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    Looking at the importance of technological developments on the future of social care

    Contact Rohan

    Over the last few years technological developments have been a huge benefit to many care providers. Whether providing care in a residential or home care setting, improvements in the technology and software that is available has allowed providers to deliver care more efficiently and effectively; improving the service they provide and allowing those they care for to rest assured that they are in safe hands.

    Every week there seems to be more news of new advances in digital technology and physical aids or software developments, such as electronic care planning systems which are all very important for the future of social care; not just within the UK but worldwide.

    NHS Digital

    A recent report from NHS Digital stated that a drive to expand the use of digital technology in social care could lead to more than £125 million worth of benefits. The social care program, using information and technology, which started back in 2016 has grown rapidly and has played a key role in the development of new apps, robotic technology to help those providing care and tools to reduce the risks of falls. Having had such a positive impact already, within the first five years, it’s looking very promising for the future that these developments can continue to benefit those most in need.

    Digital record keeping

    The homecare market in particular, seems to be responding well to the technological developments, especially over the last 18 months. Changes to the way that care is provided and limiting as much as possible, the physical contact with those being cared for, has been very important to so many providers. Having software to record care calls that is easy to access, with notes all in the same format, for example, make life easier for carers and allow them to carry out their duties more efficiently during a time when there is a desperate shortage of care staff. There’s also an ongoing feeling in the home care industry that digital record keeping for home care agencies will eventually become a requirement for the Care Quality Commission.

    “The effects of the pandemic have helped to increase the usage of software quicker than may have been the case otherwise”

    Experts have suggested that the global homecare software market is undervalued currently and that in the next five years the market value is expected to triple in size. The effects of the pandemic have helped to increase the usage of software quicker than may have been the case otherwise, however, many have now seen the benefits that technological developments bring to the service they provide and I don’t think it will be long before more and more homecare providers jump on the bandwagon and immerse themselves in the improvements that software developments will bring to their business.

    Jane Towson, the CEO of the United Kingdom Homecare Association said “I think the reason why it’s undervalued at present is because levels of adoption at the moment are not as high as they could be. The government in the UK has a strategy to encourage use of digital solutions in the social care sector in general. With more people likely choosing to stay at home and receive home care than was the case pre-Covid, software usage within the home care sector is likely to dramatically increase.

    In conclusion

    Overall, the development of both physical aids and software developments allows the whole process of providing care to be much more efficient. It can also result in a less stressful experience for those receiving care.

    It will be very interesting moving forwards to see how the levels of adoption increase; and if at some point digital record keeping does become compulsory for homecare providers registered with the CQC.

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