Tag Archives: social care

Introducing the Connected Care Network

In these challenging times we need a new vision which acknowledges the importance of bringing people together and using the power of digital technology to build and support more connected communities.

Care and support in the 21st century requires much more connected thinking across social services, health, housing, education and employment. Technology and social media can facilitate this process.

The Connected Care Network works across sectors exploring how innovation and new ways of thinking can be embedded and supported within communities.

There are hundreds of digital technology innovations being developed and supported by a range of funders. Paradoxically we are not using technology to make these innovations more accessible and available to an increasingly diverse market which includes individual citizens, commissioners and providers of community support.

Find out what happened at

 #kentdigicare a milestone for connected care?

Reflection on Connected Care Camp #psicare

#caregoesocial some thoughts on the journey

We need a mindshift away from a focus on technology as a means to an end and to think about how technology can help address the challenges .of our age which include social isolation, loneliness, supporting people living with dementia and their carers, developing the skill and talent of young people and creating communities we all want to live in.

We have developed a range of programmes in response to many discussions with clients about gaps in the market for connecting innovations and digital technology with the individuals, communities and organisations who would benefit from new ways of thinking and providing services.

We also provide Critical Friend Reviews to help organisations focus on their priorities for digital engagement.

These are exciting times. As Professor Stephen Hawking said, when accepting his AbilityNet ‘Excellence in Accessibility Award’ at the Technology4Good awards “Technology is a vital part of human existence. They show us that the right tools in the right hands can help everyone, regardless of our frailties, to achieve our true potential and advance as a civilisation.”

Find  out how we can help your organisation in creating new collaborations and partnerships.  If you would like to find out more I would be very happy to talk to you!

@shirleyayres on Twitter

Shirley.Ayres@btinternet.com

Reflections on Connected Care Camp #psicare

First of all an introduction to the Connected Care Mindmap developed by @clarkmike. We have been identifying relevant resources over the past few months to share and give people a context for the problems identified through many online discussions and the Priorities for Care survey.

So much energy, thoughts and learning in one day and a lot of sharing resources through Twitter, videos & blog posts. A great post from @whatsthepont highlighting the benefits of collaboration  Open Data Age UK Cheshire, Fire & Rescue Service, Dementia Advisor. Odd one out?

For me many key problems centred around confusion about the role and responsibilities of the different care and health bodies. How does NHS England link with Healthwatch, the Care Quality Commission and the Health and Wellbeing Boards? What will be the impact of the £3.8 billion Better Care Fund and the Integration Pioneers?

Recommended viewing the excellent Alternative Guide to the NHS produced by the Kings Fund.

I would like to encourage @TheKingsFund to produce a similar Alternative Guide to Social Care I think many people would find this very helpful because the sector is so complex and fragmented!

There is a need for cultural change in health and care services which will enable innovations to be adopted and adapted more quickly. “We need to create the environment for difficult and challenging conversations” and with a huge funding gap looming this was seen as a priority. Despite the fact that social care is critical to support people mdischarged from hospital the sector is seen as the junior partner. This is not doubt influenced by the considerable discrepancy between health and care budgets and that health care is free at the point of delivery whilst social care is means tested. Changing the culture of organisations with the added pressures of public expectation about openness and transparency was seen as a major challenge. There are currently perverse incentives in the funding mechanisms and little encouragement to be brave and take risks in the redesign of services.

There was considerable discussion about how people can access information about existing resources both online and offline. There was a recognition that we need to tailor information channels to suit the different needs of individuals. An innovative proposal was the suggestion of developing guides to “the 5 things I need to know” across the wider care sector.

I was interested to learn that Health and Social Care West Midlands have created a site to to support health, social care and wellbeing leaders in the West Midlands to develop the more integrated services envisioned in the Health & Social Care Act 2012. Could this provide a template for more regional sites which provide access to relevant and timely resources? @hscwm

The importance of enabling people in residential care to access the internet and digital resources was recognised and there was some astonishment that we do not know how many care homes currently provide this for residents.

A consistent theme was the need to share both good practice and to learn lessons from what has not worked. there were many examples shared of how different organisations are supporting and connecting people to feel less isolated and more supported in their communities. It is worth reading the newly published Joseph Rowntree Trust Report on what makes a better life for older people.

Identifying transition points  and making sure that services are built around supporting individuals and their families was an important issue with many comments on the lack of basic information shared between the NHS and social care and poorly designed hospital discharge plans.

Many of the concerns about Integrated Care which were raised at Connected Care Camp are echoed in the recent @iMPOWERCONSULT report “A Question of Behaviours: Why delivering care integration and managing acute demand depends as much on changing behaviour as new systems and structures.”

One of the many sessions on the day discussed data driven social care which has been helpfully summarised by @resiflexUK in his post a round up of #psicare. An impressive summary thanks Conor!

