Vulnerable people in the London Borough of Barnet are living more independent lives, using technology. And the change is helping the Borough’s social care budget go further, too.
We lead the award-winning Argenti care technology partnership. Its service introduces technology into people’s lives that lets them live more safely and independently in their own home. Social care professionals, like social workers and occupational therapists, refer people to the service. We then recommend the technology they’d benefit from most and install it. The service reminds people to take medication, provides call-buttons to alert carers in emergencies, like falls, and GPS sensors that tell friends or family if people unintentionally wander too far from home.
We’ve been working with Hampshire County Council since 2013 and now we’ve successfully applied the principles for the London Borough of Barnet, a smaller, more urban authority. We worked alongside Barnet’s team to re-design their service and make it easy for social care professionals to use.
A critical element has been a culture change programme to make sure technology is seen as integral to adult social care. We’re training social care professionals to recognise opportunities where technology would support someone’s independence. That training is strengthened through our innovative partnership with the Centre of Excellence for Technology Enhanced Care at Barnet and Southgate College. The college has a state of the art ‘living lab’ – a replica flat with integrated digital technology.
Now, around 3,500 people in Barnet have technology as part of their care. And the Borough has saved £900,000 – comfortably passing £500,000 target for the first year. We’re continuing to explore ways new technology can help people stay independent for longer.
"I have been impressed with the professional approach taken by the Argenti partnership. They have helped accelerate change, aligned themselves to our strength-based approach to social care and demonstrated that they really do care about improving outcomes for vulnerable residents through the use of assistive technology."
James Mass, Assistant Director, London Borough of Barnet
Argenti. Putting digital technology at the heart of social care and saving millions