DIGITAL TELECARE PROGRAMME OBJECTIVES FOR 2021
DAVID BROWN, BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP MANAGER, DIGITAL TELECARE FOR SCOTTISH LOCAL GOVERNMENT
As part of our planning and preparation for the coming 12 months within the Digital Telecare programme, it’s been helpful to review progress to date and look back over activity during 2020. The previous 12 months have been challenging for obvious reasons. The Covid-19 pandemic has been unprecedented in its impact and scale, and the response by telecare service providers over the first few months of last year was remarkable.
As the pandemic has gathered pace, health and social care staff across all roles and services in Scotland have shown incredible resilience under extraordinary pressures and have adapted quickly to work in flexible and innovative ways to keep people safe, keep the lights on, and continue to deliver critical services.
From a programme perspective, the Digital Telecare team worked closely with Scottish Government TEC programme, and Technology Enabled Care in Housing (TECH) Programme colleagues to support telecare service providers in a wide variety of areas, and some fantastic progress was made by service providers in their analogue to digital transition during this time despite broader pressures and challenges.
The Digital Telecare Team would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the delivery of the Digital Telecare programme in 2020. The key highlights below showcase the significant progress which was made to support and drive forward the digital telecare agenda.
1. Digital Telecare Playbook Development
The Digital Telecare team launched the following three pathways onto the Digital Telecare Playbook to support telecare service providers with their journey to digital telecare.
2. Launch of the Digital Telecare Insight Service
The Insight Service which is issued on a monthly basis, explores and provides our stakeholders with guidance and key information on current hot topics in relation to digital telecare transformation. Telecare service providers can view the Insight Services by searching ‘Insight Service’ in the document library of the Digital Telecare Playbook.
3. Launch of the Digital Telecare Security Assessment Scheme
A Digital Telecare Security Assessment Scheme was launched to centrally assess suppliers cyber security saving telecare service providers the time and resource required to undertake this due diligence individually. The first iteration of the Assessed Suppliers List is expected to be ready for quarter one 2021 and will be available on the Digital Telecare Playbook.
4. Launch of the Digital Telecare Monthly Blog
The monthly Digital Telecare blog was launched to provide telecare service providers with individual perspectives from sector leaders and thought leadership around the future of digital telecare. Topics have included: challenges of the telephony migration, proactive well-being calls and raising awareness of the urgent need to transition to digital telecare. All of the monthly blogs can be accessed on the Digital Telecare Playbook.
5. Publication of Initial COVID-19 Information and Guidance
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, a Telecare Service Continuity Information Communication for telecare service providers was created and issued jointly by Digital Telecare for Scottish Local Government and the TEC Programme. The initial communication focused on providing national support, and fortnightly drop-in sessions were subsequently conducted to provide business continuity support on a range of key operational and strategic topics.
6. National Telecare COVID-19 Advisory Group
Formed in March 2020, the purpose of the Advisory Group was to advise on key focus areas for the national response, taking in to consideration existing and planned national work and potential longer term benefits of COVID-19 response initiatives.
7. Digital Telecare Implementation Award Scheme
A brand new Implementation Award Scheme was launched in August 2020 to provide recognition to telecare service providers across Scotland when reaching five key milestones during their transition to digital telecare. Telecare service providers can find out more about the Implementation Award Scheme and the application process on the Digital Telecare Playbook.
8. Digital Telecare Funding Opportunity
Launched and delivered a funding opportunity for telecare service providers to apply for Scottish Government TEC programme funding to support their analogue to digital transition. 18 applicants were successful during this exercise and will be receiving funding to support their transition. The successful applicants include: twelve local authority health and social care partnerships (hscp), four housing associations and two joint hscp/housing partnerships. Many of these newly funded providers have been progressing their digital telecare programmes in isolation over the past 12-18 months, and their inclusion provides a significant opportunity from a programme perspective, to unlock greater opportunities for collaboration, shared learning and to scale up digital telecare transition across Scotland.
9. National Briefing Document
On 3rd of December, Digital Telecare for Scottish Local Government launched a National Briefing Document. Co-created with health and social care partnerships across Scotland, the National Briefing Document will be used to raise awareness of the urgency and importance of the switch from analogue to digital telecare as we approach the earliest switchover date of 2023. It contains a roadmap detailing the process of upgrading from analogue to digital telecare, aligning with the accelerated deadline of 2023, alongside essential guidance on benefits, risks, impact on service users and links to further support the Digital Telecare team provides. This document can be accessed on the Digital Telecare Playbook and is a fantastic resource that telecare service providers must utilise to ensure they transition to a digital telecare safely, securely, and prior to the analogue network switch off.
Following on from our fantastic progress made in 2020, the Digital Telecare team have outlined the subsequent key objectives for 2021 to continue to drive forward the digital telecare agenda.
1. Digital Telecare Playbook Development
The Digital Telecare team are planning to launch three new pathways onto the Digital Telecare Playbook to provide guidance and support to telecare service providers on the following:
2. Remote Working Test of Change
Launch and delivery of a test of change project designed to support providers to deploy remote working capability which allows staff involved in telecare delivery to access the telecare solution out with the provider’s main site.
3. Telecare Service Provider Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Meetings
Launch of a new monthly Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meeting for telecare service providers to support collaboration and provide access to specialist technical expertise and guidance to support digital telecare transition.
4. Recruitment to Housing Transition Manager role
Late in 2020 it was agreed that third sector housing telecare service providers should be formally included in the scope for the programme. Recruitment to a Housing Transition Manager role to support this process concluded recently and it is anticipated the post holder will commence in the first quarter of 2021.
5. Scottish Telecare Service Provider Forum
The Digital Telecare team are launching a bi-annual Telecare Service Provider Forum to bring together telecare service providers across Scotland. This Forum will be jointly delivered alongside the Scottish Government TEC programme and Technology Enabled Care in Housing (TECH). This will provide telecare service providers with the opportunity to network, share innovative ideas and get updates on activity progress from other telecare service providers.
6. Digital Migration and Ofcom Liaison
Following the reports of migration issues by providers and the work done with surveys and analysis in Autumn 2020, a new monthly survey to allow providers to register migration issues has been developed and will be rolled out at the start of 2021. This will allow escalation to Ofcom on a more active basis as and when they occur. The Digital Telecare Team will continue to act as liaison between telecare providers and Ofcom throughout 2021.
7. Digital Health Europe Twinning Project
The Digital Telecare team will continue to work with TEC colleagues to facilitate focused knowledge exchange activities between members of the telecare community in Scotland with their counterparts from the Agder region of southern Norway and the Andalucia region of Spain. Further information on the Digital Health Europe Twinning project can be found in last month’s blog.
8. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Project
Working collaboratively with TEC colleagues and telecare service providers to support development of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) project which will explore opportunities around telecare service on design and the integration of consumer technologies.
9. Ongoing operational and strategic support for providers undertaking the digital telecare transition
Provision of wide-ranging support including:
As early as 2023, it will no longer be possible for citizens to purchase an analogue phone service from many of the main communications providers in Scotland, and work is underway now which is impacting on operational teams and service users. The current global pandemic has clearly shown the speed at which telecare service providers can mobilize change and adapt to continue to deliver crucial and effective services during times of significant pressure. A key part of this response has been the rapid adoption, implementation and uptake of digital and technological solutions. As we continue to progress through our journey towards digital telecare over the next 12 months, it is vital that we remain focused and continue to work collaboratively with colleagues across the sector to ensure that we unlock the power that digital transformation offers to provide greater opportunities to move from a reactive to a proactive model, and re-design and enhance the range of services that can be offered to citizens.