Lord Carter’s report today suggests that bed blocking costs the NHS £900m a year “Vulnerable and frail patients cannot be released if there is not the support in the community from home care workers or district nursing staff or a place in a care home”.
Whilst, undoubtedly, social care is a key element to allow older and vulnerable people to be released from hospital and go home, there are other things that can be done to help support people and carers in the community.
The case study above from Coventry City Council shows how technology can play an enormous part in getting people home and keeping them at home. We know that independence is so important to older people and, if they are well enough, being at home, feeling safe and confident, has a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.
Information can play a vital role in helping us care better and more effectively – not just to provide the much needed cost savings but to ensure people get the right care, at the right time. Technology can provide this information – the insight, for example, that someone isn’t going into the kitchen at mealtimes, or that they are not putting themselves to bed or getting up several times in the night.
By gathering this information, we can understand a person’s individual needs better – and look after them, better. Makes sense, doesn’t it?