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Innovation providing greater choice and independence for people receiving domiciliary care in Wales

New ways of delivering domiciliary care are being trialled in several local authority areas to provide greater independence and control for people receiving care.

The Welsh Government is providing innovation funding of £380,000, to support two projects that utilise technology to support the ongoing transformation of how domiciliary care is delivered in Wales, Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan has announced.

SBRI Centre of Excellence and the Welsh Government are supporting collaborative projects that see the public sector, private sector and third sector working together to address core domiciliary care challenges by developing innovative solutions and services to help people to remain active and independent in their own homes for as long as possible.

A total of £180,000 has been awarded to an initiative in the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and Bridgend County Borough Council area which aims to help people independently manage their medication using a digital device, including those suffering with a level of cognitive impairment.

The YOURmeds device reminds people to take their medication at a programmed time, and sends notifications to an identified friend or family member if medication is missed or taken incorrectly. Life Sciences Hub Wales is also supporting the project.

A further £200,000 has been awarded to test a new, modernised domiciliary care delivery model in Torfaen, Gwynedd and Denbighshire, underpinned by a purpose-built IT system.

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Called ‘From Time and Task to Fulfilled Lives – a new domiciliary care system for Wales’, its aim is to deliver a whole-system approach  to bring together the health and care professionals managing and delivering care to the person in a joint approach. 

A new IT system will aid the sharing of information and facilitate the model of care delivery.  The ambition of the project is for improved and joined up services for people, with increased focus on empowering and enabling people to have more of a voice as to how and when their care is delivered. 

Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan visited Gwynedd to hear more about the scheme. She said:

“Social care and health continue to face increasing demands and challenges, including an ageing population.

“It is vital we adapt in order to deliver a system fit for the future. This includes making it easier for health and social care to work together in a joined-up way and for us to respect the vital role of family members and friends as unpaid carers.

“Innovation is a key to this and I am excited to see how these two initiatives can harness the power of technology to test if this will help us reach these goals. Both projects fit in with our objective in A Healthier Wales to help people to remain active and independent in their own homes for as long as possible.”

Albert Heaney, Chief Social Care Officer for Wales, said:

“I am always inspired by the new and innovative ways we enhance the way we deliver care across Wales to meet the needs of our communities. Domiciliary care is a key service provided by a passionate, committed and skilled workforce. Trials like these will allow us to understand how we best maximise technology to compliment the skills of our workforce.”

Thomas Sauter, Clinical Lead Pharmacist for Bridgend Community Services at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, said:

“Integration between health and social care is vital if we are to ensure that people in our communities receive the best and most appropriate care for their needs.

“By introducing new, innovative digital solutions to support people in managing their medication, we can help people to lead healthier and more independent lives.”

Councillor Dilwyn Morgan, Cyngor Gwynedd Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Adults, Health and Wellbeing Department, said:

“As a Council, we are committed to supporting residents to live independently and with dignity for as long as possible in their own communities. We see the creative use of new technology as key to this.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Welsh Government and the independent sector on this exciting trial which will support people to remain in control of their lives and their own care needs for as long as possible.

“This opportunity to explore how new domiciliary care IT systems can ensure that the individual’s needs come first is very welcome and will hopefully and importantly offer extra peace of mind for families and carers.”

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