Technology & Equipment
These services are provided by companies which have not been approved nor endorsed by HCPA, and these do not represent paid promotions. These have been provided as helpful information.
Technology within social care during COVID-19 is proving to be important to support those vulnerable and isolated in their own homes or within residential homes. A big part of technology over this time is enabling both care homes and home care to support individuals in connecting to loved ones.
This resource has been put together to give guidance on using technology throughout COVID-19. These are possible suggestions for enhancing business communication and keeping those you are caring for in touch with family and friends.
We work closely with partners in the county to ensure that, as a care provider, you are fully supported to ensure that you have the most appropriate and best care equipment (subscribed and non-subscribed). Our partners are trusted by numerous clients and customers thanks to the dedication with which they work. They employ rigorous and stringent quality tests as well while following the best practices. They ensure that quality is not compromised upon.
Ranges include Nursing Equipment, Disposable PPE, Cleaning Supplies, Medical Supplies and Incontinence products. They also offer Hoist Servicing, LOLER testing and all spare parts for hoists
Digital Social Care
A free helpline to support adult social care providers in the new uptake in technology during COVID- 19. The helpdesk can support providers on topics including NHSmail and using technology to connect individuals to friends and family. Digital Social Care will be collecting feedback from the helpline and share best practice to how technology is being used in the sector.
The helpline is available Monday-Friday 9am – 5pm 02081 333430 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
GDPR and Secure Email
GDPR and Data Protection
Recent studies show many Care Providers are not meeting their legal duties as regard Data Protection laws/GDPR. To use Digital Services, such as NHS Mail, Online Proxy medications, GP connect, iPads provided by Local Authorities or NHS, Providers MUST ensure they care compliant with the law.
The best and most cost efficient method to check your GDPR compliance is to answer the questions in the NHS Data Security and Protection Toolkit. Answering just 27 questions takes a provider to “Approaching Standards”. Answering a further 17 questions provides a Nationally recognised status of “Standards Met”.
If your GDPR is up to date, the toolkit takes 30 mins to publish. If you are not up to date with GDPR, HCPA can help (for free). Get in touch with the team today.
Staff training – Cyber-awareness
NHS Mail – Secure email
Most email systems are not secure and using these to share personal data might mean a prosecution or a fine. NHS Mail is a free, fast and secure method of communication between GP Practices and Care Homes, hospitals and other clinical and community services. It allows the secure sharing of information, complying with the GDPR as well as regulations for CQC and other statutory bodies.
- Click here to view the NHS Mail frequently asked questions
- Click here for a directory of secure email addresses and NHS Mail addresses for Hertfordshire’s Care Sector
- For sustained access to NHS Mail, Providers must publish an annual Data Security and Protection Toolkit
The Data Security and Protection Toolkit
The Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) is a really helpful, annual self-assessment for health and care organisations. It is a pre-requisite for access to NHS systems, including NHS Mail and Proxy Access to GP records. This toolkit allows providers to assert compliance with data protection laws and standards. Using this toolkit isn’t just about technology but about information that is held by your organisation, about any person, staff, resident and visitor. All organisations that have access to NHS patient data and systems must use this toolkit to show that their organisation is practicing good data security and that personal information is held correctly.
Data Security and Protection Toolkit and NHS Mail: update for adult social care providers
- Publishing the Toolkit is now to be included as a requirement for commissioned services, written into contracts.
- Publishing the Toolkit is a CQC expectation, and provides some answers to KLOEs – See the latest statement here.
Since March 2021 HCPA has been commissioned to support all registered providers in Hertfordshire and Essex to complete the DSPT toolkit. To express an interest in obtaining support to complete the toolkit please email the DSPT team at: email@example.com
– All HCPA support for the Data Security and Protection Toolkit is free: Click here
– Webinars, videos, templates and guidance documents are available here: Click here
– You can call or email the DSPT Team for help, to answer questions, to book onto webinars or to arrange a free support session: 01707 70 80 18 / DataProtection@hcpa.co.uk
The Facebook portal is a smart video calling device. Smart sound enhances the voice, so background noise is minimised, producing a great quality video call. Calling family and friends is easy through Facebook or WhatsApp calling. If you are a service provider, the portal requires you to set up a Facebook page for your calls and add the family and friends of the people you support.
