As the telecare service developed in Aberdeen City it soon become apparent that training was required for professionals to raise their awareness around telecare, inform them of the functions of telecare equipment and the importance of considering telecare in assessment.
The service had delivered many awareness sessions in telecare events and to individual teams, but it was felt we needed staff across all sectors trained to an enhanced level so they could act as a point of reference for their colleagues.
By 2011 telecare had evolved slowly in Aberdeen and it became evident that in order to mainstream efficiently it had to be incorporated into the Community Alarm service. We were then faced with the issue that we required additional staff to assess, review and more importantly raise awareness on telecare provision. Both professionals and the public had little knowledge of the benefits of telecare and how vital it was as part of the Community Care Assessment.
Studies showed that very few members of the public considered Telecare until/unless the option was highlighted to them by a health or social care professional. The project has the opportunity to raise staff awareness eg by road shows, so that they in turn can be more confident in highlighting to service users and carers. Many people had been issued with telecare through funding from the National Telecare Development Programme, but the provision had never been reviewed. Although professionals understood the concept of telecare, information on referrals received demonstrated the lack of knowledge on how the equipment functioned and what the best solution was for the person.