Tag Archives: technology innovations

Social media and social care – thoughts for #becomingvibrance

Today I am giving a presentation at the Vibrance staff conference which is celebrating 25 years of supporting people who are disabled to lead their lives as they wish and to challenge barriers that prevent individual choice and fulfilment. You can follow the event on Twitter  @Vibrance2013 

It is always interesting developing a presentation for an unknown audience some of whom may be very confident using social media and others yet to be convinced that it has any value in their day to day lives. There is just so much to share and a post can only provide a snapshot of my thoughts and all the resources available online.

I love discussing the role and impact of digital with front line staff and people who use care services. For me the #Socialnomics 2014 video by Erik Qualman answers a frequently question asked about why people should take social media seriously.

Source data for the statistics in the video is available in the bookSocialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business

Facebook has 1.3 billion accounts

YouTube has 1 billion users and 4 billion view a day

Twitter has 243 million monthly active users

Linkedin has 300 million accounts

Instagram has 200 million users

Source: Digital Marketing Ramblings March 2014

The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55-64 year old age bracket. 189 million users of Facebook are only using mobile devices and 25% of smartphone owners aged 18–44 say they can’t recall the last time their smartphone was not next to them.

Digital technology has already changed our lives drastically in the last 10 years, from the way we shop, the way we communicate, the way we find information and even the way we find love. Social networks provide some of the most powerful tools available today for building a sense of belonging, support and sharing. Technology is redefining how care and support is provided in a digitally connected society and the new @LinkMeUp_UK  website is a great example of this

However one of our biggest challenges is the need a major cultural shift which recognises the role of technology in shaping services which are focused around an individual’s needs and aspirations.

Can online innovation enhance social care? As I found out when I was researching my paper for the Nominet Trust the simple answer is yes!

Information is freely shared through social media. For example Netbuddy encourages the swapping practical tips and information on all aspects of supporting people with learning disabilities @netbuddytoptips

 Enabled by Design is a community of people who are passionate about well-designed, everyday products that challenge the one-size-fits-all approach to assistive equipment. Enabled by Design encourages people to share their views and experiences of assistive equipment and post information, reviews and comments. @enabledby

Gig  Buddies links music fans who have a learning disability with other music lovers.  I really like their social media policy written impressively in less than 140 characters. “Stay Up Late actively embraces social media, staff  are asked to engage, experiment, be relevant and take responsibility.”

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

The true value of digital technology really lies in solving a problem, or otherwise helping to improve the quality of our lives. One of the simplest needs  is the ability to stay in touch with family and friends. Digital technology opens up options and enables that contact to be much more immediate. Introducing people to the concept of emails, picture sharing, social networking, and online video calls, such as Skype has many benefits.

This is especially important when families are widely dispersed and require a simple and easy way of keeping in touch and staying connected – whether they are living at home, in residential care, are in hospital or in different parts
of the world. Feeling connected and having supportive social relationships has a strong link to health and longevity. Encouraging wellbeing is an important social challenge facing society as a whole.

There is considerable debate about the role of digital technology in social care. Understandably there are concerns that the use of technology somehow depersonalises what is often a very personal service. I fully accept that technology is not a magic bullet to address all of the complex problems we are confronting as a society. Digital technology cannot and should not 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.

Is social media putting the “social” back into care? Have a look at the many care organisations who now have a Twitter presence including .

There are lots of resources online to help you use social media. The Twitter Help centre provides useful guidance and Mashable have produced the Twitter Guide Book.

Useful tips to guide you in developing your own personal social media policy have been produced by Paul Taylor @paulbromford.

 

Social media is an increasingly crowded space – some simple tools ( at least for me they are as a non techie!) to help you manage your online presence

 

Service users and carers rightly expect more autonomy and choice in how services are provided. Digital leadership, motivating staff and creating a culture where people are empowered to do things differently are crucial elements of good engagement.

As Professor Stephen Hawking said, when accepting his AbilityNet ‘Excellence in Accessibility Award’ at the Technology4Good awards September 2012: “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.”

The way forward?

The digital revolution is about people, social networks and connections not the technology

Get the basics right – make it easy for people to connect with you.

