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The Transformational Opportunity of Technology in Social Care

Martin Green, CEO of Care England, recently appeared on The Access Group’s ‘Redefining Care’ podcast to delve into the challenges confronting adult social care and the role technology can play in addressing them. Professor Green summarises some of the key insights from the discussion:

Adult social care in England faces many challenges, from workforce crises to funding constraints and barriers to achieving integration with the healthcare system.

Care England’s mission is to support quality care, raise standards, enhance outcomes for service users, and underscore the role of care homes as invaluable assets within the community.

Over the next decade, we expect to see the technological revolution as a significant factor shaping the care sector. A fusion of advanced technology with artificial intelligence (AI) could dramatically elevate patient outcomes in ways that were out of reach in previous years.

Traditionally, the care sector has been slow to embrace the full scope of digital technologies, but the landscape has changed dramatically over the last four years. The COVID pandemic has acted as a catalyst, accentuating the urgency to utilise technology more effectively.

People are always at the heart of our initiatives at Care England. We’re investing significant effort into making discharge pathways from hospitals more efficient, getting care homes recognised as critical resources, and ensuring that financial support is directed towards those in need.

However, there’s a critical challenge that stands out: integration between health and social care. It’s time to change the discourse from focusing on organisations like the NHS, local authorities, and care providers to those who use the services. It must be about the people and improving their quality of life.

We need a decisive shift from prioritising processes to emphasising outcomes and individual experiences. Our system leans heavily on organisations and procedures, which must change. Emphasising personal preferences and crafting bespoke solutions is the path forward, and I think technology has a pivotal role to play here. It can provide us with rich insights, helping us become more data-driven, personalised, and outcome-focused.

Companies like the Access Group’s Health, Support and Care division (HSC) play a vital part in this transformation by tracking individuals through the care pathway, enhancing quality and efficiency. This personalised approach helps identify the unique needs of every individual, allowing for tailored solutions that can genuinely enhance their wellbeing.

The social care sector is also facing substantial workforce challenges with record vacancy rates and high staff turnover. Technology can be instrumental in overcoming these hurdles by reducing the burden of paperwork, enhancing the attractiveness of care work, and supporting career progression.

However, the solution doesn’t stop here. I believe we need a nationally recognised skills framework, clear career pathways, and flexible working arrangements to elevate the esteem of working in care. Recruitment and retention must go hand in hand, something crucial for the care sector’s future.

By intertwining technology, people-centred outcomes, and solutions to workforce challenges, we can begin to lay the foundations for a care system that truly meets the needs and aspirations of those it serves.

Listen to the full conversation at the podcast here: Redefining Care (buzzsprout.com)

 

 
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