See below for a Facebook Portal case study of 2 sisters purchasing a portal for their Dad who lives in a Care Home:
During the Coronavirus lockdown 2 sisters got their Dad a Facebook portal so they can keep in contact during isolation. Their Dad lives in a care home and struggles using his iPad and mobile phone. Facetime was proving to difficult to use due to finding it too difficult to operate. Their Dad has said that he really enjoys using the Portal and it is as good as having a visit. It has been easy to set up which staff at the care home can help with. Having the Portal has proven to be crucial during lockdown, by having this technology can help reduce isolation and loneliness, especially during a time with such uncertainty.
KOMP is a one button computer perfect for people who do not have experience in using technology.
The whole family can easily connect to the device through an app and send photos, messages and make video calls. A problem that we are facing is that technology is difficult to get used to, it is proving to be important to prevent loneliness and social isolation since COVID-19, and so it is difficult to reach out to those who do not want to use technology. This one button device has a high contrast screen and clear audio, making it easy to see and hear family.
Photo credit: www.noisolation.com/komp/
Artificial intelligence tools that can improves early diagnosis for vulnerable patients.
The platform connects to a wide range of point-of-care devices such as wearables and digital stethoscopes. The platform has regular health monitoring for chronic and acute conditions. Essential information collected from the community can reduce the demand of GP appointments and help promote and enable independent living. Feebris are working closely to optimise the platform for self-care, monitoring chronic conditions, early identification of acute episodes and mange frailty.
VideoVisit is a remote care platform that has all the tools for social and health care service providers to offer care out of hospitals. VideoVisit home is targeted towards those living independently at home. The client at home receives a tablet which is on constantly for 24/7 monitoring. It isn’t aimed to replace home care but can support caregivers by replacing lighter home care visits – allowing more time to those who require more physical care.
Cuppa Care – funded by Skills for Care (Micro App Learning)
This is an application product that you can download on smartphones. This will allow care staff to access quality lite bite training and information through their smartphone. This will allow them to have the resources necessary to carry out their task in a quality manner. Management can easily assign content relevant to each staff for personal development, this also comes with a content tracker for progress on a user-friendly interface, it is currently getting ready to
HCPA Stop Falls APP
The StopFalls app has been updated with all new resources and guidance keeping you up-to-date with best practices and legislations around intervening and preventing falls in those more vulnerable, through useful assessments, post-fall techniques, and updated exercise videos.
- Updates to all resources
- The newly added ‘PRISMA’ Frailty Assessment tool is a 7 item questionnaire to identify frailty in a person
- The newly added ‘Timed-Up-and-Go’ resource to determine a person’s falls risk from sitting to standing, walking and balance
- All new exercise videos to help app users to follow the correct movements for both standing, and chair-based exercises
- Brand new ‘Intervention’ section which gives you access to the ‘Urgent Falls Checklist’ which can be used as a guideline used by the East of England Ambulance service on how to best respond to a fall
- The Intervention section also includes resources on how to help a person get up safely from a fall on their front, and from someone who has fallen onto their back
- The Intervention section gives users access to the ‘SBAR Communication Tool’, to support your service and staff to assess a situation or symptom and who to contact at the correct health service
- Added a new ‘Risk Factor’: ‘UTI’s and Delirium
- Made overall improvements to reduce the size of the App
Memory Tracks – A care app to support people living with Dementia
Memory Tracks is an app that helps stimulate memory, manage agitation, assist with care and support important daily routines through song-task association. By connecting songs to necessary tasks can help change behaviour positively, making it easier to give and receive care. A recent study on Memory tracks showed that residents were happier and made a difference to the staffs every day care tasks, improving care.
Vine Health is an app to help individuals get through cancer. Vine Health work with oncologists, specialist cancer nurses and patients which allow patients to report, monitor their symptoms, medication and activity levels. Managing a condition like cancer can be complex and challenging, it can be difficult to keep track of lifestyle changes and manage day to day. Studies have shown that by tracking symptoms, side effects can improve an individual’s quality of life.
