strong leadership and a good understanding of what new technology can do. Best practice in the area of technology enabled housing with care is an area which the Housing LIN is taking seriously, and a bank of visionaries and case studies is being built.

Jeremy Porteus. Director of the Housing LIN says "The benefits to be gained from getting it right are not to be underestimated. Whether your ambition is for better integration, a reduction in falls or productivity gains, one thing that can't be ignored is the outcomes for residents - let's get networked to enable people to be better connected, better protected, fulfilled and in control."

Summary results:

The biggest barriers to greater adoption of technology to support housing with care are:

  • Culture - this is the biggest barrier - We have silo working, fear of change, safeguarding worries and a lack of leadership/oversight.
  • Awareness - if you don't know what's out there, how can you change
  • Leadership - Commissioning and procurement - Trying to move to outcome focused care planning and individualised commissioning is a big challenge. There is also confused ownership of housing, support and care functions
  • Budgets - there is underinvestment in the development of new or redevelopment of existing specialised housing and uncertainty of revenue funding

How to break down the barriers:

  • Staged approach - You need a phased introduction and roll out of new ways of working. Gradually staff become more aware, managing care needs differently for example, to free up staff time.
  • Funding options - Flexibility in options is key here - a mix of leasing, capital, revenue and self-funders. In our experience, if the idea is strong enough and the evidence is there to back you up, the money is found.
  • Communication - Engaging stakeholders at an early stage is imperative. It's about doing the right thing at the right time and at right price - it only works if embedded into practice. Passion and being tenacious is key.
  • Integrated approach - Technology itself isn't the solution but needs to be part of an integrated approach. An exemplar service also works closely with multi-disciplinary teams across health, social care and the third sector.

To find out more about what can be achieved by doing 'technology enabled housing with care' well, check out this paper along with our 'visions' document, infographic and accompanying set of slides by clicking on the links below.

And finally, best practice in the area of technology enabled housing with care is an area that the Housing LIN is taking seriously, and a bank of visionaries and case studies are being collated. Send your examples to TECS@housinglin.org.uk (opens new window).