CARE MATTERS Podcast
Digital Care Futures: Digital Shift and Connectivity

Digital Care Futures: Digital Shift and Connectivity

December 1, 2021

Digital Care Futures
3. Digital Shift and Connectivity

In this final episode of the Sustainable Care and TSA Digital Care Futures podcast, Kate Hamblin (University of Sheffield) and Tim Mulrey (TSA) spoke to guests from two local authorities that had explored how to promote digital connectivity and inclusion, and the implications for the ways they were using technology in adult social care.#

our guests:

Ann Williams,
Commissioner and Contract Manager, Liverpool City Council

Geoff Connell,
Director of IMT & Chief Digital Officer,  Norfolk County Council

Sarah Rank,
Head of Business and Technology for Adult Social Services, Norfolk County Council

James Bullion,
Executive Director of Adult Social Services, Norfolk County Council

 

Technology enabled care services and systems are facing a challenge in the form of the switchover from analogue to digital telecommunications networks. The major telecommunications networks are moving their networks from analogue to digital connections, with implications for all people and services that use these networks, including TECS as they may no longer function reliably. This is a pressing issue as although the switchover will be completed in 2025, it is already underway in some areas of the UK. For TECS to function reliably, service providers and commissioners will need to consider how they will manage the digital shift. There are cost implications related to this shift- not only replacing the analogue with digital devices, but also the resources required for associated installation and support and the ongoing costs related to SIM cards. There are also issues around the functionality of digital TEC devices, as they will not have the same battery back-up as analogue-based devices, which could leave users vulnerable in a power cut.

TEC Services Association (TSA) has been central in driving the case for analogue to digital transformation for the Technology Enabled Care market since 2017 with its initial publication of the White Paper A Digital Future For TEC. The TSA’s latest publication – Analogue to Digital: A Commissioner’s Guide is due for release in December 2021 and provides guidance on a series of key topics that Commissioners and Buyers of digital devices and platforms need to consider in order to ensure that they are making the right long-term decisions for their organisation. Many stakeholders with commissioning and purchasing responsibility have held back from fully investing in end-to-end digital solutions due to a fear of making an investment decision in technology that would not stand the test of time or be sustainable. However, the latest guidance is designed to incorporate lessons learned from around the UK and abroad to provide stakeholders with accurate and consistent information. The TSA will continue to work closely with its members and industry stakeholders to provide information and guidance across a range of media in order to support the TEC sector in the progression to full digital solutions.

Sustainable Care Programme research with stakeholders from across the care sector, including commissioners of services, found that for some the digital shift was opportunity to rethink and redesign services beyond replacing analogue devices with digital versions. For others commissioning services however, it was a challenge in terms of the scale of investment needed and were hopefully waiting for government guidance/ investment. In our research, we also heard about examples of local authorities facing challenges related to the digital connectivity and infrastructure needed to provide digital TECS, and some that were exploring ways to ‘fix the plumbing first’ and address these issues. With local authorities and users exploring how mainstream digital devices may facilitate care and connections, digital infrastructure is increasingly important.

Learn more about Sustainable Care on our website: http://circle.group.shef.ac.uk/

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Sustainable Care & COVID-19: Migrant Workers and the Delivery of Long Term Care in Austria, Australia and the UK

Sustainable Care & COVID-19: Migrant Workers and the Delivery of Long Term Care in Austria, Australia and the UK

November 25, 2021

Sustainable Care & COVID-19: Migrant Workers and the Delivery of Long Term Care in Austria, Australia and the UK

This episode is hosted by Professor Shereen Hussein from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and features special guests Professor Sara Charlesworth from RMIT University, Dr Ricardo Rodrigues from the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research and Dr Agnes Turnpenny from Oxford Brookes University.

Shereen and Agnes worked together on the Sustainable Care programme, studying Migrant care workers in the UK: an analysis of care at homea work package led by Shereen. In this episode they discuss their findings and how the significant contribution made by migrants to the care sector in the UK has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Dr Ricardo Rodrigues gives background and context on the impact of COVID-19 in Austria, where there has been a reliance on migrant care workers since the late 1990s. Read more research from Ricardo on his profile page here.

Professor Sara Charlesworth gives insight from Australia where geography plays it's part and temporary visas for low skilled workers have created a void in the care workforce since Australia closed its borders due to the pandemic.

Learn more about Sustainable Care on our website: http://circle.group.shef.ac.uk/

---Intro/outro music: Ambient Cool by Sunsearcher is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
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Digital Care Futures: Start ups and Innovators

Digital Care Futures: Start ups and Innovators

November 24, 2021

Digital Care Futures
2. Technology and Care: Startups and Innovators

Technology is fundamental to our everyday lives and is becoming increasingly ‘smart’ through the use of sensors, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data collection and processing. There has been an explosion of new developments in the care and technology marketplace, with new devices, software and service models, focused on different consumers within the care ecosystem. 

