What was the issue you were addressing or working on?
The service was established in 1998 by Lochalsh and Skye Houisng Association to provide a ‘traditional’ small repairs service to disabled people and the elderly. Through collaboration with the Highland Council and NHS Highland it has since set up and operated Joint Equipment Stores in Portree and Broadford to collect, deliver and manage all equipment owned by Social Work Services and NHS Highland. The service also now includes telecare and occupational therapy support, and runs a demonstration/assessment room within Portree hospital as a training facility for the use and benefits of devices.
All these complementary services are aimed to support people to remain in their own homes and to shift the balance of care from hospital into homely settings. They illustrate the key contribution that locally based housing associations can make to the reshaping care agenda, working in partnership with health and social care.
What you did?
The service works closely with NHS Highland Health & Social Care Services, the Red Cross, Wheelchair Services, Deaf Services and the Highland Council Criminal Justice Department. Its Handypersons are trained Assistant Occupational Therapists and use Community Service Workers as supervised additional helpers.
The service helped initiate Telecare in Skye and Lochalsh, which is now Highland-wide and is also operating Telehealth within Skye in conjunction with NHS Highland. Its Handypersons deliver and install all Telecare and Telehealth devices for its clients. The demo/assessment room within Portree hospital provides training for home carers, clients and community nurses in the use of devices.
What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?
A seamless, single point of contact for all equipment providers to provide a co-coordinated package to clients, not only allowing earlier hospital discharges but also preventing many hospital admissions. This approach also allows many clients to safely remain in their own homes longer thus preventing or delaying admission into long term residential care.