Some big isssues:

On February 14th 2014 152 local authorities have to submit plans which should include how they are going to link health and social care data together by NHS number. The November TelecareLIN eNewsletter supplement on Integrated Care @clarkmike helpfully provides the  Better Care Fund requirements for joined up systems.

Who owns the data held on each of us and how can we free it?

How will local authorities deal with all of the self funders who will be eligible for an assessment under the new Care Bill?

There were very diverse levels of awareness about the potential of digital technology to help develop new ways of working and collaborations which are defined by outcomes rather than outputs. But a cautionary note from @MindingsStu an inspiring technology innovator and entrepreneur!

My call to action!

https://twitter.com/whatsthepont/status/409350948616933377

 

Can digital technology help make connected care a reality? #psicare

There are six Breakout sessions at Connected Care Camp being held on Saturday 7th December. Below is a brief list of some of the many online resources available. Using technology and thanks to @clarkmike we now have a Connected Care Mindmap with lots of resources to inform our discussions at the event.  if you have a resource you would like to add to the Mindmap please tweet a link to the relevant URL using #psicare

Social Isolation, Loneliness and the impact on health and wellbeing

Joseph Rowntree Foundation #Loneliness Resource Pack
How can we ensure a good quality of life for adults in residential care and housing with support. This means having a sense of purpose and full inclusion within the community with strong social contacts and mental stimulation.

 “ Residents reported being able to look at websites to do with their interests and hobbies, use internet shopping sites and communicate with family members, often overseas. Some had already noted beneficial impact on their carer’s ability to help manage their condition.”

Get Connected programme Social Care Institute for Excellence

Examples of how digital technology in empowering and supporting the health and wellbeing of individuals.

Information, advice and support across the care, health and housing sectors.

Connected Communities

How digital technology is supporting individuals to connect in different ways and live more independent and fulfilling lives within the community.

One of the simplest needs is the ability to stay in touch with family and friends who may be widely dispersed. There are a range of online tools available to address the practical tasks of co-ordinating the care and support of an individual.

Virtual, online and microvolunteering provide different ways for people to contribute to their communities online

Digital Literacy, Inclusion and the Barriers to Technology Adoption
Accessing and learning about the digital world can be a challenge for many groups in the UK.  Getting started on the internet – a brief guide
The challenges of Integrated Care

User and patient engagement and the personalisation of services

How can technology world encourage more patient and user engagement? Are public services signposting people to the many online support forums now available?

Follow Connected Care Camp and join in the discussions on Twitter using the hashtag #psicare

Poll: Which organisation would you recommend to an older person seeking advice about care and support options?

One of the problems identified in online discussions and the Connected Care Camp survey is the struggle many individuals, their families and friends experience trying to find information, guidance and advice about care and support options. How can we improve the systems?

This quick poll aims to provide an indication of which organisations are recommended as useful resources.

[The answers are randomised and not in any particular order]

Connected Care Camp takes place on the 7th December 2013 and you can follow the discussions on Twitter via the hashtag #psicare

Digital technology and care – how do we promote more connected thinking?

The care my parents received in later life was important to me, my family and our friends.I know how much they would have enjoyed finding out about and using digital technology!

I was reminded of this when reading over 65 papers produced by more than 30 organisations exploring ageing, innovation, digital technology and access to information and resources. There is so much potential for digital technology to enable people to make new connections, contribute to person-centred support, develop community networks and new models of care so an obvious question is what is stopping more widespread adoption?

There is no shortage of innovations in digital technology and millions of pounds are being spent supporting further developments. It is less clear about the application, impact and usage of these innovations. One problem is the limited awareness in the sector and amongst the public about what is available and it’s value. I believe that a big deficit is the lack of a strategic approach to embedding digital technology in the range of options to support people to live more fulfilling lives. Most days I am answering questions about suitable technology products and services.(Sadly this is  not a service I am funded to provide so inevitably help is limited by my availability). A major reason why I produced the Click Guide to Digital Technology for Adult Social Care is to forge connections across a seemingly disparate sector which ranges from entrepreneurs, practitioners,  commissioners and self funding customers.

I welcome the Ageing and Innovation programme being developed by Nesta with a focus on innovating across our social institutions. The Living Map of Ageing Innovations highlights many interesting innovations.  #5hrsaday

Sharpening the Care Diamond by Matthew Taylor Chief Executive of the RSA  explores society’s capacity for providing care which comprises the market, the state, close family and the wider community.

David Wilcox and his team have been asking challenging questions in the Nominet Trust exploration  into using technology later in life “We know lots about innovation, digital tech & #socialcare now who will make it useful?” #dtlater

I recommend reading the inspiring approach developed by the Asset Based Community Development  Institute which focus on developing new ideas and strategies which are not needs based and funding-led, but instead use assets more effectively and promote citizen led initiatives. A recent discussion with Cormac Russell a faculty member of the ABCD Institute confirmed the importance of supporting  communities to actively engage in a democratic and inclusive way in co-producing stronger, safer and healthier neighbourhoods.

