Being digital requires being open to re-examining the way your organisation works and think smartly about the services you offer. You need to better understand your customer behaviours and expectations in terms of digital, both inside and outside your organisation, to enable you to get to grips with trends and ways to future proof your offering.
It is important to rethink how to use the new capabilities made possible by digital to improve how customers are served. Ask yourself how digital capabilities can design and deliver the best possible experience, across all parts of the organisation.
Below are a set of questions that set out how you might get better connected digitally
How do we access, procure and pay for assistive technology?
There is a mixed bag of tender specifications in use today. Providing accommodation that is care ready and digital ready is key.
The infrastructure element is part of the capital purchase. The technology service element, such as the telecare is funded in several ways – whether a home-owner or tenant, through the local authority means tested eligibility criteria, funded by the individual themselves or their families and informal carers, personal budgets, part funded through the council or housing association, and sometimes through various grant making charities.
How you pay for technology comes back to what’s seen as support, care or as part of the infrastructure. The I’m OK facility has attracted housing benefit. Reporting faults through to the service centre forms part of the infrastructure and again could attract housing benefit. In addition, a range of local funding streams are now in place, eg BCF (Better Care Fund) overseen by councils and CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) – people in care homes and sheltered accommodation are being seen are big users of A&E and avoidable hospital stays. In some areas, the NHS is looking to fund the technology in schemes to prevent admissions.
- How digital ready is your organisation - access the Measuring Digital Readiness tool (opens new window)
The first step in introducing digital technology into your organisation is assessing where you are now and how you can introduce digital technology into your workplace processes and practices.
- Transforming care and health through information and technology fund (opens new window)
The Local Government Association launched a Transforming care and health through information and technology fund of £50,000: Local Investment Programme in collaboration with NHS Digital d/l was 17 March 2017.
- A Quality Framework for Procurement and Provision of Services (opens new window)
Available to purchase, this two part outcomes-based Code of Practice is the essential tool for planning, commissioning and providing good quality and effective Technology Enabled Care Services. It acts as a framework for procurement (planning and commissioning – Part One) and the provision of services (Part Two), and can be used internationally.
- COVID-19: rapid care technology deployment tool (opens new window)
This guide has been developed by the LGA in partnership with RETHINK Partners to support adult social care teams who are seeking to use and deploy care technology in response to COVID-19.
How do we support directors to make this happen?
The Housing LIN leadership sets could be a supportive channel for directors. The peer-to-peer leadership sets (opens new window) are aimed at aspiring sector leaders working across housing, health and social care and operate across the country.
- Unleashing The Digital Premium
- LGA/IPC: Transforming social care through the use of information and technology (opens new window)
- Business case for digital investment (opens new window)
- The Transformational Potential of Telecare: White Paper Summary and Evidence Report (opens new window)
Examples of practice
How do we get to a scalable preventative model?
If we get the plumbing/infrastructure right then ultimately people will pay for the technology that will prevent the escalation. 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.
Ultimately you will still need people to do something. So if you go from a people intensive service and scale it back to a technologically driven solution it brings challenges to get the remaining people services right to maintain that particular cohort. There is a need to be mindful of the role of family, friends and third sector too.
Technology can remove some of the geographic barriers to caring and potentially enable more family members to play a role in preventative support. For example, the family member who acts as the carer is usually the one who lives within 30 minutes’ drive. Technology can’t replace the physical presence but other family members can now where appropriate
- Coordinate the weekly shopping list and order the groceries on line for delivery
- Assist with bill paying and banking online
- Set the central heating schedule and turn up the temperature via an app if required
- Video call
- See a photo log of who has pressed the front door bell
- Be reassured that mum/dad is OK with preventative alerts when something is different.
- The future of data-driven social care: How can we harness information to care more proactively?
- NHS England: Next steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View - Harnessing technology and innovation (opens new window)
- LGA paper: Transforming local services through digital (opens new window)
- Connecting services, transforming lives: the benefits of technology enabled care services
How do we point people into the direction where this is already happening?
- Adopting the right technology to transform social care
Tunstall Healthcare and the County Councils Network (CCN) launched a report which argues that the potential of technology to support those with social care needs is growing ‘exponentially’ each year. This report follows the 2021 report ‘Employing Assistive Technology in Adult Social Care’, also delivered by the CCN and Tunstall and looks into the impact of digital technology on adult social care, and the importance of implementing digital change across the care landscape.
- Digital working in adult social care: What Good Looks Like
The Department of Health and Social Care released Guidance for care providers and local authorities on What Good Looks Like (WGLL) for digital working in adult social care as part of their work to achieve their ambitions for digital transformation as set out in People at the Heart of Care. WGLL for adult social care aims to bring the needs of local authorities and care providers into one coherent piece of guidance to develop understanding of what they need to do to work well digitally.
- Microsoft Digital Innovation Challenge – Unlocking technology to improve care
The Digital Innovation Challenge is an initiative developed in partnership by ADASS and Microsoft, aimed at supporting and promoting work by local authorities and their partners that unlocks the potential technology offers for people who access and work in adult social care. The scheme, inaugurated in 2021 in the wake of the sector’s rapid tilt to digital during the Covid-19 pandemic, aims to deliver direct support in the form of advice and technical expertise, and to provide a showcase for progressive practice.
- Employing Assistive Technology in Adult Social Care
This County Councils Network’s (CCN) Analysis Report, supported by Tunstall, provides unique insight into the status of assistive technology in local authorities in England, and makes a series of recommendations to Government.
- ADASS resource: New models of care Supported by Assistive Technology (opens new window)
Web-based interactive toolkit aims to demonstrate the role of technology in particular contexts, enabling the reader to better understand the art of the possible and the outcomes that can be achieved. It describes the “how” and the lessons learnt from experiences and is focused on a small number of authorities, and the extent to which technology has been integral to integration across 4 themes
- Prevention and early intervention – Spanish model
- High cost packages of care – Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and NHS Calderdale CCG
- Learning Disabilities – Gloucestershire County Council
- Demand management – Assisted Living Leeds
- Technology enabled housing with care: Scenarios (opens new window)
This Housing LIN Case Study report is a culmination of the South West Housing LIN Leadership Set's shared learning across the region, and sets out a series of scenarios to demonstrate the improved outcomes from incorporating technology into the housing solution for different individual circumstances.
- The UTOPIA project: Using Telecare for Older People In Adult Social Care (opens new window)
Updated findings to the project highlighted the limitations of the Department of Health's Whole System Demonstrator sites and demonstrates how local authorities are making best use of telecare to support the needs of older and vulnerable people at home.
- Evidence for Supported Self Care at Scale: A population approach to evaluating (opens new window) technology enabled support for long term condition management by Liverpool CCG
- Social Care Digital Innovation Programme
This interim evaluation report looks at the initial findings of 19 projects funded in this LGA programme. It highlights the progress being made in local government technology projects to address changes in adult social care.
- From Stabilisation to Innovation: The Responses and Redesign of TEC Services during Covid-19 (opens new window)
This TSA insight report contains the findings and recommendations from a 3 month stakeholder engagement programme during the early months of the response phase of the Covid-19 crisis. It captures a number of case studies across telecare and telehealth that demonstrates how the TEC sector rapidly mobilised to improve and redesign its services to support vulnerable people, including within assisted living.
- Digital innovation in adult social care: how we’ve been supporting communities during COVID-19
This report from the LGA explores how councils and their partners can best to support greater digital innovation and adoption across the adult social care sector in a sustainable way
Please email email@example.com if there is a resource that addresses any of the questions on this page.