Despite the recently announced £416m package of transition measures to help alleviate the pressures presented by proposed financial settlement figures, it is clear local government will experience a real reduction in spending power until 2019-20. For those with social care responsibilities, the ability to increase Council Tax by 2% has offered some degree of respite. However, for a number of authorities it has neither proven politically acceptable to increase the bill nor been sufficient to meet service funding needs. Similarly, service pressures and community expectations are demanding more of local authorities. As a result, alternative approaches to providing care services need to be considered.
Like all providers of adult care, Hampshire County Council faces this combination of significant cost pressures and rising demand. Of the county’s total population, around 15,000 vulnerable adults have been assessed as having ‘critical or substantial’ needs. The majority of this group, approximately 10,000 people, are receiving services at home.
One of the responses to these challenges, which Hampshire County Council has adopted, is to radically rethink the role telecare plays in both mainstream social care provision and within the wider care system.
Following an Official Journal of the European Union procurement in the summer of 2013 for its new approach to telecare, Hampshire appointed “Argenti” (a consortium led by PA Consulting). Until 2018, Argenti takes complete responsibility for the service, from its redesign through to assessments, installations, equipment provision and monitoring.
In its first three years of operations, 6200 users received telecare as part of their mainstream care package. This was well above the initial target of 2000 users and resulted in a NET saving of £4.7m.
Importantly, these savings have not been at the expense of service quality. Nine out of ten social workers stated that the PA Consulting Argenti approach was “good” or “very good” at achieving care outcomes. 95% of users surveyed felt the new approach increased their feelings of independence, safety and security and 98% said they would also recommend the service to others.
PA Innovation Challenge
We ran a challenge for adult services staff in Hampshire to come up with innovative and exciting technology ideas that could really improve the way they work or help the service users they support. The Dragons’ Den Challenge was another great example of us supporting innovation to deliver meaningful outcomes. We will support the winning idea to transition into mainstream service within local authorities.
PA Argenti has also recently run its second annual Hants Innovate conference, bringing people from across technology, health and social care together to stimulate discussion and tackle some of the challenges faced by local authorities. See the highlights video here.
Liam is one of many people who use the Argenti equipment to remain independent and who’s primary carers can be greatly supported by using it.