How can digital technology help a person living with multiple sclerosis?

Such a simple, obvious and wise statement – it would be so exciting if every individual offered a personal health or care budget was able to access a digital care navigator. Sadly the social sector (including health, care and charities) have not yet managed to bridge the gap between the rhetoric of digital transformation and the everyday experiences and reality for citizens..

I was recently asked for advice about how digital technology could help  a person with late onset multiple sclerosis deteriorating rapidly. She loved crafts, needlework painting etc but is losing use of her hands.  She has a laptop but using the mouse is getting tricky.

It emphasised for me how important it is for people to be aware of, and able to access, online resources to support independent living and #ageingbetter so I thought it would be helpful to share resources.

It is definitely worth contacting AbilityNet a small and impressive UK charity helping disabled adults and children use computers and the internet by adapting and adjusting their technology. They provide a range of factsheets and advice and information services.

@AbilityNet run the inspiring @Tech4GoodAwards which celebrate the people and technology making the world a better place. 2016 finalists will be announced on the 8th June!

AbilityNet have been shortlisted as Digital Charity of the Year 2016 by Digital Leaders 100. The winners will be chosen by a public vote and you can vote for them now on the Digital Leaders website and help spread the message about the amazing way that technology can transform the lives of disabled and older people.

[Declaration of interest: I have a real fondness for small charities with a big vision who know how to be creative and deliver results with limited funds!]

A helpful post on using a computer if you have tremors

UCanDoIT is a charity that teaches IT skills to people with disabilities on a one to one basis in their own homes. @ucdit

Another site with useful information about technology and disability

(and I am sure there are many more to be added!)

Tips and tricks for folks with Multiple Sclerosis (Microsoft 365)

From gaming system to medical breakthrough: How Microsoft and Novartis created Assess MS

Touchscreens such as iPads are tactile, versatile and very simple to use and the apps make it easy to play accessible games, which help memory, agility and interaction. iPads can be used for all manner of activities such as games, apps, accessing websites and playing music and video.

However before buying any apps it is always worth reading the reviews, checking compatibility requirements with laptop/tablet being used  and whether the app is really free or being offered as a subscription model!

Some fun interactive apps

Pigment (free to download but with a Premium Access paid subscription) allows you to colour as you would on paper with actual colored pencils. Choose from 350+ hand curated, professionally drawn illustrations, 8 different kinds of pencils, markers and brushes, and an unlimited number of colors to choose from. Completed artwork can be friends and family.

Painterly £1.49) allows you to create beautiful evocative pictures even if you do not have advanced drawing skills or formal art training Allows for painting with more than 60 virtual brushes, as well as importing photos and then painting them

List of googled needlework apps for iPad (not my specialist area does anyone have any recommendations?)

Games

Imutt (free but charity will invite a donation) This game from the Dogs Trust allows users to look after an impossibly cute virtual rescue dog for five days. Perfect and no need to walk in bad weather!

FlowerGarden (free with further in-app purchases) allows you to pick virtual seeds, plant them, water them and watch them grow. This is especially significant for participants who used to enjoy growing plants and are missing their former gardens.

An honourable mention for the informative @AXSChat which runs the informative weekly #AXSchat discussing accessibility & inclusion in business on the web & beyond.

I have reached out to the Multiple Sclerosis charities for advice and will update this post  when I receive responses.

I met Paul Smyth Head of IT Accessibility at Barclays Bank recently and was very impressed by his thoughtful and measured approach to accessibility and inclusive technology. I recommend listening to his interview.

It is so obvious really that digital technology can make all the difference to the quality of life for people living with disabilities and why I believe it is so important to make #connectedcare a reality.

Obviously this post is only a snapshot of available resources (I am not a assitive technology specialist but I work with companies excited to use technology to improve their services).

And I am always very aware that what digital technology offers are endless possibilities to make person-focused care a reality. 

