Tag Archives: adult care

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

One of the important issues identified ahead of Connected Care Camp is that people struggle to find information, advice and support about care services both online and offline.

Certainly the web is much more complex than it was a few years ago and the Care “marketplace” is an increasingly crowded space that many find difficult to negotiate.

One of the Breakout sessions at #psicare discussed this problem and attempted to come up with some solutions.

Our initial look at the problem revealed the following:

There’s no a lack of information – Searching “advice for carers” gives about  16,400,000 results search results.  But identifying trusted sources is an issue.

  • Many people only look for information once they are at a point of crisis – which confuses the issue further as people frantically search for an immediate solution.
  • People have difficulty identifying what a great care service looks like. There’s a need to share lessons from care successes and failures. In England the Care Quality Commission have an important role in sharing information.

So here are five possible solutions we came up with:

Make space for difficult conversations

The group accepted that making social care “sexy” is a challenge.  We live is a society obsessed with denying the effects of ageing. We keep hearing 50 is the new 30, 70 the new 50.

Although we agreed the need for a huge culture shift on attitudes towards ageing – we also accepted we had to be realistic around the outcomes of a 60-minute workshop!

Suggested Solution: A campaign of awareness for public and professionals to start having proactive conversations around longer-term care needs. The starting point to be establishing much better communication between health, housing and care. Housing in particular was thought to have a key role.

If every professional was equipped with the right skills, technology  and space to have a conversation – imagine how we could help people seeking care at the point of crisis?

Establish a principle of “The 5 Things I need to know”

In a free market the emergence of a “Tripadvisor” of Care might be wishful thinking.

But how about we establish the Top 5 things everyone should know to look for when they are looking at options? Available across care and related sectors including health and housing – this would also better support multi disciplinary specialists to give advice.

If it’s difficult to know what “good” really looks like let’s give people 5 things they should look for before anything else.

Map and connect locally available resources

The group felt that vital community hubs are underutilised as a way of enabling access to care information. There are scores of interest groups, informal community networks and clubs available in most localities that often exist under the radar of local authorities. Often run by volunteers they are the hidden networks where people seek informal advice and support from trusted advisors.

How can it be in 2013 that nobody can articulate how many of these actually exist? Surely technology – especially location based apps – can help us unlock this resource to help in the sharing of information and even to identify informal and potential carers.

Enable people in residential care to access digital tools

It remains a problem that many residential homes still do not have access to the most basic technology. Additionally most hospitals do not have publicly available WiFi – this is another barrier to stop people seeking out advice and support.

How can we expect and encourage people in residential care to suggest how their care can be improved when they are all too often excluded from the internet?

In a world where funding can go to all sorts of projects which struggle to articulate meaningful outcomes making digital technology available to the most socially excluded must be a priority.

Establish a more consistently understood and coherent way of care users engaging with services before, during and whilst receiving care services.

The group thought we were missing valuable insights from care givers and those receiving care about how they thought access to information and support could be improved.

It was felt there is no consistency for users in understanding when care services should be reviewed or appraised for instance

Linking to the “5 things you need to know about care” the group pondered how digital technology could help people comment on the service they receive and raise awareness of resources such as Patient Opinion, Care Opinion, NHS Choices and Your Care Home.  Perhaps a personalised digital care plan – complete with alerts for family and friends could be used to connect services in one place and sharing updates to innovations like Mindings

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

One thing was very clear from our discussion:

We don’t need more information. We need better quality connected conversations.

 

 

 

 

#psicare Connected Care Camp – what are your priorities?

On Saturday 7th December Connected Care Camp is bringing together professionals, people who use services, carers and volunteers from across the care, health, housing, community services and voluntary sectors to explore how innovative thinking and technology can improve the wellbeing of individuals who need care and support as well as their families and carers. Connected Care Camp is provided as part of the Hub Launchpad and FutureGov Public Sector Innovation programme.

Thanks to everyone who completed our online survey for Connected Care Camp. These problems will form the starting point for our discussions on the day as we consider a whole range of possible solutions guided by the considerable and diverse knowledge and experiences of participants.

We are not live streaming Connected Care Camp because most of the day will be taking place across six different breakout sessions but you can follow and contribute on Twitter using #psicare. We will be taking photos (with thanks to @tomsprints) and hopefully will be capturing highlights through some video interviews.

