A survey of more than 100 councils by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has highlighted the significant impact COVID-19 has had on social care teams across England.
In response to these challenges, Alertacall developed the OKEachDay service, which provides regular wellbeing checks for health and care providers when supporting older people or those with additional needs in their own homes. The unique service is delivered through the use of smart technology and a highly trained contact centre team, and offers health and care providers a cost effective system for addressing some of the key issues highlighted in the ADASS Autumn Survey 2020.
The ADASS survey reports huge increases in demand for the majority of adult social care and support services. In particular, the survey lists three main reasons as to why demand has risen:
- 82% of adult social services directors report rising demand for help from people being discharged from hospital;
- 69% report an increase in cases of domestic abuse and safeguarding of vulnerable adults;
- 63% report growing numbers of people seeking help because of the breakdown of unpaid carer arrangements through sickness or unavailability.
James Bullion, ADASS President, said:
“This report paints a stark picture of how the pandemic has affected millions of us who have care and support needs, or who care for a family member who does. For the first time, we have hard evidence of the scale and breadth of the impact of Covid-19 on those of us who are working-age disabled people, older people, family members, and carers.”
Coronavirus will have had far-reaching effects on health, social care and housing services. – either as a direct or indirect consequence of the pandemic. While there is no catch all solution to tackle many of the complex care challenges arising from COVID-19, digital services and systems which increase contact with individuals will have a central role to play in helping to reduce demand and improve patient care.
OKEachDay has been specially developed to help health and care providers reduce hospital readmissions, identify those whose health is recovering and those deteriorating, and enable individuals to stay safe while maintaining their independence.
Customers engage with specially designed devices (either a traditional telephone or touchscreen) to confirm their wellbeing on a daily basis or if the patient prefers are called by a highly trained team. The system also enables healthcare professionals to set up medication and appointment reminders, as well as social prescribing prompts.
The service provides individuals with the opportunity to speak to someone on a daily basis, which helps to confirm safety and wellbeing, people to stay safe and independent in their own home, but also improves wellbeing and helps reduce loneliness. How much contact, and how this contact is made, is tailored to each individual according to their specific needs.
Changes in the way people engage with the OKEachDay service can change over time and indicate shifts in their needs – Artificial Intelligence provides valuable insights and enables earlier decision making when reviewing care packages or prescribed medication. Management information is detailed in an online reporting platform which health and care professionals access while working remotely. Importantly, OKEachDay is low cost and helps deliver service efficiencies.
Research conducted by Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences in 2019 suggested that hospital readmissions can be reduced by as much as 41% of patients aged 65 plus are routinely telephoned within 48 hours of their discharge and offered further follow up support. Alertacall’s services and OKEachDay has been shown to reduce hospital readmissions, and shorten the length of the average hospital stay, with its existing customer base by providing daily contact with individuals after they have been discharged.
Alertacall’s research amongst its own service users discovered that 15% of over 75s discharged from hospital were readmitted within 28 days. This is over one fifth lower than an NHS figure which showed a 19% readmission rate amongst a comparable benchmark group in the general population. Importantly, the technology provided to customers is not a replacement for human contact, but rather a means of improving patient communication which, as demonstrated by the Aston study, is a key factor in reducing hospital readmissions.
In addition, at the beginning of 2020, the service had been recognised as a top 10 innovation in domiciliary care by Home Care Insight. OKEachDay is now being used by a number of home care providers to offer technology-enabled services to provide customers with additional support in between care calls or act as a stepping-stone for those considering home care. Again, by working with domiciliary care providers, OKEachDay is helping to reduce demand on social care services.
To find out more about OKEachDay and how it can benefit health and social care providers, call Martin Cutbill, Director, on 0808 208 1234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org