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Thursday, 12 April 2018

Webwatch: Using Apps like Uber can help revolutionise social care

Written by Sam Lister

Social care should take inspiration from apps like Uber to offer individualised services for people who need support, according to experts.

The sector desperately needs a "creative disruption" that will encourage people to manage their care according to their own needs, the incoming President of the Association of Directors of Social Services (ADSS) will say.

In a speech in Staffordshire, Glen Garrod will urge providers to be more innovative and look at how technology can revolutionise care in the way industries like taxis, delivery and mapping have been transformed.

He will say: "We desperately need to see creative disruption in social care, and in order to do that, we must encourage many more people to manage their care according to their own needs and desires."

Motion sensors have already been used in some homes to work out how mobile householders are and what support they need.

Work has also been done on tracking flu injections to prevent winter NHS pressures.

Mr Garrod will add: "The next opportunity stems from how digital technology can enable care and support to be more heavily influenced and shaped by those who need it and, to be truly personalised.

"We need a transformative digital offer, which affords people the information and advice to self-assess and commission online.

"We need to make it easier for people buying their own services, or who wish to connect with others seeking to do the same irrespective of whether they need state funding or have their own means using their own creativity and entrepreneurial instincts."

The Government is drawing up a green paper on social care that is expected to be published in the coming months.

Mr Garrod will say that helping the public to recognise the importance of social care will be "the most essential task" for the sector over the next year.

"Whether it's the young adult with a profound disability or the grandparent with dementia, social care is there for us when we are at our most vulnerable," he will say.

"Helping the public to understand our contribution is perhaps our single most important task over the next year.

"They are the force for change to be reckoned with, the power to be harnessed."

Care minister Caroline Dinenage said a Government green paper will outline "vital reforms" to set out sustainable financing for the sector.

She added: "The social care sector, and the workforce that underpins it, fulfils an essential role in caring for society's most vulnerable people.

"However, it's clear that the system is facing unprecedented pressures as a result of our ageing population."

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