Medical technology company PainChek is leading a campaign calling on Boris Johnson to take urgent action to improve the level of technology-enabled dementia care across the country’s social care sector.
A cohort of organisations from across the UK’s health and social care sectors, including the National Care Forum and Care England, have joined PainChek – a pain assessment tool that uses artificial intelligence to analyse facial micro-expressions indicative of pain – to urge the government to improve the financial and strategic support for dementia care.
In an open letter to the PM, the group is calling for the creation of an innovation grant or fund to be used by social care providers to invest in innovation and technology that supports the care of people living with dementia. The letter also demands that the government conduct an urgent review of the status and progress of the commitments set out in the Dementia 2020 Challenge.
The open letter can be read here and is open for signatures until Friday, February 19. This is the foundation of the cohort’s campaign: ‘The tech revolution: dementia care’s time has come’.
Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said: “The United Kingdom has made significant progress on improving support and recognition for people living with dementia, however, we need to maintain the momentum, and to reach for the ambitious goals that we set for the Dementia 2020 Challenge. We require the government to make good on their commitments, and for our society to improve their support for people living with dementia.”
PainChek’s Pete Shergill commented: “In today’s increasingly tech- and digital-first society, it is unsurprising that technology has the power to enhance dementia care and support care providers in the digitised world. But the government simply isn’t providing enough financial or strategic support to social care businesses to aid their adoption of technology-enabled dementia care. This is why we have launched the campaign and would like to issue a rallying call to other organisations across the UK’s social care sector to join us in urging the government to bring the funding of tech in care in-line with the funding made available to the health and healthcare sectors.
“The sector desperately needs dedicated government support and investment now. A dedicated innovation grant for social care providers to help and support them to adopt and roll out technology that supports the care of people living with dementia, would offer a simple and practical solution. Being able to harness the power of medtech would allow care providers to deliver more efficient and effective care, streamline processes, and ultimately cut costs and save time – allowing staff to focus on delivering the highest standard of care.”