I welcome your thoughts about resources you have found helpful. please add to the comments section below or share with me via Twitter @shirleyayres

 

How social media can support #ConnectedCare

In these challenging times I believe we have a responsibility to show how the digital revolution which is impacting on all of our lives can bring people together 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, employment and the wider social sector. Technology and social media can facilitate this process. I am often puzzled when I see different sectors running events with similar themes on the same day and not making the connections which could avoid duplicating resources or reinventing wheels. It can so often seem that sectors are just talking to themselves rather than reaching out and creating new networks and collaborations.

Admittedly we have been slow creating a mindshift away from technology as a means to an end and thinking about how digital technology can help address the wicked challenges of our age. How does technology have a role in addressing social isolation, loneliness, supporting people living with dementia and their carers, developing the skills and talent of young people and creating communities we all want to live in? Is the missing link the absence of digital leadership in the social sector?

To promote new ways of thinking I have used and continue to use social media to highlight resources which I believe could benefit from a wider audience than the “usual suspects” In this spirit and because there are so many events taking place I am sharing my selection of  interesting and innovative events which you can follow on Twitter. The obvious (to me anyway) connection between all of these events is that we all live in communities which include children, young people, families, people living alone and carers. We all have something to share and we can learn from each other. 

Today MOMO are hosting  a national conference exploring digital social work challenges and good practice. @MindOfMyOwnApp have developed an app that gives children and young people the confidence & ability to express their needs. It is so important that looked after children have a voice and I am impressed by the impact of this app. Follow via

 

The inestimable @johnpopham is live streaming this event.

http://www.mindofmyown.org.uk

This week is #dyingmattersweek. Every year @DyingMatters host an Awareness Week, which gives us an unparalleled opportunity to place the importance of talking about dying, death and bereavement firmly on the national agenda. This year the theme is ‘The Big Conversation’ and you can share your thoughts via #BigConversation.

 http://www.dyingmatters.org

Neighbourhoods of the Future is being held on the 11th and 12th May.  This event will take a fresh look at age friendly homes and communities as a means of tackling the challenges of ageing better. Topics being explored include the emerging possibilities of smart homes and age friendly cities. With hundreds of organisations now involved in the #AgeingBetter industry it will be fascinating to see how many will be sharing their thoughts via #agileageingroadshow http://www.lansons.com/looking-forward-growing-older

The Festival of Behaviour Change starts today in Bangor 9th – 20th May 2016. Behaviour Change Science is a combination of psychology, social sciences, design thinking and practical application that could revolutionise the design and delivery of public services. It can help individuals to make better decisions by altering the way in which choices are presented to them. This is an important exploration because there are rightly ethical concerns about who determines what is the “right” behaviour.  I am particularly interested in the sessions on Behaviour Change and Service Delivery ModelsBehaviour Change in Health and the Future of Health Care and The use of Technology in the Pursuit of Behaviour Change. Follow the discussions via . I understand some of the sessions will be live streamed via Periscope.

http://www.goodpractice.wales/bangor

Advance notice of Dementia Awareness Week taking place from the 15th – 21st May 2016. This is an important opportunity to increase understanding of dementia and find out what support is available for people living with dementia and their carers. There are a wide range of special events taking place across the country.

Follow #DAW2016 to contribute to the debates and share your thoughts about what works and what needs to change.

If there are other events which I think are interesting, informative and innovative I will add them to the list during the week!

On Being Social To help make your event more social I am sharing some top tips produced by @PaulBromford and I. (We are planning to update this in 2016!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practical Strategies for Learning from Failure is coming to Leeds! #LFFdigital

Following a successful workshop in Cardiff we are offering a second Practical Strategies for Learning from Failure in Leeds on Thursday 8th October 2015.

If you are interested in attending here’s the link to register your interest.

To find out more about what happened in Cardiff have a look at the Storify prepared by @GoodPracticeWAO

and the following posts:

Exploring the Benefits of Learning from Failure at #LFFdigital

@whatsthepont The James Reason Swiss Cheese Failure Model in 300 Seconds

@dosticen How can we build time for reflection into our digital lifestyles?

