Assistive technology should be placed at the centre of adult social care to make it more targeted and preventative, a new report has argued today.
The report, published by the County Councils Network (CCN), explores what can be done to scale up assistive technology across social care systems and maximise its benefits to people in care and professionals.
It found that while systems such as telecare and telehealth have been used effectively to improve care for individuals, a new framework and funding is needed to make it ‘mainstream’.
Employing Assistive Technology in Adult Social Care, supported by Tunstall Healthcare, found over two thirds (69%) of county authorities surveyed said it was more difficult to roll out in rural areas compared to urban locations.
The majority of respondents cited a lack of knowledge on the tech currently available, while 75% said a lack of funding and overlapping local health system boundaries were holding their authorities back.
Cllr Keith Glazier, health and social care spokesperson for the CCN, said: ‘The increasing potential for employing technology at scale and utilising data offers a tantalising possibility of having a significant impact on the way care is delivered; achieving better outcomes for vulnerable people of all ages, in a more cost effective way than more traditional models of care provision.
’But this can only be done with the right settings in place – and today’s report offers much food for thought as to how we can further embed AT in our local systems.’
The report calls for a commitment to a National Strategic Framework for integrating assistive technology into social care, with effective infrastructure for assistive technology in rural areas.