To provide an update to Adults and Safer City Scrutiny Panel on the progress of the recommendations made at Cabinet on November 2015.
Cllr Sandra Samuels, Cabinet Member Adults and Anthony Ivko, Service Director Older People provided an update on the progress of the Better Care Technology recommendations made at Cabinet in November 2015.
The Chair referred to the need to continue to monitor the equality implications that were included in the Cabinet report and to include the implication in full in future update reports. Cllr Ian Claymore agreed that every report should have a full equality explanation; he advised that this Authority was looking to excellence status for equality framework by 2018.
Cllr Elias Mattu welcomed the update and asked for further information about the current take up of technologies. Panel were referred to section 3.3 of the report highlighting that there had been 379 Telecare and Carelink referrals resulting in 279 installations since 17 March 2016. The Service Director advised that the Council was embarking on a huge change in service and the initial numbers during implementation are the start of an upward trajectory, there is confidence that the 3000 figure will be achieved.
Cllr Anwen Muston asked for assurance that people were not being pushed towards Telecare, she added that some older people would be cautious about change. The service Director accepted that this was a concern also raised at previous meetings, but gave assurance that Assistive technology and Telecare give confidence to the individual and the families and carers. Cllr Paula Brookfield requested that all Councillors are invited to visit the Technology Centre in Wolverhampton when it is open to view technologies in use.
Cllr Ian Claymore voiced concern that the most vulnerable members of society may slip through the net as any change to technology may be too challenging. Cllr Patricia Patten asked who was using the service. The Service Director advised that many were being referred from the hospital and that Gwyn Nuttal from Royal Wolverhampton Trust (RWT) had equipment on the hospital wards to show how technology works. He welcomed the support RWT were giving to implement new technologies, working demonstrations and talking to people explaining the benefits of staying in their homes safely opposed to staying in hospital. Cllr Stephen Simkins highlighted that technology was important to reduce social isolation.
Cllr Rupinderjit Kaur asked for further feedback relating to capacity, the role of the fire service, how often reassessments will take place and enhanced better care technology. In response to questions about Telecare the Service Director advised that the Council has sufficient capacity and was working closely with the Wolverhampton Homes call centre. He clarified that some referrals from the Fire Service have not been about falls; the Fire Service are keen to check fire alarms and do a full fire safety check. Work is on-going to draw out the personal calls for help, he advised that fire officers are also paramedics and can often assess the person when on site. He informed the Panel that services are being extended to support non-fall calls are social workers working with the older isolated clients.
In response to the Chairs question about different costs for service, the Service Director agreed to circulate the tiers of cost. He advised that £7.7 million additional income had been raised by the Welfare Benefits Team to help individuals access the services.
In response to questions about the Clinical Commissioning Group engaging the Service Director advised that CCG are working closely with partners.
Cllr Lynne Moran referred to paragraph 8.1 and highlighted the need to continue to consult with staff and unions.
1. To note the update report and refer the panels comments to officers.
2. To circulate equality implications and the tiers of cost for services.