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My Message to the TEC workforce at Christmas

Rupert Lawrence, TSA's Operations Director kicks off his new blog series with a thank you and message of support to the TEC workforce as it enters the heightened pressures of the festive season.

I sit here writing my first blog entry with thoughts whirling through my mind of how people are coping in the ever-changing, ever-evolving, and ever-pressurised world of Technology Enabled Care. As we approach the festive season, my thoughts turn towards the many people who will be preparing for Christmas in TEC services. People’s perceptions about preparations for Christmas usually involve presents, who’s hosting the family for Christmas dinner this year, getting that in-demand toy for the child who is desperate to peel back the wrapping paper on Christmas morning, and how to get the turkey ready for the big day.

In the world of technology enabled care, Christmas preparations and planning has a very different meaning, and this year I think we face the most difficult circumstances we’ve faced given the current challenges. The backdrop of the pandemic is clearly influencing a step-change in our approach to workforce, and its pressures on resourcing has been felt widely from what people are telling me across the sector.

In my new role as Operations Director at TSA, I wanted to be sure from the very beginning that I was in touch with the people within the sector and keeping my finger on the pulse of what the TEC landscape is looking like. Early conversations have inevitably included workforce and KPIs as you’d expect!

I’ve got some clear thoughts in this area, and what I’m always keen to do is to support our workers in TEC, to understand the pressures and where the best practice and innovation is taking place so we can share that effectively for the greater good. What has struck me over the last 20 months (yes, it’s been going on that long!) during the pandemic has been the impact of TEC, from the simplest call from a vulnerable person, through to the most dynamic of solutions supporting video consultation and health monitoring. The real impact, the life-changing influence that TEC can have has never been more evident in my opinion and I know that many of you will have a plethora of stories from within your services that highlight the difference it has made to so many lives, and lives with some unique and challenging circumstances.

I often relay to colleagues how I describe my role to people outside of my working life, and this often takes some explaining as I’m sure lots of people within the sector will identify with! Once I’ve managed to get over the initial barriers of understanding what TEC is, I regularly experience such a level of interest in what I do when I begin to relay some of the user TEC Stories I encounter through my work. A sparkle often enters the person’s eyes as they learn how TEC supports someone to carry out crucial activities like cooking for themselves or getting out and about in their local community, so they can continue to lead the life that they want, or a life saving situation where a digital solution has prevented a catastrophic result of a fall within the home.

These situations are happening up and down the country, they’re inherent to the services being provided, but they rely on the people within the sector to implement and operate them – the very people who often must explain in detail what their role is as I do!

That is why when I think of TEC at Christmas, I’m thinking of the people, those amazing people who are going to be providing this great infrastructure of support across the UK, while people munch on their turkey and fall asleep in front a film on Christmas Day afternoon. These people will ensure that so many in their communities will be safe, well and independent this December, and supporting them in this invaluable work is crucial!

I wish everyone the very best for the festive period, that you remain safe and able to keep providing the amazing help you do with technology enabled care.

Rupert.

Photo credit: Beyond Housing

Next month, a focus on mental wellbeing...

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