It is definitely worth following the Kings Fund Time to Think Differently programme aimed at stimulating debate about the changes needed for the NHS and social care to meet the challenges of the future. Excellent infographics and an analysis of future trends. #kfthink

These and many other initiatives are ensuring that technology acts as an enabler; exploring how community support can be developed;  promoting the user perspective in developing technologies and enabling people to live well with long term conditions. But I am most aware that there is a real need to encourage more strategic thinking which promotes collaboration and connected strategies. It is also essential that we can provide evidence of impact and outcomes in the use of digital technology. There are a lot of sceptics to be convinced! Individuals and organisations  need to have confidence in the products and services being provided by digital technology. Whilst many health technologies are possibly over evaluated much of the digital technology being developed for care is under evaluated.

I am concerned about potential duplication with the number of age and innovation projects currently underway. There does seem to be a lack of collaboration amongst organisations, researchers and innovators. How can we encourage the sharing of resources in ways that are discoverable for people requiring care and support, their family and friends and service commissioners?

There are a number of challenges. The care sector is complex and fragmented with a seemingly narrow focus on residential and home care. For me wellbeing comprises all of the services which make each of us feel safe, secure and supported in our community whatever our age or personal circumstances. I really hope the Health and Wellbeing Boards will be a catalyst for connecting key players in local communities  which includes  social services, health, housing, education, leisure services, the police, economic regeneration, charities and social enterprises , private providers and of course the purchasers and recipients of services.

We need to think differently  about how care is provided and there is a critical role for community development in  identifying and supporting  community builders and connectors  who may not be involved with any of the organisations represented on the Health and Wellbeing Boards.

In my paper for the Nominet Trust “Can online innovations enhance social care?” I suggest we explore the potential for developing a Community Wellbeing and Social Technology Innovation Hub. There are many organisations thinking about how care can be delivered more effectively with a focus on the needs and aspirations of the individual requiring support. I believe we need to develop a coherent and independent voice which will facilitate connections and challenge silo thinking amongst the hundreds of potentially competing stakeholders with an interest in this area. Mapping networks and community hubs would be a good start. We also urgently need to create a better shared understanding of technology innovations, the benefits and the limitations.

Just imagine if there was one trusted source where you could access the latest information about care and support innovations, get advice about selecting hardware and choosing apps, find support to get and stay online and understand which organisations are funding, researching and promoting digital technology across the wider care sector.

The way forward?

Convene a roundtable for all the funders of digital technology to explore   collaboration, sharing practice and a common approach to evaluating and promoting the outcomes and impacts of their investment.

Provide signposts which enable care recipients, their families and carers to find out what technology products and services are available, both through statutory services or to purchase independently.

Create, promote and participate in events that showcase innovations in care which could be adopted by local authorities, the NHS and housing providers.

Map all of the digital community hubs (however defined) which are available to ensure that people have access to local resources.  This would also identify areas where there is currently no support available.

Benchmark levels of awareness about technology innovations across the care sector and work with key players to promote and share the benefits of innovation.

I welcome your thoughts and ideas here or through Twitter @shirleyayres using the hashtag #deukcare

Available now! The Click Guide to Digital Technology for Adult Care

“technology supports the development of solutions that are tailored and accessible to individuals while also enabling their wide distribution at significantly lower cost than traditional services” Annika Small Nominet Trust

“My (printed) copy arrived this morning. Very well researched and informative. Well done Shirley – and thank you for mentioning new electronic version of Whose Shoes? – aligned to TLAP’s ‘Making It Real’. Planning launch programme with TLAP next week! :)”   Gill Phillips @WhoseShoes

All the information you need in one place

Whether you work in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors (or are a carer or use services), digital technology is transforming the way care services are delivered. It will not, of course, ever replace human contact, kindness, empathy and understanding. But it does allow people to connect in different ways, quickly and easily. Digital technology and social networks provide some of the most powerful tools available today for building a sense of belonging, support and sharing among groups of people who share similar interests and concerns.

The Click Guide to Digital Technology for Adult Social Care has been developed to help professionals, carers and service users make use of the fantastic resources which are already available across the whole spectrum of needs in adult social care today. We believe it is important to bring all of this information together in a single place. The Guide lists more than a hundred resources, spanning the areas of care, health and housing.

The Click Guide to Digital Technology for Adult Social Care can be downloaded instantly as  an eBook at a cost of £3-99 or ordered as a hard copy printed publication.

NB: If you are using a computer you will need the free Adobe Digital programme.  Clicking on the downloaded book should prompt you to install this if you do not have it already.  On a tablet you need to identify the correct app for reading an epub (on an iPad this is iBooks). If you still cannot open the book we advise you to contact the Lulu technical support team

Contact us to find out about the discounts available for bulk orders of the printed publication.

