Ms Walton introduced the report and said the Technology Enabled Care project would involve an initial one-year build and test approach with the outcomes from this used to inform the option for longer-term provision.
2. Ms Walton and Mr Smith responded to questions and comments from the committee, including the following:
(a) Asked about the funding of the contract Mr Smith said it would be funded from the Contained Outbreak Management Fund and a market sustainability funding stream.
Asked about risk management and the need for robust communication Ms Walton said communication was important in raising the profile of the project and promoting the benefits of different solutions. The provider of the contract would work with the Council to develop a comprehensive communications plan.
Asked about ensuring internet access in rural areas Ms Walton said Officers were working with the Council’s Digital Inclusion Project to explore the barriers surrounding connection issues and the different options available to support individuals.
Asked how the project would benefit someone in need of care Ms Walton said it would complement care or provide people with different options. Currently there were Technology Facilitators who were working to promote the different solutions available. Ms Walton said case studies would be included in future updates to the Committee.
Asked about the cost involved in ensuring equality and providing Wi-Fi to the elderly and vulnerable Ms Walton said this was being looked at by the Digital Kent Inclusion Project.
Asked whether specialist charities would be involved in the procurement process Ms Walton said the Technology Facilitators were currently identifying the options of support available and engagement with partner organisations was taking place.
3. The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Mrs Bell, noted the importance of the Technology Enabled Care Build and Test project in exploring options and solutions for the future, and communication in managing understandable fear and resistance.
4. It was RESOLVED that the decision proposed to be taken by the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, to provide delegated authority to the Corporate Director Adult Social Care and Health, to award the contract following the outcome of the procurement activity for the Adult Social Care Technology Enabled Care build and test approach, be endorsed.