Issue details

21/00105 - Technology Enabled Care Build and Test

Proposed decision:

Approval to provide delegated authority to the Corporate Director of Adult Social Care to award the contract following the outcome of the procurement activity for the Adult Social Care Technology Enabled Care build and test approach.

 

Reason for the decision:

The Technology Enabled Care project is a key area of the Making a difference every day approach which is the main driver of change within Adult Social Care. The programme and this project aligns with KCC’s Strategic Reset Programme and will contribute towards the delivery of the key ambitions of the Authority.

 

Social care and health services across Kent face significant challenges as the population is living longer and with more complex needs, which is increasing demand on the health and care sector. Further pressures are added due to a workforce shortage in the care sector.

 

By 2025, analogue telephone services will be switched off as the UK’s telecoms infrastructure is upgraded to digital connectivity. This shift has urgent implications for the technology enabled care sector and for people who rely on telecare in the UK. The Authority’s Telecare service is analogue based and therefore, a future digital solution will be required in preparation for this change.

 

Assistive technology and digital solutions have been integral to supporting people during the Covid-19 pandemic and is widely recognised as a resource for social care and health professionals to provide people we support with greater choice and control over their care, empower people to live independent lives in an environment they want to be in, and support the outcomes people want to achieve. The consumer technology / smart home market is rapidly crossing over into the care technology sector and there is undoubtedly an opportunity for the Authority to harness and encourage the use of mainstream technology to support people.

 

This is a new approach for the Authority and looks to utilise assistive technology that goes beyond traditional Telecare provisions. Technology Enabled Care will be delivered in 2 parts; an initial 1-year build and test approach with the knowledge and outcomes from this used to inform the options for a longer-term contract and provision.

 

Options

As part of the Technology Enabled Care project, several options have been considered and the preferred option is to test a range of approaches and assistive technology solutions that supports the whole social care and health pathway in certain districts with culture change activity to build into social care workforce practice for a particular cohort of people.

 

As this is a new approach for the Authority, it would be a risk to commit to a longer-term approach until the scale of the benefits and opportunities to achieve outcomes for people are understood.

 

Key Benefits

  • People satisfaction
    • This is a key outcome of the Strategic Reset Programme as well as the Making a difference every day approach. With additional assistive technology tools available for Practitioners to utilise to meet care and support needs, it is expected that people’s satisfaction levels should increase
  • Partnership working / opportunities
    • Technology Enabled Care will benefit the wider health and social care system and not just the authority once the culture and awareness of the opportunities has been evidenced. For instance, utilising data and information to identify patterns in behaviours to become more preventative rather than reactive in terms of health, care and support delivered
  • Demand
    • Providing greater information, advice and guidance on assistive technology across all areas of the social care pathways and how this can be accessed will support demand on formal social care services
    • Utilising assistive technology to provide remote support, targeting those who are in need of support through data and analytics, or empowering the informal support network of people to help manage and respond to changes in need or reactive support (e.g. a fall).
  • Cost avoidance, savings and income
    • Through using Technology Enabled Care, there could be opportunities to not only meet the outcomes of people but also reduce or delay escalation of need but also reduce the need for other traditional care and support methods in favour of assistive technology (where suitable). In some instances, assistive technology could prevent the need for any formal social care intervention.
  • Environmental
    • Through assistive technology, this could also reduce the needs for physical visits to people we support, therefore reducing the use of vehicles for social care professionals.

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: For Determination

Notice of proposed decision first published: 18/11/2021

Decision due: Not before 26th Nov 2021 by Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Department: Social Care, Health & Wellbeing

Consultees

The proposed decision will be discussed at the Adult Social Care Cabinet Committee meeting on 1 December 2021

 

Financial implications: £750k is the total budget for this work, £675,000 is for the contract itself and £75,000 for other associated costs to deliver the project e.g. legal advice, communication and engagement activities, and events etc. The funding for the project will be harnessed from the Contain Outbreak Management Funds until March 2022. Thereafter, there are a number of potential funding streams that are being explored, including those recently announced as part of the Spending Review. The market sustainability fund is also available to fund this initiative.

Legal implications: Technology Enabled Care will be a tool to support Adult Social Care and Health directorate to deliver its requirements under the Care Act 2014.

Equalities implications: An EqIA has been undertaken and published for the build and test and it is not expected to have a significant negative impact on any of the protected characteristics as this will be provided based on a need’s assessment and will become another tool of many for social care professionals to support the people of Kent. Other actions identified is to ensure communication and engagement of Technology Enabled Care is made available and accessible to all individuals.

Agenda items

Documents