Snapshot of the responses

The problems identified from the online survey and discussions (NB: this is not an exhaustive list of all the care challenges confronting social care, health and housing sectors   )

Problems to be explored in the Breakout Sessions

1. Social Isolation and Loneliness

How can health and care services support people who are lonely and isolated?

How can we learn and share lessons from successes and failure across the wider care sector?

2. Information, Advice and Support 

People struggle to find information, guidance and advice – how can we improve the systems?

How can we support self-funders and help make their purchase of care services more effective? What are the implications of the Care Bill?

How can we learn and share lessons from successes and failure across the wider care sector?

3. Connected Communities

How can we support more connected communities?

How can we support people with disabilities to live more independent and fulfilling lives?

How can we encourage all hospitals and care homes to provide wi-fi and internet access and ensure that residents in care homes are less isolated?

How can digital technology help to support carers & care networks?

How can we find out who funds innovation in the care and health sectors?

How can we learn and share lessons from successes and failure across the wider care sector?

4. Digital Literacy, Inclusion and Technology Barriers

How can we support staff, people who use care services, carers and volunteers to improve their digital skills and feel more confident using technology?

How can we negotiate the internal barriers which stop the adoption of technology which will support people to live more independently?

How can we share innovations including digital technology and good practice across the wider care sector?

Are commissioners aware of the importance of continuing technical support when establishing technology projects?

How can technology help develop the local care market place?

How can we learn and share lessons from successes and failure across the wider care sector?

5. The challenges of Integrated Care

How can we ensure that integration is focused not on systems but on co-ordinating care and support around individual needs and aspirations?

Are there any alternatives to the 15 minute care visits?

How could doctors, nurses, social workers and support staff better coordinate care planning and visits?

How can we encourage care homes to have video links to GPs and hospital doctors to avoid unnecessary visits and disruption?

How can technology help to reduce unplanned or readmissions to hospitals and ensure effective discharges

There are particular challenges for people living in rural areas to access services & product. How can technology help us to address the rural premium?

How can we learn and share lessons from successes and failure across the wider care sector?

6. User and patient engagement and the personalisation of services

How can digital technologies give people more control of their care and support and make person-centered care a reality?

Are there practical ways in which we can implement effective preventative measures?

Can we make any connections with NHS Change Day?

How can we run an effective campaign in the care sector to challenge perceptions and change the conversations?

How can policymakers (e.g. Health and Wellbeing Boards) use social media to liaise with local people?

How can we learn and share lessons from successes and failure across the wider care sector?

What do you think the wider care sector should stop doing i.e. because it involves duplication or is not cost-effective? 

Endless assessments (that are not acted upon/shared) ‘buck passing’ between services

Evidencing everything – instead find intelligent ways to do this to support care staff – so they are not spending all there time working on paperwork rather than care.

Large scale system developments – these invariably seem to be expensive with dubious improvements in the quality of care and support

Transport and ignoring the wider community offer.

Commissioning separate services for a specific client group

Not sharing information between professionals working with one individual. There is a major cost to duplicating of collection of data, storing and not sharing.

The training of carers is not good enough and needs to be overhauled

Make medication reviews mandatory for older people every 3 months. This to be done by a pharmacist to avoid duplication, conflicts and unnecessary repeats

Using jargon

Spending money on high level conferences and developing top down national initiatives

In local government – let go.

Commissioning in blocks

Find different ways of dealing with falls – current call outs are very costly for Ambulance Trusts.

Practical ideas about where money should be spent

Prevention, Prevention, Prevention

Developing capacity at neighbourhood level and encouraging micro-commissioning via online service portals.

Identify mavens/community champions – the people who know things in the community and ask them how we can support them in what they do. Do not create systems or structures for them to work within – they are already ‘doing it’. It should be about public services supporting what already exists, not building new.

Increasing number of hospital support assistants so that older people can be offered regular fluids to avoid delayed hospital discharge because of urinary tract infection.

Training for those interviewing care staff  to ensure that those being cared for are not vulnerable to abuse.

Use data/info to focus approaches and look at effective discharges. Develop a new role for health and care mentors.

Develop voluntary connected care champions in every neighbourhood.

Carers want to support each other through sharing their experiences, carer to carer training and using technology. Carers are fearful of asking for help from local/public sector but carers and their skills are community assets and they should be given micro finance to support and help identify more carers. Technology and reciprocity schemes are important to carers too.

Joint commissioning and integrated services.

The challenges in the system are significant in terms of technology and the lack of specific transfers between key professionals. Still heavy reliance on faxes for example.