Value and respond to feedback, complaints and suggestions to improve your services

An idea does not care who has it – share generously your knowledge, passions and links to resources you have found  useful, enjoyed reading or even just made you smile.

I hope you will be excited as me by the potential offered through social media to create communities of interest, make new connections, share information and resources and let people know about your work. I look forward to welcoming you to this wonderful and connected world!

The Connected Care Network

  • Nurtures innovative approaches to care and support and encourages collaboration and partnership to avoid unnecessary duplication.
  • Is an independent and authoritative voice which promotes investment in new models of care, supporting innovation, technology solutions and economic growth
  • Provides a range of services including the Care in a Digital Age programme, Critical Friend Reviews and support with developing Digital Engagement strategies
  • Published the first Click Guide to Digital Technology for Adult Care because there is a real gap in the market for connecting digital technology with the people and organizations who purchase care and support services. The Guide is now being updated to include another 100 resources.

#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.

#psicare Can online innovations enhance social care?

The simple answer for me is yes whilst I accept that digital technology is not a “magic bullet” I do believe it is important that we explore the potential of  technology to create more personal support and care.

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.”

The posts I have written for Nominet Trust exploring the issues:

Can online innovations enhance social care?

How online personal support networks can promote more integrated care

Why digital inclusion is important for care home residents

How digital technology is supporting people living with dementia

Celebrate & learn from the world’s most inspiring social technology  ventures. Featuring the 2013 Nominet Trust 100

Enjoy!

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

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

“The role for many public service organisations is to actively mainstream the innovation that is already out there. There are loads of innovators and entrepreneurs who just need a route to market. Some of them may already be employed by you.” Paul Taylor Innovation Coach Bromford speaking on the Disruptive Social Care podcast May 2013

Public Service Launchpad is 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.

As part of the scholarship programme and to encourage wider participation across care the Connected Care Camp has been organised on Saturday 7th December from 10.00 – 4.30 in London.

We want to encourage front line staff, managers and people who use care services to come along and share experiences, wisdom and ideas about how we can improve care services.

Here are some of the problems we know about in the care sector

  • How can health and care services support people who are lonely and isolated – there’s a million of them
  • People struggle to find information, guidance and advice – how can we improve the systems?
  • How can we support more connected communities?
  • 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 support people with disabilities to live more independent and fulfilling lives?
  • Why don’t all hospitals and care homes have wi-fi and internet access?
  • How can we support staff, people who use care services, carers and volunteers to improve their digital skills and feel more confident using technology?
  • Why don’t care homes have video links to GPs and hospital doctors to avoid unnecessary visits and disruption?
  • How can digital technologies can give people more control of their care and support and make person centred care a reality?
  • How can  technology  help develop the local care market place?
  • How can digital technology  help to support carers & care networks?
  • 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 & products . How can technology  help us to address the rural premium?

Do you have any great ideas about how we can fix these and the many challenges confronting the care sector?

Do use #psicare to join in the Twitter discussions before and during the day.

Connected Care Camp Programme 

9.30 – 10.00 Registration

10.00 – 10.15 Welcome

10.15 – 10.45 Introductions

10.45 – 11.15 What could community care and support look like in the 21st Century? A wish list (small group discussion)

11.15 – 11.30 Break

11.30 – 12.00 Feedback and Discussion

12.00 – 1.00 What do we need to start doing, what do we need to stop doing and  what do we need to carry on doing?

1.00 – 1.45 Lunch

1.45  – 2.45 Choice of themed  sessions exploring opportunities for innovation

  • Community Connections
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Digital Inclusion
  • Residential Care and Housing with Support
  • Social Media workshop to develop confidence and share expertise about the use and potential of digital tools

2.45 – 3.45 Themed sessions repeated

3.45 – 4.15 Panel debate “Next Steps”

4.15 – 4.30 Closing Remarks

By the end of the day you will:

  • Have made at least 10 new contacts who are involved in the care, health,  housing and voluntary sectors
  • Shared emerging and good practice
  • Discussed and received feedback on your ideas
  • Learned about at least 20 current innovations across the care sector

It should be noted that the care sector is a complex and fragmented market and the adoption of new ideas is not easy and present many challenges.

