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Helping Directors of Adult Social Services meet the current challenges

It is certainly a challenging time to be involved in the care sector. The ADASS Spring Seminar was a great opportunity to hear first-hand what those leading the country’s adult social care services are thinking and focussing on.

In her new President speech, Margaret Willcox, Director of Adult Social Care at Gloucestershire County Council, highlighted that for the first time we have more people with care and support needs than we do Care Workers. This makes efficient workforce planning essential to ensure that all your capacity is put to good use.

Throughout various conference dialogue it was recognised that as the volume of care continues to rise, early intervention will help reduce demand in adult social care. This is an area that CM2000 has been doing a lot of work on. For the last few years we’ve been working with Edinburgh Napier University on some sophisticated predictive analytics modelling to highlight frailty indicators, particularly in relation to falls prevention.     

We’ve now combined the predictive analytics modelling with wearable technology and health and social care data to create ARMED (Advanced Risk Modelling for Early Detection). In community trials, ARMED has helped identify those at risk of falling earlier in the care cycle, as well as highlighting statistical points of interest in relation to hydration, sleep patterns and muscle strength.

It is clear that, with the pressure on services, we need to encourage and support self-management. Solutions like ARMED, which gather patient data from the comfort of their own home, are ideal for identifying frailty indicators which would have previously gone unnoticed. Ultimately this helps avoid unnecessary hospital admissions and subsequent demand for reablement services – a win-win for individual and state-funded services.    

Another issue that was highlighted over the 2 day event was the need for shaping the market, being innovative and creative. That’s also something we have some recent experience of. CM2000 have been working with ADASS East on a Provider Assessment and Market Management Solution (PAMMS) to support better commissioning. ADASS East are leading the way in regional benchmarking, bringing together data from 11 Councils, 2000 Providers and 20,000 Service Users, as well as the CQC. PAMMS supports contract monitoring and offers the opportunity to utilise the latest technology to replace manual processes.

With a strong background in mental health, it wasn’t surprising that the new President’s priorities for the year ahead include improving services and opportunities for people with mental illness and disabilities. I’m sure it is no coincidence that Gloucestershire County Council are the pioneers of adopting electronic monitoring to bring quality and efficiency benefits to their disability services. The technology, which is well-used across older adult services, has had a positive impact on ensuring care needs are being met, whilst at the same time delivering £1 million per annum savings. We believe that other Councils could easily replicate this success, especially with money spent on adults with disabilities seemingly over-taking the amount spent on older adults in some areas.  

It was clear from the event content, and chatting to delegates, that innovative technology can help meet many of the challenges facing the sector. These sentiments were echoed across the border as Directors of Social Services gathered for Social Work Scotland’s annual conference in June.  

Of course it’s easy to acknowledge that efficiency and service improvements can be made, but much harder in the current climate to find the time to do something about it. Those who have already taken the plunge would probably concur that an investment in technology is an investment in the future. 

For more information about cm2000 email: enquiries@cm2000.co.uk or call 0121 308 3010                      

cm2000

Written by:
Mark Thomas
Managing Director - CM2000

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