Failing to learn from failure and Learning from failure in complex environment – what does this mean for audit?

What attendees thought of the Cardiff workshop – feedback compiled by @commutiny

There are limited places available for this free workshop and early booking is advised. If you are allocated a place and unable to attend please let us know as soon as possible so that we can give your place to someone on the waiting list.

The #LFFdigital team look forward to meeting you in Leeds.

Shirley Ayres @shirleyayres Connected Care Network, Chris Bolton @whatsthepont Wales Audit Office, Roxanne Persaud @commutiny Doctoral Researcher, University of Southampton and Paul Taylor @PaulBromford Innovation Coach, Bromford Lab

Exploring the Benefits of Learning from Failure at #LFFdigital

I have always been inspired by JK Rowling’s powerful Harvard commencement speech in which she discussed the fringe benefits of failure. As JK  said,”It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not lived at all in which case, you fail by default.”

We live in an age that relentlessly promotes innovation. However across the public sector our willingness to talk about risk and learn from failure has not kept pace. Whilst there seems to be consensus about the need to share learning many organisations are working in a  competitive funding environment which does not encourage this to happen. How can we create a space which encourages organisations to share the learning about projects which have not achieved their anticipated and desired outcomes and impact?

Our Practical Strategies for Learning from Failure workshop on the 5th August in Cardiff offers the opportunity for strategic thinkers who recognise that we need to learn how to deal with disappointments, mistakes and failures of all kinds.  It responds to the #PdDigital15 challenge “how can we unleash people-led digital innovation in health and wellbeing?” by helping to de-stigmatise failure and ‘what doesn’t work’ so we can adapt and move on more quickly.

The event is being facilitated by a unique team bringing perspectives from practice, research and different sectors.

We will be working with you to consider the following questions.

  • What are the costs of failure and how can we do things differently?
  • Why do we continue to reward the “wrong” activities?
  • What are the guiding principles to prepare for a new landscape with citizens at the centre?

There is no charge for the event, thanks to the people at #PdDigital15 and the Wales Audit Office so we expect everyone to make commitments to preparatory thinking, collaborative working, and follow-up.  We are doing this because we believe it is important to keep up critical momentum on the conversation.

You can register here

Once registered on this workshop you will need to complete a short questionnaire. It will take about 10 minutes and give you a flavour of the kinds of conversations we will have and provide valuable insights to inform the workshop.

The main outcome from the workshop is to begin a cross sector conversation about how to share the learning from failure across health , housing , care and the wider social sector.

If you are not able to attend the workshop but  would like to join in the conversation  on Twitter and share resources you have found useful we are using the hashtag #LFFdigital

(We are not officially announcing it yet but if you cannot come to Cardiff in August  we will be running another #LFFdigital workshop in Leeds on the 8th October)

What health and wellbeing apps do you use and would you recommend? #PdDigital15

Last week I attended People Driven Digital Health and Care in Leeds. It was a fascinating and fun event. I was honoured to be invited to provide some thoughts at the launch about the challenges and opportunities in the digital space alongside Tim Kelsey and Anne Cooper.

An excellent question was posed by Mike Clark  at the start of the event and here are some responses and it raises interesting questions about what each of us considers to be a health and wellbeing app!

My recommendations: Twitter (rich source of real time information about the latest digital health and care innovations) , jawbone (motivational and competitive element makes it fun)  and  (very good for pelvic floor muscle exercises!).

I would also highly recommend Patient Opinion because of the richness of experiences being shared and the opportunities for health and care organisations to respond publicly as to how they are addressing concerns, complaints and praise.

Paul Taylor and the Bromford Lab have been experimenting with a cheap Cardboard Virtual Reality kit and I did get very excited about the one he brought (as did Chris Bolton and Paul Webster)!

A further question asked by Mike Clark – would anyone like to hazard a guess at what the number might be?

