How effective service management has transformed telecare response
Isobel Penman, Reablement Hub Coordinator at South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership (CAH), discusses how Tunstall’s PNC7 Service Manager has streamlined its processes, enabled more installations and increased capacity
The South Ayrshire Care at Home Service (CAH) provides a range of services to help people remain independent and well at home, including supporting over 2,500 people with telecare.
Given our close working relationship with the hospital discharge team and other key stakeholders, we are often required to install telecare systems at short notice in order to provide appropriate care packages to our customers.
We also need to safeguard the future growth of the service as our capacity expands, so we explored alternative solutions that would have the scope to guarantee long-term stability.
Connected Care with Service Manager
We successfully secured funding from the Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Programme to invest in developing telecare services, which included introducing Tunstall’s PNC7 Service Manager. Service Manager is designed to support the delivery of telecare services by monitoring the entire lifecycle of telecare from end-to-end; through assessment, referral, installation, change requests, asset and battery management and decommissioning. Service Manager also enables flexible reporting and recording of client outcomes, helping to evaluate the impact of the service.
Prior to using Service Manager, CAH relied on the council’s monitoring centre to input and access data, including processing referrals and creating new service user accounts. With Service Manager, CAH staff has direct access to real-time data and can follow their own procedures, working directly with other services such as social care, the sensory team, and hospitals. This means telecare systems can be installed more quickly, and the CAH service has been structured to accommodate this rapid turnaround.
We have been using Service Manager for almost a year and it has delivered a rapid response telecare service. Having Service Manager has enabled us to restructure our entire service, making processes faster, easier and more accurate, and supporting integrated working across health and social care.
We have increased the number of installations achievable to an average of 70 per week and reach the target of supporting 2,500 connections; in line with the national target of increasing telecare use by 20%. Our equipment can be set up on the system within 15 minutes, which enables us to respond to urgent requests such as those from hospital discharge teams. We have a coordinator based in the hospital to ensure telecare is considered as part of care packages and is used to help avoid delayed discharges as much as possible.
The team also works with other agencies such as Fire and Rescue and Social Care, with all services signposting to each other to provide an integrated approach. For example, the Fire Safety Officer may notice an individual without a smoke alarm or one that is incorrectly fitted and can inform CAH to update Service Manager accordingly and refer to the Social Work team. Likewise, other teams will call us to ask for relevant information held on Service Manager to inform their care of service users.
Driving efficiencies in service delivery
Service Manager has allowed the team to create personalised reports which enable us to target proactive, preventative support to people who will benefit from it most, anticipating needs and in some cases avoiding hospital admissions. The software has also meant that we can accept online self-referrals, which has seen the number of people self-funding rise to more than 20%, with the remainder eligible for the service under COSLA critical criteria.
The introduction of Service Manager has also driven efficiency through enabling better stock management, such being able to budget more effectively for battery replacement due to Service Manager’s inventory functionality and the scanning system improving asset management.
Staff members have recently begun to use the scanning functionality of Service Manager, which enables them to manage assets easily and accurately, eliminating paperwork and avoiding the risk of inaccuracy inherent in manual data entry.
CAH continues to look at new ways of working, working with partners to improve the way health, social care and other services are coordinated and exploring new technologies as they emerge. The service is currently considering a 24-hour telehealth service, working with district nurses to help them manage caseloads and empower patients to self-care.