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Data Driven Innovation in Care Homes

The Independent sector is the sole provider of the care home provision in Dumfries and Galloway. Digital Care Planning Systems had been in use by a few but in 2020 a TEC funded Test of Change enabled uptake in the remaining care homes. The implementation of digital care planning means that data can be structured, accessible and meaningful, creating value for care interactions and experiences, and the potential for data sharing across health and social care, which is a goal for all but not yet possible.

Organisation to organisation data sharing has focused on the ‘one way’ flow of information from care, which can add to reporting burden and have limited value for care home providers, staff and residents. The challenges of data collection and sharing across health and social care are well articulated including fragmentation, standards, access, and duplication of information and effort.

A consortium of partners, including the technical suppliers – Mydex CIC, Storm ID and Person Centred Software (PCS), have been brought together by Scottish Care and the Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI).

The aim is to demonstrate what is possible; articulate what the opportunities and benefits are for Social Care providers, Primary and Acute Care; and to be ready for integration with the National Digital Platform and the Single Care Record. We aim to have a demonstrator ready in early 2023 using the DHIs Simulation Environment and Mydex Personal Data Store.

Over the past year we have identified scenarios where known pain points are leading to admission and assessment delays, poor outcomes and unmet needs. A final workshop with partners in December 2022 will consolidate our knowledge and enable us to demonstrate improvement through data driven innovation.

The Future Multidisciplinary Workforce

The Care Technologist role was conceived in A creative future for care at home, a collaboration between Scottish Care and the Innovation School at the Glasgow School of Art, which sought to explore trends and challenges, and identified the need for diverse roles enabled by Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT). From this a job family of roles emerged – Care Connector, Care Navigator and Care Technologist. The Care Technologist role is being trialled in 3 pathfinder areas – Aberdeen, East Ayrshire and Glasgow with a 4 Care Technologists in post for a year, working alongside service users, homecare and care homes.

In this phase, we are working with IMPACT the UK centre for implementing evidence in adult social care as part of a UKRI and Health Foundation funded study. IMPACT draws on insights from research, lived experience and practice knowledge to make a difference to front-line services, and to people’s lives. The IMPACT methodology will give us an evidence base on which to specify the conditions required for national rollout of the role, ensuring that wherever you are in Scotland you have access to a skilled practitioner who can support with a digital care plan component.

Anticipated outcomes/learning –

  1. How to overcome barriers around accessibility and inclusion, promoting digital as a choice, as part of a person-led rights-based model of care – evidenced through case studies.
  2. How a Care Technologist, utilising Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) can enable more care to be delivered in the community – step down, reablement, hospital discharge, reducing hours of unmet need.
  3. Demonstrating the scale and spread challenge – enablers and blockers associated with the implementation of the Care Technologist role and model of care in different ecosystems – service areas, geographical locations.
  4. Specifying the attributes, skills and capability framework required for the Care Technologist role and how to support these as part of an upskilling of the existing workforce and attracting others into social care from diverse backgrounds e.g., Computer Science, User Experience (UX), Data Analysis.
  5. Understanding the impact of new aspirational roles and career pathways on sector resilience – recruitment and retention (Scottish Care Report on Workforce found that 25% recruited leave within 3 months, rising to 33% in first year).

How the model promotes greater flexibility and choice for service users and sustainable service delivery for providers, as a result of care and support needs being assessed and delivered differently.