Further thoughts from Mike as we see how often Twitter is being cited as a wellbeing app.

Thanks to everyone who contributed their favourite health and wellbeing apps . I am very aware there are thousands of digital innovations available and I would love you to share your favourites either here or via Twitter @shirleyayres!

You can read more about the event through the following rather excellent posts

People driven digital health: solving problems people actually have 

Putting People First

Reflections on #PdDigital15 

Conversation & collaboration at #PdDigital15 

Digital Innovation and #AgeingBetter

Presentation with thanks to Paul Taylor

I was delighted to be invited by Zoe Pedden creator of the innovative MyChoicePad to share thoughts about Technology in Social Care: Innovation in Adversity at the Wayra UnLtd and Insane Logic Digital Mouthpiece. The event was live streamed and there was a lively discussion on the #innovatecare hashtag.

There are too few opportunities for robust debate about the need for a long term revolution which challenges the traditional institutional models of care. I believe we have to disrupt the current care market because it is just not fit for purpose.

The report today about patients living with dementia being restrained by security guards in hospitals does not give me confidence about the dignified and respectful care we provide for our most vulnerable members of society.

My Long Term Care Revolution paper for Innovate UK highlighted the reality that living longer does not feel like a celebration when care options in later life do not reflect our aspirations and experience of living in a digitally connected world.

In 2013 Nominet Trust published my Provocation Paper exploring the question “Can online innovations can enhance social care?” The simple answer is yes but digital technology on it’s own is not the solution. Technology cannot fix broken systems and digital cannot be just a bolt  on or optional extra  – digital transformation has to be at the heart of every organisation.

Technology and tools help us navigate an increasingly complex world but they will never replace human creativity, empathy and intuition.  We have to understand both the potential and the limitations of what digital technology can offer.

We certainly need better ways to collaborate, signpost, and share knowledge. Connected Care is important to make sense of a complex and fragmented landscape. Innovation in adversity  has to involve care, health, housing, entrepreneurs, the technology industry, innovation funders, the wider social sector, citizens and whole communities.

We seem to have a deficit of imagination about how to build and support the strengths and assets within communities. How can we use technology to support citizens to live more fulfilling lives connected with the people, ideas and activities which are so important to each of us?

In 2013 I asked the question Digital Technology and care – how do we promote more connected thinking?

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?f

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.

My proposals:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Create, promote and participate in events that showcase innovations in care which could be adopted by local authorities, the NHS and housing providers.
  4. 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.
  5. Benchmark levels of awareness about technology innovations across the care sector and work with key players to promote and share the benefits of innovation.

Are we making progress? Despite millions of pound given in grants for innovation and digital inclusion, endless reports, numerous conferences and a recognition that digital technology is an integral part of our lives I sometimes feel I am living in a parallel universe to the Ageing Better industry …..

David Wilcox is an intrepid social reporter who has written extensively about Living Well in the Digital Age. He helpfully highlighted that there is no mention in the recent strategy of the Centre for Ageing Better about technology and digital innovation.

From the Big Lottery Fund £82 million investment in Ageing Better to the £50 million endowment creating the Centre for Better Ageing and the diverse Nesta programs it seems there is a proliferation of partnerships exploring how to embed innovation in care but the jury is out about their impact.  Maybe the recently launched Innovate UK £4 million Long Term Care Revolution national challenge will provide some  answers?

The “Ageing” sector is a complex and fragmented  multi million pound industry involving  hundreds of organisations and millions of potential beneficiaries.  How often have you asked if your your product or service could be improved and made assumptions about the problems people really need help solving?

I welcome your ideas about how we can shift from yet more research and reports to innovation with practical and useful outcomes which will improve the quality of life for older people now and in the future! My #AgeingBetter dream encompasses  personalised care driven by technology, smart homes with sensors, robot companions and driverless cars.

Looking 20 years ahead as baby boomers reach the age 80 plus we still have time to plan and get it right. But we have to move from rhetoric and reports to action now!

