Agenda Item No. 9


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Healthy Living and Social Care Scrutiny Committee: 10th  October, 2016


Report of the Director of Social Services


Assistive Technology and Dementia Care Task and Finish Group Update


Purpose of the Report

  1. To update Members on progress made in delivering the action plan developed through the Assistive Technology Task and Finish Group.


  1. That this report is accepted and referred to Cabinet for information.

Reason for the Recommendation

  1. To appraise Members of the progress made.


  1. The former Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee set up the Task and Finish Group to examine the potential contribution that Assistive Technology could make in developing a dementia-supportive community in the Vale of Glamorgan and enabling people to live independently and with a better quality of life. The Group comprised six Members and it was politically balanced.
  2. During the course of the review, the Task and Finish Group was able to complete a thorough investigation and to make well considered recommendations for improving the responsiveness of the service. The Group recognised that further work was needed before major decisions can be taken in relation to longer-term planning.
  3. The Group concluded that Assistive Technology can be of considerable help to people experiencing dementia and also to their carers. However, national research, information from partners and data from our existing service do not provide conclusive evidence that it is likely to deliver significant savings. Given the budgetary pressures that the Council faces, the Group made recommendations for improvements which it regarded as being realistic and measured and it identified the further work required to develop the service for the future. A detailed action plan was agreed, to ensure that the recommendations were implemented and that progress could be measured.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The plan contains 15 action areas. An updated version is attached at Appendix 1. The progress made against each action indicates that the majority are either complete or have now become part of ongoing business.
  2. Staffing arrangements within the small Telecare team are subject to ongoing review, to ensure that we have a resilient and effective team model fit for future delivery.
  3. Since the plan was agreed, the numbers of people receiving Telecare has grown for users of both Tele V and Tele V+. As of August 2016, there are 730 active Tele V users and 137 Tele V+ users. The rate of growth has slowed during this financial year, with an additional 5 Tele V+ users and no increase in the number of Tele V users.
  4. As advised, the service has purchased equipment to support people with dementia. This includes bespoke decoration and two reminiscence pods for use at Rondel House day service. Tablet computers were also made available for the care homes managed by the Council and the older people's day service, to support communication and provide additional activities. Specifically they are being used to:
  • Skype. For example, this has allowed regular video contact with a resident's daughter who lives in Australia.
  • Choosing items of clothing and footwear, which are then purchased in store by staff.
  • Access to games such as colouring for adults, jigsaw puzzles, animal colouring, doodle colouring, magic garden.
  • Taking and storing photos at events, to be viewed by residents and their families.
  1. The Telecare service has been subject to regular internal audit and it has received two reports indicating limited assurance. The issues predominantly relate to the IT system used to monitor stock control and all the concerns which are in the remit of the Council have been resolved. Some issues with the IT system remain because the supplier has not been able to resolve them fully. The issues are resolved locally through manual amendments to the system and do not represent any increased risk to clients of the service. A further follow-up audit is expected this autumn.
  2. The Intermediate Care Fund is also being used to develop emerging assistive technology, particularly for people with dementia. Currently, in collaboration with Cardiff Council, GPS trackers are being explored and piloted with the following purposes:
  • To provide a method of alerting when a service user leaves a home/other specified area at an unusual or unexpected time.
  • To provide a method of locating the user, and through the Telecare service; co-ordinate an appropriate response to physically help them.
  • To provide a constantly available method of communication between Telecare and users for support in instances where self-help advice is appropriate.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. There are no direct financial implications as a direct result of this report but the service does need to ensure that it remains financially sustainable. Some developments have been made using external funding streams and some require other organisations to consider the best use of their resources.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None as a direct result of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. There are no legal implications as a direct result of this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no crime and disorder implications as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. An effective approach to providing Telecare services will have a positive impact on all sectors of the community.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. Safeguarding those who are vulnerable and promoting independent living.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. The issue relates to all areas of the Vale of Glamorgan and so there has been no individual ward consultation in relation to this matter.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Healthy Living and Social Care.

Background Papers

Assistive Technology and Dementia Care Task and Finish Group of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health), 9th March 2015

Assistive Technology and Dementia Care Task and Finish Group of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) Update March 2016

Contact Officer

Lance Carver, Head of Adult Services/Locality Manager

Officers Consulted

Sarah Congreve, Assistant Locality Manager

Responsible Officer

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services