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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

MPS: Technology Enabled Care and Support (TECS) 

TECS: Technology Enabled Care and Support

What do we want from Technology Enabled Care and Support in the future?

TECS provides an opportunity for individuals and their families to take control of their environment and support, therefore maintaining their independence and enabling them to live more fulfilling lives. Our vision is that

‘Technology Enabled Care and Support (TECS) will enable people to use their strengths, assets and networks to maximise their independence; staying safe and well in their own homes, as well as remaining connected with their communities.’

Our TECS principles are the same as those for any equipment or service (aligning with the principles of the Care Act 2014 and Devon County Council’s Promoting Independence Policy):  

  • Personal strengths and preferences
    We will focus on people’s strengths and the things that matter to them, encouraging them to draw on their own resources to build resilience and achieve their desired outcomes. 
  • Relationships
    We will support people to maintain and develop rewarding social and family relationships.  
  • Community links
    We will enable people to make connections with other people, groups and universal services in their communities.  
  • Supportive communities
    We will work with partners to develop communities and community 
    groups and encourage them to make the most of their ability to support people. 

 

What is the assessment of need?

Currently there are approximately 1,910 service users receiving TECS as part of their package of support from Devon County Council. This equates to 17% of the total number of individuals receiving social care services. This is approximately 10% below other comparative authorities. 

Of the total number of individuals in receipt of domiciliary care packages, only 11% also receive TECS as part of their service. 

We (Devon County Council and our partners) intend to increase the number of people in receipt of TECS by 15% by 2022.  

 

What is the assessment of supply? 

Millbrook Healthcare Ltd is the provider of TECS for Devon County Council and the NHS, as part of the Devon Independent Living Integrated Service (DILIS) contract.

As our technology partner for TECS solutions, Millbrook will: 

  • identify the best TECS solution against the risks identified by professional staff 
  • install, maintain, repair and remove TECS solutions 
  • take a leading role in developing new and innovative TECS solutions
  • provide an online self-assessment form, with links to our accredited equipment retailers, to support our strength-based assessment approach
  • provide a telephonebased monitoring control centre to receive alerts generated by TECS devices (sub contracted by Millbrook). 

 

What changes are we looking for?

What changes are we looking for from this service in the future, including any market opportunities, and how can we help to move towards these changes? 

Health and social care professionals use a ‘strengths-based approach’ (working to personal strengths to aid recovery and empowerment) in considering TECS solutions as part of their assessment.

So, what is a strength-based approach? It’s is a social work theory that focuses on people’s strengths and goals rather than their problems. England’s Chief Social Worker for Adults, Lyn Romeo explains it well:

“I’ve met with people who’ve been engaging with social workers, and they say to me, that ‘It’s when the social worker picked up on what I could contribute, what I could do, and that really turned things around in terms of my journey to have the best possible life.’”

Professionals are recognising that TECS is often an effective solution in mitigating the following risks: 

RisksSolution
medication mis-managementmedication carousel that will alert when medication is due and will only dispense one dose at the allotted time
fallswearable fall detector that raises the alarm when someone falls
environmentDisability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant transmitter – available in various forms – to alert someone to an incident, for example, smoke sensor or front door alarm
getting lost or wanderingGPS tracker or locator that can raise an alert to wandering and be set to a specific geo-fence
carer supportCare Assist or CAIR Buzz pager carried by supporter to alert to a specific sensor being activated
epilepsy or incontinenceepilepsy sensor watch, or incontinence bed sensors with alerts
other peopledoor entry sensor and alert
inability to carry out daily living tasksmemory aid apps

Providers who consider these risks and opportunities when working with service users in their own homes will not only help to meet the service user’s outcomes but achieve efficiencies in their business and gain competitive advantage.  

Providers can request an assessment by a health or social care practitioner (for those supported by Devon County Council) for a TECS solution via Millbrook Healthcare, they can offer specialist advice about TECS to the people we support.

We would also encourage providers to make TECS solutions available for individuals, not supported by DCC, that are sourced independently. People who don’t need social care support can go to the Independent Living Centre for advice and a free assessment and then go elsewhere to buy the TECS.

To support providers, we are developing a TECS  website called equipmentadvicedevon.org.uk with information and advice, and a self-assessment tool is now publicly available to help in identifying some simple TECS solutions that may help.

In the meantime, the Independent Living Centre (ILC) is separately commissioned to give advice and support on aids for daily living for members of the public and could give advice to Providers for an individual in their care including a TECS Buying Guide series.

Care home providers are encouraged to use TECS in their own service delivery models; whether via service management systems or by using TECS to promote independence.  If they choose to use TECS they can source this from any TECS provider. 

We will engage with market provider organisations to promote the use of TECS within their own service improvement plans and accountable Boards.  We will include this requirement within any contracting frameworks in future and providers who embrace TECS solutions are likely to win more business. 

We have launched a Devon Independent Living Integrated Service (DILIS) online self-assessment form, with links to our accredited equipment retailers, to support our strengths-based assessment approach. Initially, this is covering a small range of community equipment and TECS, but Phase 2 will include more TECS solutions. Providers may wish to be included in this accredited list, which will include all forms of equipment and TECS, or use it to support individuals in their care 

A TECS catalogue review group assesses the current TECS catalogue solutions against specific services, risks or outcomes to ensure it is fit for purpose and offers innovative solutions. We would encourage providers to let us know if they have specific areas they would like the us to review the catalogue against (for example risk of medication mismanagement) or particular equipment they would like to have considered as an addition to the TECS catalogue. 

There may be the potential in the future for providers to become Millbrook Prescribers and complete TECS assessments via the DILIS contract. 

Market opportunity - Technology Enabled Care and Support (TECS)

Commissioning arrangements for a mobile responder service (to respond to TECS alerts and meet the gap in the current service) are currently being reviewed with an options appraisal and development of a business case to support an agreed delivery model.

A market engagement event will be held on Tuesday 10 September 2019 to inform our commissioning and budget planning for this service, and we would encourage providers who are interested in potentially delivering a mobile responder service to attend the event.

Following this a business case will be produced, and if agreed, a competitive tender exercise undertaken, with a view to a service commencing from April 2020.

 

(Return to the Market Position Statement)

Last updated: 29/01/2020


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