Why we need a long term care revolution

It is time to take long term care out of the shadows and promote a public debate about the care and support we aspire to in later life rather than  accepting the current institutional models which offer so little choice and control for older citizens. The publication of Key to Care @PaulBurstow  supported by @LGiU is a timely reminder of the challenges confronting the care sector  and I welcome the mention of the need for service design and investing in technology.

I am one of the much maligned baby boomers being blamed by politicians and the media for not being responsible in planning for later life. The obvious question is what exactly I should be planning for  – being warehoused in an institution which may strip me of my dignity, pride and independence?

A blueprint for the redesign of long term care does not yet exist and we lack an overarching vision about how we want our care and support in later life to be provided beyond the institutional model. What are the levers of influence when social care is so complex and fragmented?

I believe our biggest challenge is  bringing  together all the sectors with an interest in improving the quality of later life for older citizens. As an example this includes: NHS health and care sectors, care providers, housing associations, emergency services, the wider social sector, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Kings Fund and many other think tanks, Care Quality Commission, Telecare providers, Independent Age, International Longevity Centre , Age UK, CarersUK, Design Council, Innovate UK, Nesta, Big Lottery and Nominet Trust who fund social technology projects, Centre for Ageing, universities, technology innovators, different Government Depts: Health, Communities and Local Government, Work and Pensions, Cabinet Office, Business, Innovation & Skills, Innovation Labs and Impact Labs across the UK. (I should add that this is only a small sample of the organisations involved in this area!)

I wonder if all of these bodies have ever sat down together to explore more effective collaborations and how to avoid duplication of effort and resources in basically tackling the same problems?

An honourable mention for  how technologies from other sectors and industries could help address the seemingly intractable problems about  supporting citizens in later life.

There seems to be a gulf between thinking and doing as organisations are unable to turn ideas into actions. Is this because there are so many stakeholders with their own perspectives and priorities sometimes struggling to survive in a competitive funding environment? .

Last week I launched my Long Term Care Revolution Provocation Paper commissioned by Innovate UK to provide an independent perspective about the challenges of developing radically different models of care which will meet the needs and aspirations of older citizens in later life.

 

With many thanks to Paul Taylor  for developing the presentation

If long term care is not fit for purpose how can we revolutionise the system or do we accept that the system is not the best but it is slowly changing and we need to give it time?

The “Ageing” sector is a complex multi million pound industry involving hundreds of organisations and millions of potential beneficiaries. From the @BigLotteryFund £82 million Ageing Better investment to the £50 million being spent creating the new Centre for Ageing Better why has there been so much reluctance to embrace new models of care for older citizens? There are a proliferation of partnerships and alliances exploring this agenda and how to embed social innovation in long term care. It is unclear how they are collaborating to provide a UK overview. Critical messages get lost in the plethora of reports and which often appear to be covering similar areas of concern such as isolation, loneliness. digital participation and the value of older citizens.

The reality is that person centred care will translate from words into everyday reality when we focus on the older citizen and are able to answer the simple questions “what will improve the quality of your life?” and “what care would you like to support you to live a fulfilling life?”

Our ageing population represent a victory for better nutrition, better housing, and the welfare state. People in later life offer wisdom, experience, perspective and a wide range of skill sets and capacities. Why are we not utilising the wealth of knowledge and experience of older people to develop and deliver community services that meet their needs?

We need a cultural mindshift which challenges the idea of older citizens being  “objects of charity” rather than active consumers

How do we change the narrative and think about a future where people look forward to later life with a wide range of choices to live a fulfilling life which is not dependent on health, locality or relationships?

