Unlocking Personalised Outcomes: placing digital at the heart of transforming care for people with learning disabilities and autism



March 24, 2022 9:44 am

Natalie Johnson & Robert Turnbull from PA Consulting explore how local authority commissioners can harness digital care technology to increase independence of people with complex needs whilst reducing burden on the cost of care. 

Over ten years on from Winterbourne View, making independent living in the community a reality for people with learning disabilities and autism remains a significant challenge for local authorities. All people, even those with the most complex needs have a right to lead great lives in their communities. As commissioners are seeking more with less and care provider capacity is reducing, how can digital care technology help close the gap between ambition and reality?

Even before COVID-19, commissioners of adult social care increasingly recognised digital care technology as an important enabler of independent living. Care technology can improve safety, enable choice and control and reduce the cost of care.  It can also support people to achieve much broader outcomes – to get jobs, make new friends and fulfil their ambitions – the things we all want from life. The PA Consulting led Argenti Care Technology Partnership, an award-winning care technology partnership has been at the forefront of this work. Argenti uses digital care technology to help people live the lives they want whilst simultaneously reducing the cost of care for Councils.

PA Consulting’s Argenti partnership is currently working hand-in-hand with local authorities to explore how digital care technology solutions can increase the independence of people with complex needs who display behaviours of distress and/or are at risk of self-neglect. These are key barriers to independent living, which not only cause significant harm but also drain capacity and drive cost in the care system:

Digital care technology solutions increasingly enable proactive early interventions and avoid the harms and financial costs associated with the crisis. Whereas the greater use of consumer digital devices can establish the foundations for positive behaviour; establish and maintain routines and ensure someone understands what is happening next in their day; easy access to sensory stimuli through digital apps and smart device controlled environments; and facilitating preferred means of communication so that people’s wishes and needs are understood.

More than ever, digital care technology solutions are opening up opportunities to reimagine the way people with learning disabilities and autism are supported in the community. To realise those opportunities and ensure digital care technology solutions are both life-enhancing and capacity releasing, you need several things in place:

  • Relentless focus on outcomes and the problems you are trying to solve – not the technology
  • Transformation approach that places digital care technology at the top of the agenda, rather than an enabling element
  • Culture change programme that pays attention to the people who will make a success of these new models of care

Positive risk enabled approaches to independent living underpinned by proactive active support will improve people’s lives, release capacity and reduce costs for the council. Digital is central to realising the ambition of independent living in the community for all people with learning disabilities and autism.

Link in with our Knowledge and Networking sessions or book a 1-2-1 with TSA Consultancy to find out about benefits realisation and the use of technology within local authority care. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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