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The UTOPIA project: using telecare for older people in adult social care. The findings of a 2016-17 national survey of local authority telecare provision for older people in England

Author(s)

WOOLHAM John, et al

Publisher(s):

King's College London. Social Care Workforce Research Unit

Publication year:

2018

This report describes how electronic assistive technology and telecare are used by local authorities in England to support older people. It is based on an online survey of local authority telecare managers to identify local authority’s aims when offering telecare to older people, the methods they use to assess whether their objectives are achieved, and how telecare is operationalised and delivered. It also aimed to explore why the findings of the earlier the Whole System Demonstrator project - which found no evidence that telecare improved outcomes - have been overlooked by local authorities and policy makers, and whether there is other evidence that could account for WSD findings. The survey results found a third of local authorities used research evidence to inform telecare services and half were also aware of the Whole System Demonstrator. It also found that telecare is used in most local authorities to save money. Although there was some evidence of monitoring, there was no evidence of local authorities adopting agreed standards. The final section of the report provides suggestions for improving telecare service practice. They include the areas of using telecare as a substitute for social care; expanding the focus on telecare beyond risk management, safety and cost reduction; the impact of telecare on family members, carrying out effective assessments, and training. (Edited publisher abstract)


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