Strangely people aged sixty plus are not one homogeneous group, we are as varied as individuals in any other sector of the population and our different life experiences inform our perspectives as consumers. Older people may have similar needs physically but these do not erase life experiences, preferences and orientations. Older people is not an identity but a statistical category

The budget deficit in health and care seems to have become a race to cut costs and shift responsibilities and places little value on the quality of life of the citizen  requiring long term care. Organisations with a focus on systems and processes are still negotiating block contracts for care services. Services are not being tailored to meet the personal needs, hopes and aspirations of older citizens. There appears to be a focus on medicalising later life care which ignores the health risks associated with loneliness and social exclusion amongst older citizens.

Our society has advanced in all aspects of life socially, medically, economically, technologically, environmentally. These advances have substantially redefined how we live our lives on a daily basis, how we travel (space, air, sea and land), how we communicate, how we work, how we manage our finances, how and what we buy, how we experience leisure and entertainment, and how we educate ourselves.  Yet the institutional principles which form the basis of long term care provision remains completely unaffected by such changes and have failed to develop in-step with these advances.

How do we make organisations culturally ready for moving from institutional thinking to person centred care which recognises how the adoption of digital technology can enhance the care and support available within communities? Digital does not have to mean no human contact. What it can do is free up the time for more face to face contact.

A gentle reminder that baby boomers expectations and aspirations have been shaped by:

1953 Francis Crick and James Watson discovering the structure of DNA.

1963 Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his historic “I Have a Dream” speech

1993 work on the Human Genome Project started

1969 Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the moon

1971 Launch of the Open University

1973 Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon is released

1998 Google founded

1998 Launch of Apple iMac

2001  Launch of Wikipedia and the first Apple iPod..

2004 Facebook is founded

2006 Twitter was created

A serious question has to be asked about why the NHS and Social Care sectors who currently commission the majority of long term care have been so slow to develop a culture which promotes innovation. Market shaping exercises seem to assume the ‘status quo’ will continue indefinitely which is confirmed by the number of care providers now building new and larger care homes.

It is worth mentioning that my @nominettrust Provocation Paper published in 2013 highlighted how online innovations can enhance social care. Disappointingly I have seen very little mention of this in the Better Care Fund plans and the Care Act implementation.  Frankly I am astounded at the disconnect between what policy makers and care providers think is required in later life and how I see my my future which includes:

Robots as companions: Are we ready? @ManeeshJuneja

“I’d prefer a robot companion to 15 minutes of care by a worker on minimum wage struggling to provide quality care on a zero hour contract.“

Mobility is often a challenge for older citizens. Apart from decent and affordable public transport how could driverless cars keep people connected with their family, friends and the community?

Living choice for older citizens are influenced by standards, regulations, the design of new housing and lifetime homes. What are the options for retrofitting of existing housing stock; shared lives and co-housing. How can we support inclusive communities and neighbourhoods through urban design and planning?Where is the thinking across social care, health and housing about the importance of smart technology enabled homes

There are tough and uncomfortable questions to be discussed to inform the debate about how we can all look forward to a future without fear of being abandoned to a market where vital care and support is determined by our income and locality rather than our needs and personal preferences. We have to address the potential shortfall in both formal and informal carers in the future with more people living on their own who do not have families to support them.

I want a clear vision for the future which offers a coordinated system with many different life choices for citizens in later life. This is not just the responsibility of one sector it needs to engage each and every one of us at local, national and UK wide levels in a public debate about our hopes and aspirations for care in later life.

A substantial number of reports, research and articles informed the development of the Provocation Paper and I will be providing a follow up post which details the background reading.

My personal thanks to @MarkOneinFour  @Trinigyal44 @clarkmike @PaulBromford @ManeeshJuneja whose thinking and generous contributions as critical friends informed the development of the Provocation Paper. 

Keep connected with the debate!

Follow #LTCRevolution on Twitter for the latest debates.

Updated social media analytics and transcripts are available via Symplur @healthhashtags

@clarkmike covered the launch of the Long Term Care Revolution National Launch in the November TelecareLin newsletter.

