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.
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.
Decision type: Non-key
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
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
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Lead director: Richard Smith
Department: Social Care, Health & Wellbeing
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.