Essex Council considers raft of new technology to help vulnerable adults

THE leaders of Essex County Council will be asked next week to procure a new technology package, which its adult social care services can distribute to vulnerable residents.

A report, to be considered next Tuesday, October 22, asks the Tory cabinet to ‘invite tenders’ for an ‘end-to-end’ care technology service.

New technology could include:

  • *Devices placed in vulnerable residents’ homes to monitor their safety and wellbeing
  • *Alarms residents can wear and trigger if they find themselves in trouble
  • *Assistive technology to help disabled residents switch on lights, control the temperature of their homes and set medication alarms
  • *Video technology to allow residents to have live conversations with care staff

The document – authored by Nick Presmeg, the council’s executive director for adult social care – states: “It is clear the potential for transformation is vast. This paper asks Cabinet to agree to procure a new county-wide service to deploy care technology. This is a first for Essex.”

Mr Presmeg claimed the technology would increase residents’ independence, boost their confidence and reduce isolation.

A pilot scheme found residents given new technology reported ‘a high level of satisfaction’. It also saved £758,000, mostly through ‘cost avoidance’, not ‘reduction to existing packages’.

Mr Presmeg wrote that in addition to saving money for the council, the scheme could also reduce strain on the ambulance service and reduce the need for families to take out ‘costly care packages’.

The cabinet will discuss the proposal at County Hall next Tuesday, October 22, at 10am.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]