@PaulBromford calls for radically different views of age and skills in his post A Revolution in Care Requires a Revolution in Thinking

The new Radio 4 series The Invisible Age is looking at the issue of sixty plus age groups encompassing several generations and how we as a society regard older citizens. The recent You and Yours programme asked the question ‘do people treat you differently once you’re over 60’. I was invited to discuss with Winifred Robinson our attitudes to ageing, whether people are ignoring ageing issues and why we need a long term care revolution.

 

The most powerful need we humans have is to be connected and to remain connected. Social media provides unrivalled opportunities for all of us to contribute to the long term care debate. I would love you to add thoughts, comments and share your dreams about the choices you would like in later life!

Why I value the TelecareLin newsletter

I’d like to share a secret. The reason I can keep up to date with the extraordinary pace of technological innovation across the care, health and housing sectors is because of the excellent TelecareLin newsletter produced every month by Mike Clark.

Launched October 2005, this free monthly newsletter is distributed to 48,000 subscribers in the UK and worldwide via e-mail and archived at www.telecarelin.org.uk. You can find highlights on Rebelmouse (daily) or by following Mike Clark on Twitter (@clarkmike). With over 800 news and events links over the last month this is an incredibly valuable resource. Thank you to Innovate UK (previously the Technology Strategy Board), Knowledge Transfer Network and the Telecare Learning and Improvement Network for funding this important resource.

As an example if you have an interest in digital technology and work in  health, care or housing are you aware of the following events taking place in the next few months? (For the full list have a look at the latest newsletter!)

The Age of No Retirement – 1 to 2 October 2014, London https://www.tradingtimes.org.uk/community/95289715/

Inspiration for Independent Daily Living – marketplace event – Maidenhead, 3 October http://www.healthwatchwam.co.uk/social_inspirations_for_daily_living_public_poster_final.pdf

DHACA Members Day II – 7 October, Liverpool
http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dhaca-members-day-ii-tickets-12753274387

European Telemedicine Conference, Rome – 7-8 October 2014 http://www.telemedicineconference.eu/ehome/index.php?eventid=92707&tabid=201417&

Medicine 2.0 Europe, Malaga 9-11 October 2014 http://www.medicine20congress.com/ocs/index.php/med/med2014b

Next steps for integrating health and social care, and implementing the Better Care Fund, London, 14 October 2014 http://www.westminsterforumprojects.co.uk/forums/event.php?eid=828

Integrated Care Summit 2014 – London 14 October 2014  http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/events/integrated-care-summit-2014

Connected Healthcare – San Diego 14-15 October 2014 http://www.openmobilemedia.com/connected-healthcare-mhealth-usa/

Technology Enhanced Home Care Forum – Manchester 16 October 2014 http://estratevents.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/technology-enhanced-homecare-forum-brings-together-telehealth-expertise-and-innovation/

National Children and Adult Services Conference 2014, Manchester, 29-31 October 2014 http://www.adass.org.uk/ncasc-2014/

The Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare will this year host the Scottish Digital Health & Care Week in conjunction with the Scottish Government’s eHealth and Joint Improvement Team from November 3 – 7 2014.

Scottish Digital Health & Care Conference – 6 November 2014, Edinburgh http://www.sctt.scot.nhs.uk/events/scottish-digital-health-care-conference/

EHI Live – 4-5 November 2014 Birmingham http://www.ehilive.co.uk/

Innovate UK 2014 – London 5-6 November 2014 https://www.innovateuk.org/-/innovate-uk

There is so much talk about the importance of the digital revolution for promoting more integrated care focused on the person, their needs, hopes, aspirations and lifestyle.  What we have not been so good at doing is connecting all the different elements together and offering connected care to the individual, their family and care and support network.

Thanks Mike from one very grateful beneficiary of the knowledge, wisdom and resources you share so generously!

Exciting update about the Advanced Social Work Practice Network on LinkedIn

inspired photoI am delighted to announce that Deona Hooper will be taking over the Advanced Social Work Practice Network on LinkedIn. Deona is the the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the internationally renowned Social Work Helper Magazine. I have chosen her to be the new guardian of the  of the Advances Social Work Practice Network Group because she shares my vision for the Network  Although I will no longer be the principal owner of the group, I will remain a member and support Deona in helping her grow and continue to meet the needs of this community.

