What was the issue you were addressing or working on?
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.
What you did?
Through the change fund we applied for 3 Assistive Technology Technician posts to raise awareness of the telecare options available to professionals, service users and/or carers to help more people remain at home. Accurate assessment and reviews resulted in a more client centred provision.
What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?
Service had 525 referrals in 2012. Over 60% of these referrals resulted in a better solution being advised than what was originally proposed by referrer. Referrals rose to 1155 in 2013. Carrying out reviews demonstrated to us how vital this process was, highlighting changes in circumstance, equipment no longer meeting persons needs and equipment not being used which could be returned for recycling.