Digital Transformation in Care & Support: The Carers’ Centre Journey

11/11/2019 17:35

RIVIAM proudly sponsored the Bath Digital Festival 2019. Now on its seventh year, the festival is a week-long celebration of all things digital across the South West.

Kate (RIVIAM Project Manager) went along to learn more about how technology can play a role in healthcare at the “Digital Transformation in Care & Support: The Carers’ Centre Journey" talk with Janine Woodward-Grant from the BaNES Carers' Centre. It was an interesting session where we discussed the challenges faced in the charity sector and came up with four high-level aims that could help our carer communities thrive by embracing digitisation.

This blog post was originally published on the Bath Digital Festival's website.

Why carers?

We can often focus on the person who receives care and overlook those who are providing the care. I for one did not realise the challenges many carers face and the amount of people this impacts. For example, there are currently around seven million carers in the UK (that’s one in ten of us) and this number is set to grow by 60% by 2030.

So, what is a carer?

Anyone, including children and adults who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support -

[NHS England,].

The care they give is usually unpaid and they can be as young as five years old. As a result, a carer is more likely to suffer from poor health and wellbeing compared to people without caring duties.

The BaNES Carers’ Centre

The BaNES Carers’ Centre is a local charity that is dedicated to supporting carers across the region. However, due to declining funds in social care and people living longer, Carer Centres are struggling to reach everyone in need. Alongside this, most UK charities do not have a digital strategy and have few digitally skilled people around to be able to make an impact.

New funding

The good news is, this is about to change! As the BaNES Carers’ Centre has become one of a small number of charities that has been given funding. This presents an exciting opportunity to utilise digital technology in order to reach more people and help the carer communities thrive.

How can the funding be used?

We shared ideas on how the funding could be used and came up with four high-level aims:

  1. Make better use of data – use digital platforms to manage data and track efficiency. This is important to understand the needs of carers and measure the impact of help given.
  2. Actively engage – build engaged online communities to bring people together and combat loneliness. This can provide a platform where people feel safe to share their worries and advice with others.
  3. Develop practical self-help – ensure carers can be in control of their own care whether that’s through a digital tool, mobile app or online mentoring programme.
  4. Change how people access the charity’s help – encourage interactivity and accessibility through a variety of digital communication tools.

But first, we discussed the need to build a digital roadmap in order to understand the short and long-term objectives for the Carers’ Centre. This will ensure a sustainable strategy is created that is adaptive in our increasingly digital world.

How can RIVIAM help?

As a digital healthcare company, RIVIAM’s core focus is to help improve the lives of people by delivering technology. This involves supporting people who receive care and their families, through to health and social care providers.

RIVIAM achieves this by designing services that operate efficiently and deliver the co-ordination required so that the right care can be provided. For example, this can be with secure portals to share information and encourage interactivity or workflow services that support complex decision-making and make better use of data.

Finally, RIVIAM enables new models of care by integrating with existing clinical systems and providing customers with the flexibility and speed of delivery to meet today's demands.

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