Our Sustainable Care programme research found this marketplace is confusing and hard to navigate for commissioners of adult social care, care providers who are increasingly expected to include technology as part of their ‘offer’, and people who need support and their carers. With growing numbers of start-ups in the sector, there were concerns from purchasers – commissioners, care providers and people who use services – about sustainability and whether these ‘new players’ would be able to provide the same level of customer support as they grow their businesses. 

At the same time, our research found start-ups experienced challenges in making their way into the marketplace, with some commissioners of services felt to be risk-averse and allied with large, ‘dependable’ and established – but perhaps less innovative – organisations. Some commissioners were happy to pilot new approaches, but more cautious about investing at scale.

In Episode 2 of the Sustainable Care and TSA 'Digital Care Futures' podcast, Kate Hamblin (University of Sheffield) and Eve Solomon (TSA) spoke to guests from three very different start-ups, all using technologies to facilitate and support care, to explore some of the challenges and opportunities they had encountered. 

Neil Eastwood, founder and CEO of Care Friends, an employee referral app for social care. “a start-up like this is like a massive freight train in the station with a mini-engine and you’re screaming the mini-engine as much as you can to get some movement and eventually you start to get movement. Once you get momentum, life gets a lot easier because you can’t be stopped. But trying to get going, that’s the thing”

Hector Alexander, co-founder of Yokeru, which provides AI-driven automated voice call systems to care providers, including Local Authorities. “It's much easier if you know from the start this is a long-term game. It doesn’t take a few months- it takes years or more”

Darren Crombie, CEO and founder of Bridgit Care. Bridgit care provides a range of products and support aimed at assisting unpaid carers. “We say to our caring community ‘you’re not alone’ and I think as start-ups we need to remember- ‘you’re not alone- we’re part of a collective of people trying to innovate and make a difference”.

 

Learn more about Sustainable Care on our website: http://circle.group.shef.ac.uk/

---Intro/outro music: Ambient Cool by Sunsearcher is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
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Digital Care Futures: Commissioning differently: Evolving personalised care with technology

Digital Care Futures: Commissioning differently: Evolving personalised care with technology

November 17, 2021

Digital Care Futures
1. Commissioning differently: Evolving personalised care with technology

Traditionally most telecare, and now ‘technology enabled care services’ (TECS), focused on managing the risks associated with living in the community when people were older or requiring support. TECS helped people to ‘age in place’ at home when discharged from hospital or when living alone following a bereavement. These devices and services were often reactive, creating an alert in emergency situations, either relying on the person triggering an alarm or the system automatically detecting changes in the home environment. There is now a distinct shift in approach in the UK from reactive to proactive and preventative services. Technologies are becoming ‘smarter’ and better able to relay information captured through a wider array of sensors and ‘Internet of Things’ devices. The design of services around the technology is also developing, using data gathered in more predictive and preventative ways as well as shifting towards ‘proactive’, in-bound calling systems. There is also a growing interest in mainstream devices and the role they can play in supporting people to live well in their communities and homes. 

Findings from the Sustainable Care programme research from the University of Sheffield and from the TSA’s experience of engaging with the sector highlighted examples of local authorities and councils exploring and investing in TECS for prevention, taking a proactive approach as well as being focused on the wellbeing of those receiving support. The TSA has also observed in the past 12 months a rapidly growing appetite for more proactive services, both from adult social care commissioners and also people receiving support and their carers. However, this has been met with varying levels of technical service maturity and challenges, including issues related to interoperability, workforce pressures and limited capacity for analysis of the vast amounts of data generated and evidence-based decision making.

 

In this first episode of the Sustainable Care and TSA 'Digital Care Futures' podcast, Kate Hamblin (University of Sheffield) and Nathan Downing (TSA) spoke to guests from two examples of services which take a proactive and preventative approach.

Our guests: 

Rupert Lawrence, former head of amica24, now Operations Director for the TSA

Carla Dix, TEC Prevention Strategy Manager, Delta Wellbeing Ltd.

 

Learn more about Sustainable Care at our website: http://circle.group.shef.ac.uk/

---Intro/outro music: Ambient Cool by Sunsearcher is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
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Sustainable Care & COVID-19: Homecare during the pandemic: how can technology aid care provision?

Sustainable Care & COVID-19: Homecare during the pandemic: how can technology aid care provision?

November 16, 2021

Sustainable Care & COVID-19: Homecare during the pandemic: how can technology aid care provision?

Dr Diane Burns introduces this episode in which Sustainable Care researchers, Dr Cate Goodlad and Dr Kate Hamblin, are joined by Tommy Henderson-Reay from the National Care Forum. They discuss emerging models of homecare delivery in the UK, the various ways homecare providers deployed technologies during the pandemic and the challenges they faced.

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Dr Diane Burns is a Senior Lecture at the Management School at the University of Sheffield and she Led the research project, 'Delivering care at home: emerging models and their implications for sustainability and wellbeing' as part of the Sustainable Care Programme. Dr Cate Goodlad also worked on this project with Diane.

Dr Kate Hamblin is a Research Fellow at the Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities (CIRCLE) and led the research project 'Achieving sustainability in care systems: the potential of technology'.

Tommy Henderson-Reay is Digital Transformation Lead at the National Care Forum, he is part of the Digital Social Care project and is also a registered social worker.

