Category Archives: Adult Social Care

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!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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!

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

 

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

The first breakout session at #psicare invited people to explore the problems and challenges for connected care which had been identified through discussions and the online survey. Each group was asked to feedback their action points.

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

 

The first session of the afternoon invited participants to pitch ideas for discussion. This is the feedback from the very diverse discussions which ranged from data driven social care to “are we rushing towards technology rather than people for social solutions?” with an action point (or two) from each of the groups.

 

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

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

We have a whole range of problems to explore and find solutions to at the Connected Care Camp on the 7th December which are being added to as more people complete our survey. If you have not yet completed the survey about what the priorities are please do because we are learning so much from your responses!

The following Twitter conversation is a stark reminder of what needs to change urgently in the care sector. Thanks to Mandy Paine for allowing me to cite this conversation.

Are we seriously accepting that this is an acceptable level of care for older people living with dementia?

This is one of a number of practical problems  we will be encouraging Connected Care Camp participants to explore and suggest possible solutions and action points

We will also be helping people to understand who has the responsibiliy for making change.  This may include connecting with Jeremy Hunt Secretary of State for Health @Jeremy_Hunt,  Norman Lamb Minister of State for Care and Support @normanlamb , Jon Rouse Director General for Social Care@RouseJonDGDH,  Andrea Sutcliffe Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care@Crouchendtiger7@NHSEngland, Healthwatch England the consumer champion for health and care, @HealthwatchE,  @SCIE_socialcare,  @TLAP1 , @skillsforcare@skillsforhealth  and the Chief Executives of professional bodies and charities working in the field of dementia, isolation, loneliness and improving residential care.

Connected Care Camp survey – what are the priorities?

Connected Care Camp on the 7th December is bringing together front line staff, managers, people who use health and care services as well as carers to explore how we can improve the wider care sector including housing.

Connected Care Camp is part of the Public Service Launchpad a new programme to help passionate people who work either paid or unpaid in all kinds of public services – whether in local government, housing associations, health services, the third sector, social enterprises or elsewhere to develop ideas to solve the problems that they encounter every day. Ideas can involve small changes or radical redesign of services.

Not everyone can attend this one-off event in person but you can join in on Twitter using the hashtag #psicare.

We know what many of the problems are, many are making headlines on a daily basis so we are looking for solutions that work and that can scale. We need a clearer vision of what works and who could benefit so that we can optimise the skills and resources we currently have. This includes decommissioning services that are not effective.

In a fragmented health and care system we need to be clear about who has responsibilities for action, how organisations and communities can be more effective and how health, care and housing can be better co-ordinated around people who could benefit.

To help us organise the day and better engage the wider community via social media we would welcome your responses to our survey.

Click here to take the survey

Find out more about Connected Care Camp and book your place here

Introducing the Care in the Digital Age programme

ImageThe Care in the Digital Age programme is designed to help your organization deliver more focused, cost effective services by showcasing digital technologies that offer new ways of supporting service users and carers.

The event presents digital technology solutions across a wide range from personal networks through to ‘keeping in touch’ systems and meal sharing initiatives. The emphasis is on technologies that promote independence, diminish social isolation and address the issue of digital exclusion amongst disadvantaged groups. It draws on our experience of the availability, impact and of web and app based systems in the sector (as detailed in our click guide to digital technology in adult social care and in the Provocation Paper Can online innovations enhance social care? published by the Nominet Trust).

The programme consists of a one day event aimed at people involved in health, social services, housing, education, economic regeneration and the police, and encourages participation from carers, service users and their representatives. As a follow-up, we can work with community builders and connectors to explore how these innovations can be embedded and supported through the development of local hubs.

Kent  Care in the Digital Age  takes place on Friday 12th July. The event is fully booked but you can follow the discussion on Twitter using the hastag #kentdigicare

We may be coming to your locality because we are now in discussion with a number of other local authorities, Health and Wellbeing Boards, housing associations and community groups to deliver the Care in the Digital Age programme across the UK.

If you would like to find out more I would be very happy to talk to you!

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.

Coming soon! The Click Guide to Digital Technology for Adult Social Care

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. And 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.

Due for publication February 2013 The Click Guide to Digital Technology for Adult Social Care can be downloaded as an eBook at a cost of £3-99 or as a hard copy printed publication (price to be confirmed).