The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has published a new guide booklet showing how assistive technology can be harnessed effectively by housing organisations, improving their services to residents and building partnerships with care and health bodies.
The booklet entitled ‘How to… make effective use of assistive technology in housing’, is sponsored by leading telecare and telehealth provider Tunstall and was previewed at the CIH Housing 2012 annual conference and exhibition in August. It gives housing organisations an introduction to telecare and telehealth, shows how they can make best use of the technology, and the implications for housing organisations of deploying and using assistive technology.
Dominic Gunn-Peim, Director of Health and Wellbeing for the Chartered Institute of Housing said:
The contribution of telecare and telehealth in enabling people to achieve successful hospital discharge, manage health conditions and live at home for as long as possible, is becoming more widely recognised. Housing providers have a key role to play in ensuring that the technology is provided to those who need it, and that staff are fully trained in their use.
Our ‘How to’ guide explains the issues and provides examples of the application of assistive technology in practice, along with useful tips for organisations on implementation. It aims to assist housing practitioners in engaging with their colleagues in health and social care, to make the best use of the available technology and support people to live independently at home.
According to CIH, the role of housing providers in managing, providing and supporting assistive technology is not always well understood by health and social care partner agencies. The new guide will help housing professionals to achieve better joint working in more effective commissioning, delivery and monitoring of assistive technology.
The guide also includes case studies of telecare and telehealth in action, such as Birmingham City Council, where Tunstall’s telecare technology is being used to improve the care and quality of life of people with long-term conditions and social care needs, by enabling them to remain living at home for longer.
Birmingham’s 3-year programme, which will bring assistive technology to 25,000 people, will help to maximise independence for service users, preventing or reducing the need for admissions to residential care. People are referred through 3 routes: assessment and support planning, enablement through the adults and communities team, and prevention through GPs, voluntary and community organisations and self-referral through the internet.
Chris Claydon-Butler, general manager, Assisted Living and Service at Tunstall said:
Assistive technology provides vital support and independence to residents living with a range of care needs, and delivers significant cost savings. We are proud to be working with the CIH to deliver preventative technologies that enable person-centric services, and improve housing organisations’ services to their residents.”