Increasing the digital skills of activities co-ordinators Raising awareness in care organisation about the importance of technology

Providing digital access is a major barrier for connecting care. User demand can only happen when you give people the plaform and the skills.

Encouraging cross sector collaboration. What can business do in terms of working with the providers and Local Authorities around preventative measures?  We need to acknowledge the ability to recruit talent and drive engagement for productivity is affected by factors outside the workplace.

Can Twitter make our care and social work organisations more “social”?

twitter“Social media is a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. All the time online conversations are happening about you, your brand and your organisation. It’s not a choice whether you DO social media, the choice is how well you do it” Erik Qualman author of socialnomics.

Social networking has the potential to put the “social” back into social work and social care. So it is sad to note how few care organisations are actually engaged and using social media to communicate and debate with an increasingly diverse group of stakeholders. Children and adult care is on the edge and urgently needs public support to show politicians that there is widespread support for properly funding the services which  millions of people rely on daily. How could we be using social media to counter the negative media perceptions  and reporting about social work and care services?

Twitter is a rich source of instantly updated information and it is how I stay updated on an incredibly wide variety of topics. What makes a care tweeter valuable? Generously sharing knowledge, passions and links to useful resources and blogs. Listening, challenging, informing and making a difference.

If you are an organisation funded to engage with the public you need a strategy for responding to questions and comments online. This should include contact details for senior staff which is available on your website.

What is a turn off? Broadcasting, constantly selling and promoting yourself, not listening or interested in conversations which may be critical of your organisation. Having a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn profile  and rarely updating shows a real lack of interest in being social. I will leave you to judge how social our care tweeters are!

This should be a simple request but…. it does require an understanding of the complicated and fragmented social work and social care sectors. Care services are provided by a diverse range of providers including local authorities, health, housing, charities, social enterprises and the private sector. This list focuses on organisations and individuals who have a specific social work or social care brief.

Who is currently using Twitter?

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services @ADASSdclode

Eddie Clarke Director Adult Social Services Worcestershire @eddiec10 

Sarah Pickup President ADASS and Director Hertfordshire @adassspickup

Sherry Malik Director of Children & Adults, LB Hounslow @sherry_malik 

Lorna Payne Group Director Adults and Health LB Havering @Lorna_Payne

Barnet Council’s Adult Social Care and Health Service @lbbadults 

Sean McLaughlin Director of Housing and Adult Social Services @SeanMcLaughlin

Simon Birch Director of Social Services in Monmouthshire @MCCSimonBurch

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services are not using Twitter  

Dave Hill Director of Children’s Services Essex County Council @DCSEssex 

Social Care Service Managers 

James Lampert Social care Commisioner Kent County Council  @uk_james

Guy Stenson  Service manager (planning & partnerships), Children, Adults and  Health South Gloucestershire Council @guystenson

British Association of Social Workers @BASW_UK

Awaiting confirmation of whether the Chair and CEO are using Twitter

Care Quality Commission @CareQualityComm

Chair David Prior and CEO David Behan are not using Twitter

Care Providers

Bill Mumford CEO Macintyre, Chair of VODG and on @TLAP1 Board  @billatmacintyre 

Centre for Workforce Intelligence  @C4WI 

Peter Sharp CEO @CfWICEO

Rhidian Hughes Head of Social Care @rhidianhughes

Children’s Commissioner for England

Maggie Atkinson @ChildrensComm

College of Social Work @CollegeofSW 

Awaiting confirmation of whether the Co-Chairs and Interim CEO are using Twitter

Disabled People’s User Led Organisations (DPULOs) 

Rich Watts National Lead for Disabled People’s User Led Organisations (DPULOs) @rich_w 

Kings Fund @RichardatKF  Senior Fellow

National Skills Academy for Social Care @NSASocialCare

Awaiting confirmation of whether the Chair and CEO are using Twitter

Skills for Care @skillsforcare

A disappointing response especially when there is a lack of clarity about the role of Skills for Care and the planned amalgamation with the National Skills Academy for Social Care.

Social Care Institute for Excellence @SCIE_socialcare

Current Chair not on Twitter

CEO Andrea Sutcliffe @Crouchendtiger7

Think Local Act Personal Partnership @TLAP1

Programme Director Sam Bennett @samhbenn 

Scotland (links thanks to @jonbolton )

Wales

Care Council for Wales @CareCouncil 

No doubt I will be adding to the list. Do let me know if I have missed any  social care tweeters you feel I should add to the list.