Issue details

22/00056 - Telecare Contract

Proposed decision:

Delegate authority to the Corporate Director Adult Social Care and Health, to modify the Telecare contract with Invicta Telecare Limited Trading as Careium for a period of nine months, from 1 December 2022 to 31 August 2023, and to take relevant actions as necessary to implement the decision.

 

Background: 

Technology Enabled Care is key within the Making a difference every day approach and is aligned with the Councils priorities set out in‘‘Framing Kent’s Future – Our Council Strategy 2022 – 2026: Seize opportunities to embed technology and digitally-enabled care and support services in meeting people’s current and future care needs’’.

 

The Telecare contract was originally awarded in 2015 and has since been adapted to meet the needs of individuals. The purpose of Telecare is to support people to maintain independence, facilitating them to remain in their own home for as long as possible. The scope of the service in the specification covers three main areas and supports 5,190 people:

  1. Direct Service Provision: This constitutes a Telecare service including 24-hour monitoring, along with provision for installing and de-staling the equipment. It also includes the provision of Digital Care and Assistive Technology Services, and support and training for people and carers using the equipment.
  2. Staff training and support: This covers both advisory and training services.
  3. Service development: This covers ‘horizon scanning’ and strategic development in relation to future development and use of the services. 

The Telecare contract under its current contractual arrangements, following the decision of 1 + 1 year extension taken in December 2020 is due to end November 2022. The contract is with Invicta Telecare Limited, trading as Careium.

 

The Care Act 2014 placed a statutory duty on councils for prevention, information, and advice.

In KCC, there are two types of scenarios in which Telecare is prescribed:

 

1. Where the person has needs for care and support that meet the national eligibility criteria and these needs can be met either wholly or in part through the provision of Telecare (“Telecare Enhanced”).  This must be detailed in the care and support plan.

 

2. Where the provision of Telecare would prevent or delay the development of need for care and support; no other ongoing care and support services are prescribed (“Telecare Only” or “Telecare Standard”).

 

There have been significant developments in social and health technologies, including utilising more everyday solutions such as smart speakers. Another key change that will affect how technology interacts with social care is the national transition from analogue telecommunication networks to digital technology, due to be completed in 2025. This means that products that rely on older analogue telephony infrastructure will no longer work, and services will have to switch to newer devices that can connect to broadband networks.Emergent digital devices also present many opportunities and create potential for much greater data-driven care. Which will allow us to do more predictive modelling, provide advanced warning and intervention planning, which will help in making services more proactive.

 

Adult Social Care has a one-year Technology Enabled Care build and test, which aims to inform the future offer for Technology Enabled Care Services through testing a range of more innovative technologies. This is with a view to commissioning a long-term county wide offer incorporating Telecare from April 2023. The aspiration for Technology Enabled Care is the delivery of a clear and innovative assistive technology offer that empowers people, supports independent living and provides greater choice and control to support an outcome focused approach.This is a new approach for the Authority and looks to utilise assistive technology that goes beyond traditional Telecare provisions.

 

Options:

The following options have been considered:

 

Option 1: to decommission/end the Telecare service at the end of its existing contract in November 2022.

This will create a risk in gap of provision of Telecare between the end of the Telecare contract in November 2022 and the implementation of the Technology Enabled Care Services contract in April 2023. The 5,190 existing Telecare cases will need to be reviewed and alternative provision considered, which could include:

·   People paying privately for the Telecare provision (where this is a Telecare only), this would require a public consultation.

·   If people are in the Technology Enabled Care build and test area (East Kent) they can access alternative provision, however this is only a one year test and will be replaced by the county wide offer. Therefore, people could have three service providers in one year.

·   Where this is part of an eligible need (Telecare enhanced), the care and support package may change from the use of Telecare to more carer input reducing independence for the person and increasing the pressure on limited capacity within the care market. Or a Direct Payment can be used to access alternative provision. There could also be an adverse impact on people experiencing uncertainty about their future provision and changes to their care and support offer.

 

Another way to mitigate this risk is toobtain Telecare services from a new contractor for the duration of the proposed extension. However, this will impact on service continuity for people as they will have three providers in one year (the current Telecare, moving to the new contractor and finally onto the county wide service which will be in place from April 2023). The short-term contract will not be attractive to potential providers and can be at a significant cost. This would require procurement and project resources, which are currently focused on the build and test and development of the county wide Technology Enabled Care Service. Therefore, this option has the potential to undermine the longer-term plan.

 

Option 2: is to modify the Telecare contract by a period of nine months to 31 August 2023.

The proposed modification will allow time to complete the current build and test, develop and procure a county wide Technology Enabled Care Service from April 2023. The contract modification to 31 August 2023 will enable the county wide offer to be mobilised and to migrate people from the current Telecare service to the new service, ensuring there is not a gap or impact on provision. The future county wide offer also provides an opportunity to put in place a service that will allow existing Telecare provision that relies on analogue technology to be switched over to newer devices that can connect to broadband networks.

 

In preparation, contact is being made with people with Telecare to check if they still find Telecare equipment helpful and if they need any help with how it works.

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: For Determination

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 22/06/2022

Decision due: 19 Jul 2022 by Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Lead director: Richard Smith

Department: Social Care, Health & Wellbeing

Contact: Georgina Walton, Design and Learning Centre Manager Email: georgina.walton@kent.gov.uk.

Consultees

The proposed decision will be discussed at the Adult Social Care Cabinet Committee meeting on 13 July 2022.

Financial implications: The Telecare contract currently costs the authority approximately £650,000 per year. The estimated cost of the nine-month contract modification will be around £385k. Telecare is within the budget for 2022.

Legal implications: Legal advice was accessed as the 24-month extension provided for in the Contract has already been used, a further extension may amount to a “material modification” of a public contract which should be subject to a new procurement procedure. However, a new procurement procedure will not be required if the proposed modification falls within one of more of the “permitted changes” set out in Regulation 72 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Legal advice has been provided and stated that there are reasonable arguments that the proposed modification falls within the scope of Regulation 75 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and therefore that a new procurement procedure is not required. There were recommended steps that can be taken to mitigate the risk of challenge and a contract award notice or transparency notice can be published.

Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment has been completed and not expected to have a significant negative impact on any of the protected characteristics. A Data protection impact assessment is not required.