100% Digital Leeds is working with care providers across the city to improve outcomes for staff and residents.
Initially, the Healthwatch Leeds Care Homes report highlighted the current challenges residents in care settings across Leeds face:
- Social deprivation.
- Increased mental health issues.
- Reduced physical activity and movement.
- Fewer social activities.
- Lack of communication with relatives.
With 151 care settings providing a home to over 5,550 residents of all ages and with varying needs and care plans, a range of solutions and interventions will be used to meet the range of health, social and wellbeing needs residents and care providers face.
Alongside these challenges initial insights gathered through conversations with stakeholders and care homes reflect those set out in the Digitising Social Care overview.
There is a need to address the current offer of connectivity and equipment within care settings and the confidence and skills of staff to utilise digital technology and capabilities to best support the people they work with:
- Overall, 60% of staff across care homes report low levels of confidence with using digital technology.
- Staff report a lack of awareness about the available digital technology and its potential uses to support the people they care for.
- Staff report a lack of digital skills or confidence among people with care and support needs or their carers.
- A noted reluctance among people with care and support needs or their carers to use technology and not unaware of the benefits of digital and the full functionality of tablets and digital technology such as voice assistant technology (such as Alexa).
- Care homes expressed a lack of infrastructure such as broadband and wifi. Some only have wifi available in staff offices rather than for use with residents, especially across smaller care settings.
- Where digital has been used it was noted that it has been used in a reactive rather than proactive way, used to support people with care needs when their condition progresses or when they are isolated.
Currently, there are many examples of how digital technology is currently being used in care homes across Leeds to support people to keep in touch with family and friends, to access and provide health and care services, to take advantage of arts and culture activities, and, to increase social interactions.
This work will harness best practice and address the challenges set out above to support care settings to embed digital inclusion within their service offer to reduce health inequalities and increase improved outcomes for their residents and workforce.
For care settings to reach a level of digital maturity that can best support staff and residents, 100% Digital Leeds is working to achieve the following:
- Care settings embedding digital inclusion within their existing activities and services.
- Care recipients making use of digital technology to support their wellbeing, independence, engagement, cognitive stimulation, and increase social connection.
- The upskilling of care workers to provide support to residents and provide high quality and efficient care.
- Care settings utilising efficient digital solutions such as NHS mail, Data Security Protection Toolkit systems, and proxy ordering, as well as scheduling healthcare appointments, managing the records of care recipients, and using other digital healthcare technologies and practices to make the quality of care provided. This efficiency allows staff to focus more on resident care.
- Supporting the implementation and rollout of the Digital Social Care Record.
This has included assessing the current connectivity and device offer within care homes and supporting care home staff to have the knowledge, skills, confidence, capacity, and resources to support the digital and health inclusion of the people they work with, in a way that best meets their needs.
Digital inclusion in care settings is essential for enhancing the overall quality of life for residents, improving communication, providing access to information and healthcare services, and facilitating efficient administration.
“Staff were able to document a full morning routine in under one minute which would normally have taken half an hour. This enables us to spend time with residents and provide more person-orientated care.”Manager, Park Avenue Care Home
“Having the support of 100% Digital Leeds has been fantastic for our care homes. Not only support but also encouragement and excitement to use more digital resources in creative ways, that benefit not only residents’ connections with the community and their families, but digital inclusion also for staff, with training, increasing their motivation and confidence with digital resources.”Iria Cunha, Wellbeing Development Manager, Springfield Care Villages