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Proactive telecare pilot expected to reduce emergency calls to Scottish housing provider

Bield Housing & Care, whose moto is Free to Be, is operating a new proactive pilot project with the aim of empowering people to not only live more independently but to build connections in their local communities via referral routes and support.

Called Inspire, it takes an asset-based approach - focusing on what is possible for the customers and understanding what matters to them. The Inspire team aims to bridge a gap with social care teams, working in partnership with effective communication regarding customer support, reviewing and providing data to help ensure the person not only benefits from a proactive service, but also has the appropriate care in place, built around their needs.

Launched in two Scottish areas, this collaborative initiative is led by the Scottish Government's Technology Enabled Care Programme and involves three telecare service providers Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership, and Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership.

The other key outcome of the test change project is to observe and learn the impact on Bield & partner services; specifically, with a view to evaluating the prioritisation of health promotion, prevention and earlier intervention to increase tenant/service user ability to be independent and remain active, healthy and socially connected. Fifty customers using the BR24 service in both Midlothian and Inverclyde will be called per week for up to 45 mins to try out the preventative approach.

How did you begin?

Gary Baillie, Project Manager of Inspire (above) explains: “Working closely with our partners we first identified a requirement for service level agreements to be put in place with the project and customers who wanted to be part of this. After creating paperwork outlining expectations from both parties this was sent out and signed before any calls took place.

In terms of recruitment we advertised internally, targeting current reactive call handlers within the ARC to pick up additional hours over set days, which generated a good level of interest considering this type of proactive telecare has not been tested in Scotland before.

TSA’s Quality Standards Framework was introduced to the team to safeguard not only the service user but also the staff. Monthly call checks were carried out and fed back to call handlers to ensure the service continually grew and improved where required.

Escalation routes were put in place where operators felt a customer’s wellbeing was at risk or they required additional support.

Test of change would consist of 1 x 45minute call weekly, using a ‘wellbeing wheel’ for data capture and analysis. The wellbeing wheel explored how the person is feeling, building on what works, having the right help, being part of something, doing what matters to them and looking after themselves.

Tell us about training needs…

We participated in “good conversation” training which consisted of five workshops and was a highly participatory, skills-based course where the facilitators encouraged people to bring and use their existing knowledge and experience to contribute within the learning.

The skills and techniques learned throughout the training would enable us to focus on what matters to the person and what they want to achieve from support. We explored with people how to harness and build on their strengths, social networks and community supports, and explored how we can prepare people to be ready to have a good conversation.

Things you had to overcome…

Workforce – It was important to properly identify critical roles for the project to become a success.Project team consisted of a project sponsor (Bield’s CEO), a technology and commerciality lead,strategic lead plus project manager.

Technical – Within the current reactive team in BR24, the system used for call handling is Jontek, in order to keep the service consistent without customers and ensure staff had rich data and details to make calls successfully; it was clear we had to use this platform for the proactive calls. This meant purchasing additional call handling licences from the supplier.

Operational - Sustainability has become one of the biggest challenges, not during the test of change but in fact following the pilot. This was an expensive project to get off the ground and in order for maintaining the service post-pilot, conversations will be need to be held to look at the funding stream to discover how we can produce a viable service that is sustainable.

Some stats so far...

100% of beneficiaries "felt this service was of benefit to them"
88% of beneficiaries "would like the service to continue with 12% seeking the same or similar service".

Note: At time of publication, the test of change is close to completion, entering evaluation and findings phase of the other test sites and TEC Scotland, with a view to progressing to scope phase 2 of the project.






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