New housing charter aims to enable introduction of technology enabled care
Housing organisations across Scotland are being asked to show their support for a new Technology Enabled Care in Housing Charter.
Launched at the CIH Scotland Housing Festival 2019, the charter aims to help housing providers to understand, from a practical point of view, how to engage with Technology Enabled Care (TEC).
The TEC in Housing Charter has been developed as part of the TEC Ready Programme which is funded by the Scottish Government’s TEC Programme and hosted by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA).
Since 2016, TEC Ready has been working with housing organisations and individuals to support the housing sector’s use of innovative TEC. The work of the TEC Ready programme is also supported by Digital Health and Care Scotland.
Developed to support the use of TEC in creating and delivering housing solutions, the charter and its associated pledges include a focus on engaging customers in the co-design of TEC services. With more people living longer, and often in poor health, the aim of this pledge is to maximise the benefits that TEC solutions can bring by taking account of their needs and putting them, their families or carers at the heart of the co-design, testing and review of customised services. This will help to enable people to live in their homes safely and independently for as long as possible.
Another pledge commits to collaborative working in order to share ideas and work within individual organisations as well as with the wider housing sector, allied professions, universities and other research institutions.
There is also a pledge that housing associations will work in partnership with customers and others, including health and social care colleagues, to investigate the use of preventative analytics to allow greater opportunity for intervention at an earlier stage, potentially reducing the risk of falls and frailty.
Minister for local government, housing and planning, Kevin Stewart, said: “The launch of this charter illustrates the opportunities to use Technology Enabled Care to shape the housing solutions of the future.
“Telehealth and telecare have the potential to transform the way people manage their own health and wellbeing. With people living longer and having more health conditions, we must recognise their needs and put them, their families and carers at the heart of new developments.
“Having the right support in the right home can enable people to live safely and independently. Our £200,000 TEC fund has already raised awareness of technology enabled care in creating, co-designing, and delivering housing solution. This charter will continue that work by ensuring everyone is supported to look after themselves and lead full and meaningful lives.”
Fanchea Kelly, chief executive of Blackwood and chair of TEC Ready, said: “I’m delighted that we now have a TEC in Housing Charter. Housing organisations across Scotland have the potential to make a huge contribution to supporting the health and well-being of their customers.
“We appreciate that everyone is at a different stage with TEC, so organisations can choose which of the Seven Charter Pledges they sign up to.
“By signing up to the charter, organisations will be signalling their support for the use of TEC in creating and delivering housing solutions across Scotland as well as demonstrating housing’s increasing contribution to helping customers manage their health and well-being.”
Sally Thomas, SFHA chief executive, said: “The TEC charter is a great outcome of the TEC Ready Programme and many thanks go to everyone involved in getting us this far.
“The charter is an important tool to help social housing providers use technology to offer personalised services to their tenants, helping to keep them safe and well at home for longer. This is critical if we are to improve people’s quality of life, keeping them out of hospital and in their own home, reducing health costs and supporting people’s independence and relationships with family, friends and community.”
The charter includes the following pledges:
Pledge 1: Opportunity and solution focused
We will clearly define the issues we face in meeting customer needs and understand the opportunities TEC can bring. In creating solutions, we will be aware of those that are simple and easy to implement, and recognise those that may require further development and testing. We will listen and learn from the experiences of our customers as well as other organisations who have addressed similar issues.
Pledge 2: Engaging with the customer
As more of our customers are living longer and often in poor health, we will maximise the benefits that TEC solutions can bring. We will do this by taking account of their needs and putting them, their families and/or carers at the heart of the co-design, testing and review of customised services, to enable customers to live in their homes safely and independently, for as long as possible.
Pledge 3: Working in partnership
We will share ideas with others and work collaboratively with colleagues in our own organisation, as well as the wider housing sector, allied professions, universities and other research institutions.
Pledge 4: Preventative analytics
We will work in partnership with customers and others, including health and social care colleagues (commissioners and providers) to investigate the use of preventative analytics to achieve the greatest impact for vulnerable people. We will use the data generated to help us with strategic planning and the management of assets and services, while taking account of ethical and data privacy issues.
Pledge 5: Service redesign
We will use technology as a key element of service redesign, providing preventative and supportive TEC solutions for existing and future customers, so that we produce better outcomes for individuals and their families and/or carers. Service redesign will include being aware of the impact of TEC on staff roles, and upskilling and supporting staff as needed. It will also include financial appraisal of the options in terms of the cost to our customers.
Pledge 6: Supporting the workforce
We will provide leadership and support staff to enable them to adapt to the changes brought about by TEC. We will give our staff opportunities to increase their knowledge of the role of TEC and digital healthcare, and use the insights of frontline staff to influence service redesign.
Pledge 7: Getting the infrastructure right
We will think ahead and ensure we obtain the advice and support we need to enable good decision-making when investing in any technological infrastructure or equipment used for delivering TEC solutions. This includes being aware of the opportunities provided by the analogue to digital switch over.