A brief introduction from Deona
“My vision for this group is to continue using an interdisciplinary approach to discussing advance social work practice. I hope this group will serve as a catalyst to spur international debates and discussions on issues affecting social workers globally. Please, feel free to contact me at deona@socialworkhelper.com with any feedback you may have, or if you are interested in being a moderator for the group. I look forward to connecting with all of you.”
In addition Deona has generously agreed to co-facilitate the Network for Professionals Working with Vulnerable Children and Young People group with me.
As Deona says
Although we are on opposite sides of the Atlantic, we saw an opportunity to bridge our talents and passion for digital media and communications into a single forum.

My hope is that collectively we will be able to further advance this international platform to increase the reach of individual group members’ voices as well as your ability to connect with other like minds globally. As practitioners, we often share many of the same barriers and challenges when it comes to protecting vulnerable populations no matter our geographical location.This group serves as a perfect place to help facilitate those conversations. I look forward to taking on a more active role and connecting with each of you.”

 

Many thanks Deona and I look forward to a truly international collaboration!
It is with great sadness that I have to announce that this group will be closing  on the 30th September 2014.  I no longer have the resources to continue to support the group and have decided that now is the time to bring it to a close rather than letting it begin a period of unmanaged decline.

It’s been fascinating over the last four years to have been able to watch this community grow, change, learn and develop. When I started the group there were few social work LinkedIn groups available and I am delighted that there are now so many different group to choose from.

I explored with the College of Social Work the possibility of them running the Network to take it forwards but, due to the lack of resources available to develop the group, they declined the opportunity.

The Network has been managed on a voluntary basis by me since it started and I believe part of it’s success has been approving members in a closed group to ensure the professional ethos is maintained and protected. But the reality is that this undertaking requires time and resources to manage as the College of Social Work rightly pointed out.

I hope very much that at least some of the members will start a similar group with a similar ethos building on the strong and involved community here. I really look forward to watching the direction that you will take it in future.

With all good wishes for the future and thanks for your support of the LinkedIn Advanced Social Work Practice Network.

Shirley

A roundup of Connected Care Camp posts, resources and videos #psicare

I have become aware that in the past few weeks there have been a lot of views of Connected Care Camp posts. I am delighted at the growing and continuing interest in our Care in the Digital Age programme. The Camp was held in December 2013 in collaboration with FutureGov. Prior to the day we invited people to explore the problems and challenges for connected care which had been identified through discussions and the online survey. These included:

Social Isolation and Loneliness

User and patient engagement and the personalisation of services

Information, Advice and Support

Digital Literacy, Inclusion and Technology Barriers

Connected Communities

The challenges of Integrated Care

With an increasing focus in both the Care Act and the Better Care Fund on the use of digital technology I thought it would be helpful to provide a round up of the posts, resources and videos shared before, during and after the event.

Reflections on Connected Care Camp #psicare

Is fragmented information a barrier to #connectedcare? guest post from @PaulBromford

Videos from Connected Care Camp #psicare with thanks to @TomSprints

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

#psicare Connected Care Camp – what are your priorities?

#psicare Can online innovations enhance social care?

Isolation in residential care – a problem to solve at #psicare thanks to @mandy_paine_mbe

Welcome to the Connected Care Camp on 7th December 2013 #psicare

Connected Care Camp survey – what are the priorities?

Introducing the Connected Care Network

The Care in the Digital Age programme was developed to encourage Local Authorities, Health and Wellbeing Boards, Clinical Commissioning Groups and the housing sector to explore and excite staff, service users, carers and volunteers about how social technology can support more connected communities. Do get in touch if you would like to collaborate with us on running this programme in your locality.

#kentdigicare a milestone for connected care?