Tech will cut social care cost – but mean fewer home visits

Tech will cut social care cost – but mean fewer home visits.

Tech will cut social care cost - but mean fewer home visits - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

Essex County Council says monitoring will reduce the cost of adult social care but there will be fewer visits. Photo: Pixabay.

A new scheme using digital technology to help support people to live independent lives in their own homes will save Essex County Council almost £12 million over three years.

The council is now inviting tender to provide technology that may include Telecare – devices in the home which monitor the resident’s safety and wellbeing including: personal sensors, assistive technology and remote monitoring and virtual solutions.

However, it will lead to fewer jobs in the care sector in Essex.

The expected costs of the new plan increase from £8.4million for first three years to £28.6 million for the full seven years.

However, through this new contract it is estimated that additional savings of £11.8 million would be achievable over three years, which will pay for the investment required.

Councillor John Spence, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “It is not about trying to cut staff visits – although it is true there will be fewer – a lot of the savings will arise because people will not need to go into residential care. They will be able to stay in their home for longer and they will not need to have the intensity of domiciliary care that otherwise would be required.

“Why is this running ahead of expectation in the financial benefit? Because it is achieving a greater usage than we had projected and we are seeing greater saving coming because they are using the technology more.”

Essex County Council has previously said that “radical change” is needed for adult social care funding given the stresses it faces – adult social care and public health funding represented almost half of the county council’s total £1 billion budget spending during 2017/18.

In this year’s council tax bill one per cent has been ring-fenced to adult social care.

More than four in 10 adult social care users in Essex say they have to pay for private care to top up the support they need.

Those are the latest findings from the Personal Social Services Adult Social Care Survey released by the NHS on Tuesday (October 22).

The annual survey asks adult social care users, who are given long-term support that is paid for or managed by social services, questions about the help they’ve received.

In Essex, more than one in four adult social care users (29.4 per cent) said they were forced to pay privately out of their own pockets for additional care and support to meet their needs in 2018/19.

A further 13 per cent said that while they personally hadn’t forked out for additional care and support, a family member had.

That means a combined total of 42.4 per cent of users had paid for private help.

The national average stood at 39.7 per cent across England in 2018/19.

Creative Commons Disclosure

This news story was published by East London & West Essex Guardian Series. Click here to see the original article.

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Tech will cut social care cost – but mean fewer home visits.