Technology Enabled Care
Technology Enabled Care describes a range of IT and digital solutions that can be used to support outcomes for people needing care and support. It can be used to promote independence, dignity, and safety.
It is now a cornerstone of Leicestershire County Council’s digital strategy. Staff have been trained to provide high quality referrals and to get a better understanding of Care Technology (CT) and how it can assist in delivering better outcomes for people.
The CT service now offers a range of different equipment to that provided before April 2022, with a focus on falls protection, bed and door monitors and a 24/7 responder service. This is available free of charge to eligible adult residents in the county who meet the criteria and who will receive support in respect of their care needs.
Eligibility is for people who live in Leicestershire, are over 18, give their consent to being referred to the service and the person must be assessed, in the professional opinion of the referrer, as having eligible needs under the Care Act (2014) or is likely to in the next 6 months.
People who have received care and support services in the past, including CT, will be assessed as part of their care and support review. If a person is not eligible to receive support, they will be signposted to other organisations who may be able to assist them.
The new CT service has been highly successful since its launch with higher levels of demand than originally planned:
- 1,400 processed referrals
- 1,050 installations
- 2,025 pieces of equipment installed
- 890 people in total on the service as at January 2023.
Examples of the technology provided are:
- Monitoring equipment and sensors, that can support people at risk of wandering or leaving their property at unsuitable times
- Falls sensors and falls/personal alarms that can alert a 24/7 call centre who can check on the person and arrange a responder if needed.
- Equipment that can support people who suffer from incontinence, epilepsy, and the risk of missed or taking the wrong medication.
- GPS devices Support people in the community to access help and pinpoint their location
The CT team is supported by a network of Care Tech Champions in operational roles.
Leicestershire County Council has a contractual arrangement with Hampshire County Council and PA Consulting. Equipment is through a supplier linked to Hampshire called Red Alert.
There is a 24/7 response service provided by Appello.
As part of the contract, PA Consulting helped set up the core offer for launch and work with the Council on up to two priority areas per annum to develop the care tech offer. The current development is working with two providers in supported living settings and to introduce technology that can increase a person’s independence.
Telehealth in care homes
Five care homes in Leicestershire are taking part in a telehealth pilot. Telehealth is technology that is used to exchange information about health and wellbeing between residents and professionals, e.g. notification of changes to observations such as heart rate or weight.
The telehealth solution being used in the pilot is ‘Whzan’ - the Whzan blue box allows for care home residents’ vital signs to be taken and then remotely accessed by clinicians, securely, where clinical decisions and escalations can be made. The blue box equipment can help care homes understand more about their residents’ wellbeing, by detecting early signs of deterioration. If a resident is showing early signs of deterioration, the care home can act appropriately to improve the residents’ wellbeing and reduce the risk of it worsening – often avoiding unnecessary hospital admission.
Commissioning aspirations, intentions and opportunities
Future areas for development in care technology include home care, extra care and supporting people with dementia and their families.
Leicestershire County Council is also working with the Integrated Care Board (ICB) to encourage providers to sign up to the Data Security and Protection Toolkit and to introduce more care technology as part of Digitising Social Care (DiSC) (People at the Heart of Care: Adult Social care Reform).
This is a 3-year project to deliver:
- A Digital Social Care Record (DSCR) to a target of 80% of CQC registered providers by year 2, ensuring that they have secure access to health and social care information. This includes completion of the Data Security Protection Toolkit
- Introduce Sensor Based Falls (SBF) technology to CQC registered social care providers. These have targets of 10% end of year 1 (March 2023) and 20% by end of year 2 (March 2024)
- To explore innovative uses of technology. In LLR, Leicester City have a project underway to evaluate collaborative robots (Cobots). Cobots have been used to support care workers in their roles, as illustrated in this short video from Hampshire.
Page last updated in June 2023.