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Corserv Care, a council-run care service in Cornwall, has partnered with supplier 2iC-Care to deliver a digital care platform in the region.
The partnership will see the care service deploy 2iC-Care’s digital hub, Andi, with the aim of improving care outcomes and managing costs.
The Andi platform is an end-to-end care solution, offering a physical digital alarm unit, an online dashboard and interoperable software, which allows providers to customise their care provision and integrate with other digital solutions.
This includes existing telecare devices such as fall monitors, as well as light and motion sensors. The data collected by the system can be used to alert staff to any changes in patient behaviour, helping them to act quickly.
The managing director of Corserv Care, Alison Waller, said if the care service were to “keep doing the same things”, it would not be able to “meet the demand coming through the system”.
“We need to think innovatively about how we can utilise technology to complement and enhance the care and support we’re offering to people,” she said, adding that it is hoped the new technology will enable the care service to be “very clear about the care and support requirements of individuals and give much more comprehensive assessment data” to ensure the right care and support for the service user is in place.
Like most care services across the UK, Cornwall’s Corserv Care is struggling to meet the increasing demands and complexity of care needs, while also facing staff recruitment issues and funding pressures.
“If you prevent either a hospital admission or a deterioration of need, then you know you are making overall savings in the system and protecting the quality of life of the individual, which is the primary focus,” said Waller.
As in Cornwall, care providers across the UK are working to move from analogue telecare provision to digital, as telephony lines in the country are being upgraded from analogue to digital by December 2025, when BT will switch off the legacy Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
In April 2023, the government announced it would allocate £100m to accelerate digitisation in social care, a sector that has fallen behind when it comes to going digital. The money will be spent over the next two years on digital technologies, including digital social care records.
The announcement coincided with the launch of the government’s Better Care Fund framework, which plans to spend £16.8bn on improving social care services over the next 10 years.
In March 2022, the then health and social care secretary, Sajid Javid, set out a government target to have 80% of all care providers move away from paper-based records by March 2024. The government hopes this will ensure that all information needed by staff to support a person’s care can be available digitally.
Figures from June 2023 showed that more than half of all social care providers have adopted digital social care records, which have so far been shown to deliver significant productivity benefits.
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