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

Digital Leadership – 10 top tips from @clarkmike

twitter at smwldnIs a ‘digital’ leader any different from a ‘traditional’ leader? Following on from top ten tips on social media http://bit.ly/16v9eGf, Mike Clark suggests some of the likely characteristics of digital leaders.

1 You don’t have to be a techie

Digital leaders do not have to be experts on tech detail, but need to understand how to exploit it to make connections and achieve good outcomes that make a difference

2 You don’t need an organisation

Digital leaders don’t always have organisations, budgets or staff – they don’t need structure charts – they may have more connections and followers outside of their own organisations

3 Its 24/7/365 and chaotic

Digital leaders operate in a 24/7/365 disrupted & chaotic world not cosy hierarchies, clubs and niches – they build new connections & collaborations at speed – they may be on their own but they communicate extensively

4 You listen more to people with opposing views

Digital leaders seek out people with different views and perspectives to understand how barriers can be overcome – they have wide reach, they question and challenge, summarise and synthesise, simplify and de-clutter when necessary

5 Restrict social media access and you may lose your followers

If organisational managers restrict social media access in work hours, staff will find digital leaders out of hours operating 24/7/365 in open, accessible environments. Equally, giving staff access to social media is unlikely to turn around a poorly led organisation

6 Inspire in 140 characters & trust your staff

If as a leader you are not able to summarise your vision in simple terms in 140 characters, someone else on social media will probably be the inspiration for your staff. Sadly, staff are often forced to leave their digital skills at the office door – digital leaders help nurture and develop those skills

7 Be courageous

It takes courageous leaders to allow their own hierarchies to be disrupted – digital leaders can build external followers before looking at how they can develop & engage their own organisations. Digital leadership is not the role of the Comms Team

8 Use multiple platforms to source ideas and communicate success 

Digital leaders use social media on multiple platforms as a test bed for their ideas and innovations – crowdsourcing, cajoling, capturing and continuously looking for and communicating small wins

9 Think real time, not part time

Digital leaders acknowledge sources, build trust and show appreciation in real time using multiple platforms that work for their connections and followers who appreciate the recognition of their contributions

10 Review and dismantle barriers

Digital leaders review and dismantle traditional infrastructures that act as barriers to innovation or which do not add value – they support and champion people that are close to service users and customers – they help people unlearn bad habits & some non-digital skills that impede progress

Mike Clark has worked as an independent consultant in health and social care since 1992. You can currently find him reporting on telehealth, telemedicine, telecare, digital and mHeath as well as UK health and social care for www.telecarelin.org.ukhttps://www.rebelmouse.com/clarkmike/ or Google at ‘Mike Clark Telecare’ 

Why I’m excited about #kentdigicare by @uk_james

I’m really excited about the forthcoming Care in the Digital Age conference and debate taking place in Kent on 12th July.

I hope that everyone attending on the day, watching online or participating in the twitter discussions using #kentdigicare will feel enthused about the possibilities that exist if we focus on how we can get people connected to each other in local communities.  This might be connecting neighbours to other neighbours, carers to other carers, professionals to patients and service users.  Certainly locally in Kent, we have invested a lot of time and energy in looking at how telecare, telehealth and digital technologies can support people to live safer, healthier and more fulfilling lives.  With technology developments moving at such a pace, we have to consider what other options should be supported, shared, encouraged and used.  We must be brave and think about the unthinkable. We can also learn how technology is supporting people in other parts of the country to live more fulfilling lives.

We need to see how technology is an enabler and if we use it creatively, begin to understand how we all can get more out of life, the people we live with and the area we live in.  We need to get smart about harnessing the power of social networking in supporting connected care, whether this be through the mainstream channels like Twitter and Facebook, or other solutions that people can access on their smartphones, tablets, TV sets and home PCs. 

 What do I hope comes out of the conference?

·         People will make connections with one another locally and nationally

·         People will take ideas and energy back into their own communities and organisations they’re involved with – and make something happen

·         We want to have a debate through the Kent Health and Wellbeing Board about how we can use technology and social media to engage with people living in our communities, find out which services are delivering well and where the shortfalls exist – so that we can do something about it

The programme, contributors & workshop resources can be accessed here  

James Lampert Commissioning Manager – Community Support

Kent County Council Families and Social Care,