Ampersand Health Self-management app
Ampersand Health Self-management app is a tool that has been developed to help and empower patients to manage their disease. Long term health conditions challenge the NHS, those that can manage their long term health conditions can have up to 38% fewer emergency admissions and 32% fewer attendances to A&E. It is important for individuals to understand why specific medications are taken, more information about their disease, manage stress and anxiety, all without going into the hospital.
Aparito is a platform that makes it easier for patients and physicians to collect patient data. The data is collected via the mobile app and wearable devices which can help view patients symptoms and wellbeing. Real time data is delivered to help create a more accurate picture of how treatment works or how a disease progresses.
Free technology for any vulnerable individuals during COVID-19. Specifically aimed at those living with a learning disability, the app supports independent living skills in the home. AutonoMe breaks down outcomes which are measured against The Care Act, the app can show how much an individual has progressed towards their outcome. With each local authority, AutonoMe works with a local engagement officer to support staff, providers and other key partners to embed AutonoMe into practice.
My Health Guide
My health guide is an app used for adults with learning disabilities. It allows individuals to give carers and medical staff more of an understanding of their health needs. Nutritional needs, feelings and healthcare can be communicated through audio, pictures, video and text.
Cool Care (Management Software)
Cool Care offers management staff some free software DURING covid-19 to help head offices staff access resident and staff records remotely. CoolCare have been making it possible for care homes to maintain business continuity through this time and assist the running of the business processes remotely. The free offer enables care homes to manage enquires, monitor staff training, appraisal and pre-start checks – especially if have new staff starting during this time.
Is now a free for service providers to sign up to if you have NHS email addresses. Video calls can be used for people receiving care to keep in touch with friends and family and Care staff to communicate with health and care organisations.
You can log in to Teams by following these steps:
– In your internet browser, go to teams.microsoft.com
– Log in using your new NHS mail email address and password
NHSX – Choosing an internet connection for your Care Home
NHSX have information to assist you with your internet connection. There are important things to know before upgrading the internet or taking out a new contract during COVID-19:
1. Broadband speed and availability in your area
2. Contract and cots
3. Types of internet services
View this digital services guide to improve communication and information-sharing in your Care Home during COVID-19. It is important that care home’s residents and staff are protected by making use of video services, application and digital tools.
Electronic Care Planning
Use of Electronic Care Records in Homecare Providers
Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) have received an increased number of concerns and queries relating to providers’ use of electronic care records. HCC are aware that many of our contracted providers are choosing to use such systems to support their businesses.
Whilst the Council supports the use of such systems, providers must be mindful that going entirely paperless will not be appropriate for every service user and their family/carer and the provider will need to facilitate access to information where this is required, this may for example be by secure email or in some circumstances through continued use of paper versions of diary records etc in the home of the person you support.
As a minimum the Council expects the following information to be in a service user’s home:
- A Service User Guide
- A care plan so that the service user and/or their legal representative and any visiting professionals are able to see the care support that an individual has
Here are some other things that should be considered when using electronic care records:
- People using a service must be able to access and contribute to their own records in their preferred format, which is in line with the Accessible Information Standard.
- Providers must ensure systems are robust and secure with contingency in place should systems go down.
- Individuals and their family/carers should not be charged to access information for example via an app.
- Providers will need to evidence that they have discussed choices relating to information and documentation with the person they support and their family/carer (where appropriate).
- It is not sufficient to assume individuals are happy with electronic care records because they have not specifically raised a concern or requested alternative options.
- Individuals MUST be made aware of the options open to them and this will be monitored by the Council through reviews and monitoring visits.
- Providers need to be mindful of confidentiality and steps will need to be undertaken to support the individual to decide who can have access to what information.
- Social Care Professionals and Monitoring Officers employed by HCC will require access to information to support statutory reviews and quality assurance processes. Providers therefore will receive requests for data and information, and the must be responded to within 24 hours or sooner where requested.
If you have any queries relating to the use of electronic care records please speak to your Monitoring Officer in the first instance.
Eclipse is a care management solution allowing staff to capture what matters and builds a person centres profile for each client. Assessment and care plans are available on every carers phone so everyone can keep up to date. All this makes it easier to record your clients’ needs consistently and effectively.
