Child watching an ipad sitting by the window

Technology enabled care

With technology taking an increasing important role within social care, the Care Inspectorate has a vital role supporting improvement in this fast-growing area of practice. We do this by working in partnership with a number of sector-based organisations and form part of the Scottish Government’s technology enabled care (TEC) digital social care programme.  Through publication, projects, networking and engagement, we aim to support the generation of knowledge and shared learning in digital social care.  

Our workplan is aligned to the Scottish Government’s Digital Health and Social Care strategy and forms part of the national delivery plan Care in the Digital Age: 2022 to 2023.   

Our good practice guide: Using technology and digital devices to make a positive impact on health and wellbeing for people experiencing care is now published.  

Projects

Annual return TEC questions analysis 

In partnership with the digital social care programme lead, and the Care Inspectorate’s intelligence team, we developed a range of digital technology questions for the Care Inspectorate’s annual return request to all registered services. There was a significant response, which has now been analysed to provide important sector insights on digital social care. The work is ongoing, both to draw out the themes and develop the questions further for next year’s annual return.

Using technology to feedback to children and young people post inspection.

Aligned to the Care Inspectorate’s commitment to the findings of the independent care review, the overall aim of this project is to improve how we involve children and young people in inspection feedback.  To achieve this, we worked with Glasgow city council children’s residential services to test different feedback methods. This involved both face-to-face and video methods of feedback.

The project is entering a new phase and by March 2024, we hope to have developed and implemented a feedback toolkit and procedures, which could be used by all inspectors in the children and young people’s national inspection team.  This stage of implementation begins in December 2023 and involves three inspectors from the children and young people team, young inspection volunteers, methodology team and our communications team.

The associated poster for this project has been selected for display at this year’s Digitfest conference in Glasgow.

Self-evaluation TEC toolkit

We are developing a first draft of a self-evaluation toolkit for the effective use of technology in social care.  This will accompany the recently published TEC good practice guidance.  The development of the toolkit will involve both internal and external consultation and with colleagues in the digital social care team.

TEC good practice guide

This guidance document was published in March this year. The publication followed significant internal and external collaboration with the care sector, TEC programme and Care Inspectorate staff.  It was designed as a general good practice guide and applicable to all service types across early learning and childcare, children and young people and adult services.

The project generated the following outputs:

  • TEC good practice guidance document
  • TEC practice launch webinar – including presentations from the SSSC and the care sector (three spotlighted services across children and adult services)
  • Recorded webinar posted on the Care Inspectorates’ social media channels.

The following measures highlighted excellent engagement at the launch webinar:

  • 312 participants attended the live webinar event and 500 registered to receive the recording. These numbers may reflect individual care services - so the potential reach was significant.
  • 45 post webinar questionnaires completed:
    • All agreed or strongly agreed the webinar helped them to understand how the TEC good practice guide could be used to support improvement. 
    • All agreed or strongly agreed that the webinar supported increased knowledge of how the spotlighted services are using technology in social care. 
    • 98% agreed or strongly agreed the webinar supported your understanding of resources to develop your digital skills and capabilities.
    • 91% agreed or strongly agreed that implementation of the good practice shared in the technology practice guide will improve care. 

PainChek

The aim of this project is to test the value of using a pain monitoring app, which utilises automated facial analysis and artificial intelligence, on outcomes for residents in care homes, by monitoring quality of life indicators, changes to medicines prescribed and used, and ease of use of the app by staff.

In phase 1 the project facilitated a small-scale test with 40 licences funded by the TEC programme (four homes). Phase 1 was a rolling programme with staggered starts. For phase 2, TEC has funded 400 licences to further test PainChek in a range of different contexts. The test will include approximately 10 care services and include a range of user groups and service types (local authority, third sector and voluntary).

Results from phase 1 show that in the three homes with medication data analysed to date, a change in the use of analgesic medicines for many residents when PainChek was introduced. 

The following summarises quality of life measures for the one care home analysed to date:

  • Falls: Initial reduction (first 12 weeks) of 75%
  • Overall reduction (24 weeks) of 42%
  • Stress and distress: Initial reduction of 42%
  • Overall – no change
  • Body Mass Index (BMI): Half of residents had an increased BMI at end of project
  • Dependency: Half of residents had a reduced dependency score at end of test period

TEC professional practice group

Chaired by the senior improvement advisor (TEC), the group was established in 2023 and has a wide representation of colleagues from across the Care Inspectorate. The meeting takes place quarterly, the first of which is on the 1 March 2023.

The following summarises the groups key objectives:

  • identify and promote good practice/research in areas of TEC through a professional practice group made up from different areas of the Care Inspectorate
  • to share learning about TEC to support care, independence and wellbeing
  • link with other internal Care Inspectorate groups or external organisations to collaborate and promote good practice in TEC
  • to communicate across the Care Inspectorate and provide internal reference for TEC projects - senior quality improvement adviser (TEC).

European Social Services Conference, Malmo, Sweden, June 23: Using technology in the planning, design, delivery and evaluation of social services

The Care Inspectorate were invited to sit on the advisory committee for the European Social Services conference 2023. The senior quality improvement adviser (TEC) undertook this role as the conference theme was about how technology can improve participation in social care. Through December and January 2023, the role involved working with European Social Network (ESN) colleagues to consider applications from around the world to showcase projects through workshops, case studies and presentations. The senior quality improvement adviser (TEC) assessed 15 contributions and met with committee members to shortlist selections for the conference. The role involved written feedback on each contribution and attendance at follow up meetings with ESN policy staff to ensure a robust selection process. Following the advisory committee role, ESN provided a complementary ticket to attend the conference in Malmo.

Resources

Bringing generations together

Good practice examples to give care services ideas on how to bring generations together in a variety of care settings in a way that improves the quality of their lives.

Animal magic

A resource celebrating the amazing difference being around and caring for animals makes for many children and adults using a range of care services.

Safe staffing programme

Supporting care services to prepare for enactment of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019.