The smartC4RE EU project are looking for UK partners (adjacent to the North Sea)

 An ageing population is growing in all European countries, more specifically in rural areas. This demographic change has been identified as a common challenge. Smart Caring Rural Communities (smartC4RE) is an EU funded project exploring e-health, integrated care, active and healthy ageing and e-learning. The project aims to maintain, enhance and reinforce accessible and affordable social, home and health care systems. The use of digital technologies is an important part of reaching this goal.

smartC4RE is focussed at the needs of people living in the participating regions in the seven countries around the North Sea. The overall target is to enable EU citizens to lead healthy, active and independent lives while ageing. Orkney Island Council is a potential project partner and the partnership is now looking for other UK public project partners adjacent to the North Sea.

Jan Walberg the project manager is prepared to come and visit potential project partners to explain the possibilities and advantages of EU projects. This could be an interesting development for a Health and Wellbeing Board in the right geographical location.

For more information contact Jan bureau.walburg@iaf.nl @BureauWalburg or visit the project’s website www.smartC4RE.eu 

Can online innovations enhance social care?

 Can online innovations enhance social care? My new provocation paper for the Nominet Trust is published today along with the first in a series of posts exploring the challenges.

 

I hope that you will add your thoughts to this important debate! 

Could crowdfunding support new ways of thinking in care?

“Knowledge is useless if it’s exclusive. If you really want change, you really want it to be inclusive, where everyone’s included, otherwise you’re just going to have more of the same in the future.” will.i.am interviewed in the Guardian 15th December 2012 @iamwill

I am fortunate to be connected to over 10,000 people through social networks. If each person in my network invested £7-00 we could produce a weekly Disruptive Social Care podcast throughout 2013. Or if innovative care organisations sponsored a show we would reach our target even more quickly!

The podcasts were developed to promote innovative thinking about care in the 21st century by bringing people and ideas together. With over 5000 downloads and views of the Disruptive Social Care podcast we have created a unique communications platform.

When Stu and I launched the Disruptive Social Care podcasts we wanted to spread the word about care innovations, share great ideas and promote the value of digital technology to help people and communities connect and collaborate. We recognised the need for digital leadership to drive the adoption of technology in care.

We are passionate about ensuring that good practice in care, health, housing, education, employment and research is promoted and shared. We want Disruptive Social Care to become the benchmark for innovators. To date we have self funded the podcasts. We hope that there are enough innovative individuals and organisations who share our values and will help us to reach a bigger audience.

“The social care sector produces tons of outputs in the forms of papers and reports and so on and I struggle to keep up with a lot of it quite frankly, but I never struggle to find time to listen to your weekly podcast, and I think what is distinctive about it is that you offer a fresh take on a lot of the challenges that we face and I don’t think there’s anything quite like it, so do keep it up, I think it’s a really refreshing contribution, and challenge actually, to the way we do things”

Richard Humphries, Assistant Director of Policy The Kings Fund @richardatkf 

Giving a voice to innovators is essential if we are to develop care services fit for the 21st century. Dare I suggest that publishing 50 reports will not be as effective as Simone Florio talking about the inspiring Healthy Living Club at Lingham Court @HLCC supporting people living with dementia, Anthony Ribot @RibotMaximus discussing user experience, design and  Threedom the world’s simplest smartphone and Mark Brown @markoneinfour sharing his thoughts about the need for radical changes in mental health services.

We need your help and support to continue to produce our independent, provocative and edgy weekly shows. And a very big thank you to our first friends and supporters! @FOL_LTD @Ermintrude2 @Recovery4_me @BPDFFS @MindingsStu @clarkmike 

How to sponsor the Disruptive Social Care podcast Any questions? Do contact me if you need an invoice before sponsoring the podcasts. @shirleyayres

Will we succeed with our very ambitious vision? If innovation and new ways of thinking about care is part of your DNA we hope you will support us. Only time will tell but do keep  an eye  on how many innovative organisations are prepared to sign up and support us!

Crowdsourcing information on councils, commissioning and innovation

An interesting Twitter discussion prompted by a session at the All Change! 2012:  Reshaping Local Public Services event organised by Improvement and Efficiency East Midlands with the underlying themes of commissioning and new models of service delivery.

Community Catalysts are an innovative social enterprise working to harness the talents of people and communities to provide high quality small scale, local care and support services. @CommCats

Whose Shoes was founded by Gill Phillips who is passionate about personalisation in health and social care. Whose Shoes? is an innovative resource which engages people to deliver public services in more creative ways. @WhoseShoes

I always think it is amazing the information that can be collected in a a few tweets!

If your organisation would like help in developing an online survey do get in contact! @shirleyayres