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How housing associations can harness the power of technology to support those living with disabilities

By putting people with disabilities at the heart of decisions about their lives, housing associations will be better equipped to fully support their tenants.
Gavin Bashar - How housing associations can harness the power of technology to support those living with disabilities

Gavin Bashar, UK Managing Director at Tunstall Healthcare, discusses how housing associations can harness the power of technology to support those living with disabilities.

There are currently 14.6 million disabled people in the UK. By putting people living with disabilities at the heart of decisions made about their lives and care, housing associations will be better equipped to fully support their tenants and empower them to remain independent and maintain their tenancies for longer.

Integrating technology and reaping the benefits

If housing associations consider investing in value-generating digital solutions, the lives of their tenants can be improved. The benefits that technology can provide, particularly in terms of supporting preventative services and early interventions, are being increasingly recognised.

Using technology enabled care services (TECS) can provide actionable insights to deliver better, more informed and more effective care, therefore helping housing associations and other providers to increase their capacity and better meet the needs of their tenants.

Digital solutions can empower staff to work more efficiently, reduce bureaucracy and enable them to spot changes in people’s behaviour at an early stage. This in turn has the potential to support a reduction in the use of other health and social care services and consequently avoid costs and poorer health.

Integration and investment in technology will enable us to reconfigure and integrate our services. If housing professionals reassess how technology can be used to support effective health management and communicate the benefits to tenants, we’ll be better placed to innovate, embrace technology successfully, and deliver new approaches which create benefits for citizens.

The integration of technology and its increased use have long been seen as a key part of health, housing and social care providers better supporting people. We are at a pivotal time that will shape our services and the use and deployment of technology for decades to come. The ability to transition to a system that can provide universal access to new technologies that manage, analyse and harvest actionable intelligence will be crucial to the success of care deployment by housing associations.

Pictured is a Wrapped marketing shoot for Tunstall. Images were shot at The Cuttings in Harrogate. Images Copyright ©Darren Casey DCimaging

Engaging with tenants and driving collaboration

If we are to engage with people living with disabilities, we must actively listen to their concerns and needs. Relationships should be based on partnership, flexibility and a commitment to citizen success, rather than one-off transactional interactions.

As services become more efficient and citizen outcomes are improved, we are better able to deliver cost efficiencies. Improved condition management and medication compliance through greater engagement for example has a clear impact on decreasing GP visits, clinicians are able to target patients that need support, and early intervention can prevent future, often high cost, care requirements.

To support this engagement it’s important that we consider how to drive links between housing associations and other health and care service providers. The establishment of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) will help us to integrate services effectively and drive collaborations. A large majority of housing tenants have both health and social care needs, and it makes sense for a collaborative approach to become the norm as this will contribute to an improvement in outcomes and cost savings.

Looking to the future

Predictive and preemptive care is in touching distance but the market isn’t quite there yet. By strategising for the future, housing providers will be able to provide cutting-edge solutions that can further support people at home.

As technology becomes more embedded into housing services, we will reap the benefits of more personalised care, faster service provision, greater capacity to meet demand, and more efficiency.

Creating a more connected and intelligent world that supports a person-centred approach to the delivery of targeted, proactive and integrated care services is essential to caring for placing citizens living with disabilities and their loved ones at the heart of decision making.

For more information about Tunstall’s range of at-home solutions, please visit: www.tunstall.co.uk/our-products.

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