A new report by the County Councils Network (CCN) has called for the greater integration of technology within social care services.
The Employing Assistive Technology in Adult Social Care report reveals 75% of local authorities believe the benefits of assistive technology are being partly realised within their council and that there is potential for further development.
However, the report adds that rurality, costs, and a lack of knowledge are significant barriers in embedding tech further into services.
Published in partnership with Tunstall Healthcare, the report says assistive technology (AT) should be a key aspect in the government’s planned reforms for the social care sector to become mainstream in the delivery of services.
Gavin Bashar, UK Managing Director of Tunstall Healthcare, said: “During the pandemic, social care service providers and users saw a rapid expansion of new forms of care delivery which has led to a need to rethink the ambitions and plans for social care and the digital agenda. The imminent reform of social care will only be successful in its aims of accountability, integration, and interoperability if it ensures that digital innovation is central to care provision moving forward.
“AT is still sometimes viewed as an add-on or optional piece of care, but it must be mainstreamed and embedded into cultural change. Publication of case studies and good examples nationally, alongside national benchmarks, better training opportunities and an increased profile of the technology available would support more local authorities to invest.
“Galvanising the gains made during the pandemic will drive services towards digital-first care provision which sees significant benefits across the board. There has long been a missed opportunity to harness the potential of technology to transform the way we deliver care, and this has been clearly evidenced during the pandemic. In order to create a truly integrated health and care system, resourcing proven technologies and making their appropriate use standard practice is crucial to ensuring services are fit for the future.”