Skills for Care is backing a new strategy that aims to help adult social care employers support 1.5 million workers to use Electronic Assistive Technology (eAT) in their work.
For social care staff, people who use services and carers there has been a huge increase in the use of the internet, smart mobile devices and interactive TV.
There is increasing use of eATs specifically designed to promote people’s well-being and independence, and services which rely on remote or virtual monitoring known as ‘telecare’ to provide support when required.
To help employers work effectively with eAT , Skills for Care and Development have published ‘Technology to Care: A Workforce Learning Strategy to Embed Electronic Assistive Technology (eAT) in Social Care’.
The five year strategy has received co-investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills through the Employer Investment Fund and has been developed through wide consultation across the UK.
Skills for Care CEO Sharon Allen said: “The use of eAT is already a key part of social care provision for many organisations and that is only going to increase in the coming years. Uses of eAT could range from simple emergency pull-cords to complex sensors built within interactive devices and connected via broadband.
“However eAT is used It is critical that the whole workforce needs to be both confident and competent to ensure that technology works effectively to further promote choice and control for people with care and support needs.”
The strategy explores the integration of eAT into workforce policies, job descriptions and career development opportunities. It proposes:
- eAT should be introduced into local induction programmes and appraisal processes
- all eAT learning programmes should be based on the new eAT Knowledge and Skills Sets
- eAT should be mapped onto career pathways, continuing professional development and progression routes
- eAT National Occupational Standards (NOS) should be developed to ensure eAT is recognised as an area of competence and embedded in practice
- eAT related gaps in accredited qualifications and learning should be addressed for all levels of job role.
The Workforce Learning Strategy is supported by an Implementation Plan, eAT Knowledge and Skills Sets and a toolkit of templates, checklists and video clips. The resources are aimed primarily at employers and managers but are also relevant to other audiences.
This suite of workforce development resources has been designed through wide consultation across the UK to support all social care employers, assistive technology suppliers and trainers as they work together to embed eAT in social care. The resources provide recommendations, information and guidance for developing the knowledge, skills and confidence of the workforce.
For the full strategy report and recommendations, along with supporting resources, see www.technologytocare.org.uk
Skills for Care has also undertaken work to support the learning and development of staff with assisted living technology, for more details see – www.skillsforcare.org.uk/assistedlivingtechnology