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Smart Working Helps People to Live Better Lives

A new approach to help people in South Tyneside live independently in their communities for longer has led to the council being shortlisted for a national award.

The latest digital 'smart home' technology has been introduced across the Borough, providing personalised support, particularly to people living with dementia.

A combined service offering enhanced support for people who have been discharged from hospital, a rapid response service for emergencies and, for the first time, a night visiting service which sees regulated care workers offering enhanced support to people living in their own home, is also now being offered.

The new approach has led to the Council being named as finalists in the International Technology Enabled Care Awards in the category of Innovation in TEC award.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, said: "We know people are keen to remain independent and in their own homes for as long as possible.

"By investing in the latest digital technology, we can help to maximise people's independence in a more proactive and less intrusive way.

"The changes we have made to our telecare service have allowed us to improve our systems and processes to support people to remain independent and enabled us to make the best use of our resources."

The new sensor-based assistive technology can recognise people's routines and spot anything out of the ordinary, allowing staff to intervene quickly when problems are highlighted. Alerts can be monitored by council staff or sent directly to family members through smartphones.

As a result of the changes, people can be supported at home in a range of different circumstances, including supporting safe and timely discharges from hospital. The new system has also improved outcomes for people using the telecare service as they are now visited by care professionals who are able to respond to people with a wide range of complex needs and wider health issues.

Since the changes were implemented, there has been a reduction in the number of admissions to residential care while delays in people being transferred from hospital to home or care have been cut by 54 per cent.

The finals of the awards will be held on 16 October at the ICC at Birmingham.


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