 

Useful links mentioned in/relating to this episode:

Sustainable Care & COVID-19: Technology Enabled Care Services and the pandemic: a catalyst for change

Sustainable Care & COVID-19: Technology Enabled Care Services and the pandemic: a catalyst for change

November 8, 2021

Sustainable Care Co-Investigator, Dr Kate Hamblin is joined by special guests Mark Allen, Head of Technology Enabled Care, Hampshire County Council and Alyson Scurfield, Chief Executive, TEC Services Association (TSA).

In this episode, Kate explores how the pandemic has been a catalyst for change for the Technology Enabled Care sector. Mark Allen gives great insight on how Hampshire County Council used technology during a time of unprecedented change and demand, reflecting on what the sector might learn from the crisis. Alyson Scurfield provides an industry-wide perspective on the pandemic’s impact for TSA members, TEC’s support to vulnerable communities and how the TSA supported the TEC sector with an intense outreach programme and obtaining key worker status for its workforce.

 

Links mentioned in/relating to this episode

  1. The joint ADASS-TSA Commission Findings and Recommendations – “How Can Technology Be Truly Integrated into Adult Social Care - https://www.tsa-voice.org.uk/adass-tsa-comm/
  2. The TSA Sector Insight Report - https://www.tsa-voice.org.uk/campaigns/download-the-tsa-sector-insight-report-2020/
  3. The TSA Leadership Report – strategic priorities for the TEC sector to 2025 - https://www.tsa-voice.org.uk/campaigns/leadership-report/

Learn more about Sustainable Care on our website: http://circle.group.shef.ac.uk/

---Intro/outro music: Ambient Cool by Sunsearcher is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
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Sustainable Care & COVID-19: Transnational care in the pandemic

Sustainable Care & COVID-19: Transnational care in the pandemic

November 3, 2021

Sustainable Care Co-Investigator Professor Majella Kilkey is joined by special guests Professor Loretta Baldassar (University of Western Australia) and Professor Laura Merla (University of Louvain) to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on transnational care arrangements. 

 

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Learn more about Sustainable Care on our website: http://circle.group.shef.ac.uk/

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Sustainable Care & COVID-19: Reforming adult social care - what COVID has told us

Sustainable Care & COVID-19: Reforming adult social care - what COVID has told us

September 7, 2021

Sustainable Care Research Associate Patrick Hall is joined by David James (Head of Adult Social Care Policy, Care Quality Commission & member of the Sustainable Care programme Advisory Board), Tim Parkin (Senior Policy Advisor, Think Local Act Personal) and Kate Sibthorp (member of Think Local Act Personal’s National Co-production Advisory Group). In this episode they discuss how the development of Adult Social Care systems has been influenced by the COVID-19 Pandemic, how important community communication is and TLAP's 'Making it Real'- a framework for how to do personalised care and support.

 

Learn more about Think Local Act Personal here: https://www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/About-us/

Learn more about Think Local Act Personal's Making it Real framework here: https://www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/makingitreal/

Tim Parkin's profile page: https://www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/About-us/Team-members/

David James' profile page: http://circle.group.shef.ac.uk/about/david-james/

Kate Sibthorp's blog page: https://www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/Blog/author/Kate-Sibthorp/

 

Learn more about Sustainable Care on our website: http://circle.group.shef.ac.uk/

---Intro/outro music: Ambient Cool by Sunsearcher is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
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CARE MATTERS: Social Prescribing: improving people’s wellbeing by connecting them with their communities

CARE MATTERS: Social Prescribing: improving people’s wellbeing by connecting them with their communities

August 18, 2021

In this episode, CARE MATTERS podcast producer Dan Williamson interviews Tim Anfilogoff to find out more about Social Prescribing. They explore the current role it plays in Social Care in England, the development and roll out of Social Prescribing and some challenges facing it and the people that use it.

Tim is Head of Community Resilience for the two Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, and NHS England’s Social Prescribing Regional Facilitator for the East of England. Tim is also a member of the Sustainable Care programme’s Advisory Board.

Learn more about Sustainable Care on our website: http://circle.group.shef.ac.uk/

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CARE MATTERS: ‘Gig economy’ care platform models: impacts for the workforce and the market- Dr Karla Zimpel-Leal & Dr Fiona Macdonald

CARE MATTERS: ‘Gig economy’ care platform models: impacts for the workforce and the market- Dr Karla Zimpel-Leal & Dr Fiona Macdonald

February 17, 2021

Dr Karla Zimpel-Leal (University of Sheffield) welcomes Dr Fiona Macdonald (RMIT University) to talk about her research on care platform models, or uberisation, and her latest publication at the International Journal of Care and Caring titled 'Personalised risk’ in paid care work and the impacts of ‘gig economy’ care platforms. Both draw on their research in the UK and in Australia to highlight careworkers' experiences of working within these models, and the impact of these models on the care market.

Learn more about Sustainable Care on our website: http://circle.group.shef.ac.uk/

---Intro/outro music: Ambient Cool by Sunsearcher is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
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