Zoe BelfordZoe Belford, Director of Occupational Therapy Consultants Ltd outlines her top three tips for training health and social care staff in technology enabled care services.

When it comes to training professionals in the health and social care industry to use technology enabled care services, here are my top three tips for getting the best out of the training.

1. Ensure the training is tailored to the specific needs of each professional group.

2. Ensure the training is tailored to the specific needs of the service users they are supporting.

3. Be aware of TECS associated government, local and professional directives.

So what do I mean by tailoring the training to the needs of each professional group?

Groups will usually consist of management staff, social care and health professionals. Here are some considerations for working with these different professional groups.

Health & social care managers

Managers are under pressure to meet efficiency savings targets whilst ensuring the best quality of care for service users. Use case studies to demonstrate how TECS can be used as an assessment and intervention process to identify staffing needs. For example, waking staff can be reduced to sleeping and sleeping staff can be removed safely with TECS. Cost benefits analysis of lifeline provision (approx. £234 per anum) versus cost of sleeping staff (£14,000.00 per anum) for example.

Social workers and adult support co-ordinators

It’s their job to assess care packages and need to ensure that the people they support receive just the right amount of support that is as least restrictive as possible. It is therefore important to show them how TECS can be used as an assessment tool to identify exactly how much staff support a service user needs.

TECS can:

  • Support them with assessing people’s routines and needs (especially when that person is unable to communicate their needs or if support workers or families have differing opinions).
  • Provide them with the evidence-based practice they need to ensure that care packages are bespoke to the individual.
  • Free up support workers to work with other people.
  • Minimise the needs for “checks” thus promoting better sleep quality and privacy and dignity for service users. Provision of enuresis sensors is a good example of this.

Doctors, Psychologists and Nurses

Health professionals are predominantly focussed on the health needs of their client group. TECS can be used in unique ways to support them to identify sleep patterns and daily routines which can have impact on pain recognition and behaviour, particularly when service users are unable to communicate this to us. TECS can also monitor serious health conditions to alert staff to support and record important medical data, such as epilepsy sensors.

Occupational Therapists

OTs are interested in people being as independent as possible. They teach independent living skills and if a person is unable to learn a particular skill, they compensate by providing equipment or adapting the environment.

TECS can support OTs by providing equipment to compensate a barrier. For example, safety packages such as smoke alarms, flood detectors and gas detectors can be connected to a lifeline, so appropriate support can be sent out.

Speech and Language Therapists

Specialist in supporting their client’s with communication. TECS can support people who have barriers to their communication. For example, personal alarms and specialist switches can enable service user to summon a response from support workers.

Physiotherapists

PT’s are focussed on physical function which can affect mobility and transfers. TECS can support them with falls management. Falls detectors, bed leaving sensors and floor level beds can support with reducing the risk of falls.

Occupational Therapy Consultants Ltd specialises in TECS for people with complex needs. We are both HCPC registered Occupational Therapists and Assistive Technologists. OTC is experienced in working for the NHS and local authorities. Find out more at http://occupationaltherapyconsultants.co.uk or follow them on Twitter @OT_Consultants.