A new collaboration agreement between the organisations tasked with delivering digital telecare in Scotland and Wales aims to make it easier for local residents to access the best possible levels of telecare in order to manage the risks associated with independent living.
The collaboration between Digital Office for Scottish Local Government and TEC Cymru aims to provide a cohesive approach to telecare, including remote, real-time monitoring, thereby maximising the support available to those who need it.
In addition to sharing best practice and guidance between Scotland and Wales, the organisations will look to create a unified central resource centre for essential documents and toolkits relating to the digital migration of telecare services.
In Scotland, a resource centre, known as the Digital Playbook, already exists and was created by Digital Office for Scottish Local Government. It aims to support local telecare services on how to effectively transition their existing service to ‘digital’.
In Wales, TEC Cymru, the national programme for technology enabled care funded by Welsh Government, will create its own resource centre, drawing on available assets, innovation and best practice from Scotland.
This will further include the findings from key strategic studies commissioned in November around:
These findings will also be shared with Digital Office for Scottish Local Government with the view to then create, share and maintain mutually beneficial telecare assets within the respective resource centres on an ongoing basis.
The collaboration agreement will include free exchange of telecare-related research, technical standards, documentation and other media assets.
Martyn Wallace, Chief Digital Officer at Digital Office for Scottish Local Government, said: “With the analogue to digital telephony switchover in December 2025 getting ever closer, I'm delighted to be entering into this new partnership with colleagues in TEC Cymru.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity that will build on the existing relationship we have had whilst also harnessing the benefits of collaboration and partnership working to build new Digital Telecare services and solutions that will improve outcomes for citizens in Scotland and Wales, now and in the future.”
Mike Ogonovsky, Senior Responsible Officer at TEC Cymru, said: “The need for a national programme for telecare in Wales has been spoken about for several years amongst the 22 local authorities that deliver this vital service.
“In recent years, challenges such as austerity measures, short term funding, income targets and lack of specialist ‘TEC’ knowledge have made it difficult for councils and housing associations to provide telecare, ensuring help is always available to citizens and tenants.
“By understanding the picture across Wales on how these services were being delivered and forming this collaboration with Digital Office for Scottish Local Government, TEC Cymru can look to scale the adoption of TEC into areas of health and social care at pace, supplemented with robust evidence and evaluation.”
David Brown, Business Relationship Manager, Digital Office for Scottish Local Government, said: “Closer collaboration with colleagues from TEC Cymru will be an accelerant for the Digital Telecare Programme.
“It introduces a new source of innovation, best practice and guidance we can learn from, and creates the opportunity to work in partnership to tackle common challenges and unlock new innovations.
“The end destination may be broadly similar, but the journey there is going to be smoother and swifter as a result of this partnership.”
Sara Khalil, Programme Lead at TEC Cymru, said: “Following on from the initial Discovery Report into telecare services in Wales, one of the key themes TEC Cymru needed to address is the analogue to digital migration of telecoms equipment, in which telecare services and its users will be majorly impacted.
“One of the key mission statements for the Telecare Programme is ‘to have a fully digital telecare offering ahead of the 2025 deadline’. Therefore, it is imperative that we provide the correct advice, support, resource and time dedicated to achieving this mission.
“This collaboration with Digital Office for Scottish Local Government, which already has a playbook in place, will enable us to accelerate our approach while learning and building upon the excellent work to date. Maximising our collective resources has to be the way to achieve the best possible outcomes for both users and delivery partners.”
Digital Office for Scottish Local Government and TEC Cymru will also explore a number of further collaborations which could include:
AAbout TEC Cymru
TTEC Cymru supports the shift to technology enabled care in Wales.
Working across NHS and Social Care, the Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Cymru programme aims to support the rapid scaling, rollout and increase in awareness & knowledge of technology enabled care in Wales.
Their work focuses on:
· Video Consulting – remote appointments between patients and clinicians;
· Telecare – remote real-time monitoring of patients at home through devices such as alarms and sensors;
· Telehealth – the delivery of healthcare, health education, and health information services via remote technologies.
TEC Cymru is a Welsh Government funded programme that is hosted by the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.
TEC Cymru’s Telecare Programme: Telecare Discovery Report can be downloaded here.
TEC Cymru website