Memohub is an unobtrusive home monitoring for peace of mind to make sure that your family are safe. This app is a digital telecare platform to help families keep up-to-date daily with their loved ones. Memo uses wireless sensors to help monitor activity around the house, it can monitor ordinary behaviour and detect anything unusual. The app offers reassurance, independence and insight to daily activities which can be tailored to suit the family.
Buddi Connect app is a wrist band that communicates alerts and data to family member. The wristband pairs to the app and uses the user’s smartphone to pair. If the user doesn’t have a smart phone, then they can use the Buddi clip that can send updates to family.
Just Checking Supplies
Just checking supplies is an activity monitoring system that help people living independently in their own homes by showing day-today activities. This platform can support those living with Dementia and those living with learning disabilities. Sensors are placed in every room of the house; movement triggers the sensors and activity can then be logged by the family, with alerts set up.
Moving and Handling
Moving and handling is a key part of the working day for most frontline workers; from moving equipment, laundry, catering, supplies or waste, to assisting residents in moving.
If not done effectively poor moving and handling practice can lead to:
- Back pain and musculoskeletal disorders (which can lead to inability to work).
- Moving and handling accidents that can injure both the person being moved and the employee.
- Discomfort and lack of dignity for the person being moved.
It is therefore extremely important that all care providers take action to prevent or minimise the risk of injury.
Alarms and Home Sensors
As we age, we may become more frail. The below technologies provide peace of mind for citizens and individuals and their families that support is available whenever it’s needed, not just when they are receiving care. From wearables to smart plugs, there are plenty of options dependent on needs and preferences.
Taking Care are the first Which? approved personal alarm provider and are trusted to provide Age UK personal alarms and monitoring. Their personal alarms are available in a variety of styles, making them suitable for all ages and abilities. Their three UK-based Emergency Resolution Centres provide 24 hour monitoring for complete peace of mind.
Herts Careline care alarm systems make a big difference to the independence, safety and wellbeing of people of all ages and circumstances across Hertfordshire.
You can have a community alarm if you:
- are an older or vulnerable person
- are at risk
- are an adult with long term health needs
- live alone
- are returning home from hospital
- are prone to falls
- have a disability or restricted mobility
- are an unpaid carer and would like support when you can’t be at home
- have any other reason to benefit from 24/7 peace of mind that we can bring.
Telecare are passionate about avoiding premature admissions to care homes. A Telecare Alarm service provides elderly people who live alone with somebody to call for help if they suffer a fall, feel unwell or need some reassurance. Simplicity is at the heart of the Telecare Alarm and their 24-hour service allows elderly people across the UK to remain confident in the comfort of their own home.
Technology Success Stories
- Wicksteed Court Care Home specialises in providing care for the elderly and those with dementia. They received one of the 11,000 iPads given out by the government and share their experience here. Read more…
- Westmorland Homecare is one of the largest homecare services in South Cumbria, rated outstanding by the CQC. The team use a digital system for rota planning, record keeping and supporting carers while on visits. Read more…
Resources and Tools
Age UK – technology and internet
Age UK have developed guides to help the people you support stay safe online.
» Click here to view their guide on using the internet safely. This includes a list of online scams and how to protect privacy and devices.
» Click here to find out the many ways to make video calls and prevent the feeling of loneliness.
» Click here to view a glossary of digital terms than may come up when using the internet.
Rix Multi Me toolkit
Rix Multi Me toolkit is for carers, health and social care staff, care providers and community organisations to help stay connected to the people you support through a secure social network. Stay connected is a bundle of tools that offers a simple way to stay connected with those who have learning disabilities.
Online communities offer a support network for people to chat and take part in learning and leisure activities online. Carers and other Professionals can structure the support they can offer remotely by helping plan day to day activities, specifically if people are staying at home more after COVID-19.
Health at Home
If an individual needs an NHS service, (unless there is a life-threatening emergency or are advised to attend an appointment) the NHS Health at Home campaign will direct individuals to information about how to contact the GP, order repeat prescriptions, manage wellbeing and existing conditions.