Hampshire County Council & Argenti Deliver Better Outcomes to win MJ Award
The MJ ‘Delivering Better Outcomes’ award recognises how council teams have made a real difference to the lives of their citizens by providing better outcome-focused services or projects through innovation and this year's winner was Hampshire County Council in partnership with Argenti Telehealthcare, a consortium led by change management specialists PA Consulting. The team was recognised for their innovative approach to mainstreaming telecare and delivering personalised care technology services; an initiative that has improved the lives of some of Hampshire’s most vulnerable residents whilst saving the council money.
In 2012, care technology in Hampshire was rarely used and inconsistently applied across the county with no agreed system for measuring its impact, either on service users or the council.
With a background of constrained funding and demographic shifts, councils across the country are increasingly having to ‘do more with less’ in adult services. Hampshire County Council faces this combination of significant cost pressures and rising demand for services.
One response to these challenges, which the Council has adopted, is to radically rethink the role telecare plays in both mainstream social care provision and within the wider care system.
To support the successful ‘mainstreaming’ of care technology, it was critical to find a delivery partner that understood that sustainable improvements through care technology required a transformation programme and culture change amongst care professionals.
After identifying these requirements, Hampshire County Council partnered with Argenti Telehealthcare to deliver a range of personalised care technology solutions that support residents with care needs in Hampshire to remain independent, reduce social care costs and encourage integration with health services.
I’m proud that Hampshire and our Argenti Partnership are at the vanguard in using technology for care… to help our clients as well as achieving further efficiencies through boosting peoples’ ability to self-care and reduce their reliance on council-funded support.
Graham Allen, Director of Adults' Health & Care, Hampshire County Council
In order to reduce costs, care technology must be used ‘instead of’ not ‘as well as’ other more costly service components, with clear service-user outcome objectives set at the point of referral. The Argenti partnership has so far achieved evidenced savings in excess of £5m net of all contract costs. These savings are derived from reduced reliance on non-personal domiciliary care, delayed admission to residential settings.
Crucially, these savings are not coming at the expense of service quality. With nine out of ten social workers stating that the PA Consulting Argenti approach was “good” or “very good” at achieving care outcomes.
I feel so much safer now that I have help when I need it at the press of a button.
Four years after launch, over 8,400 vulnerable people have a personalised care technology service that 98% would recommend, while 93% of users say the care technology service has “increased their feelings of safety and security”. Telecare also reduces ‘carer burnout’, supporting carers by providing a back-up that allows them more time to look after themselves, in many cases allowing them to return to part time work and engage more actively in the community. The benefits beyond the immediate service users are evident, with family and friends reporting a 94% satisfaction score.
Through its innovative approach the Argenti partnership had achieved significantly better outcomes for both the council and its residents.
Argenti staff recognise and promote care technology as a radical and effective means to save the council money and as a powerful tool to achieve better life outcomes for service users and their families.
Hampshire County Council has forged an impressive public-private partnership that fuses technology into its Adult Social Care offer and continues to deliver outstanding results for the end user, their carers and community.
Over 8,400 vulnerable people now have access to a personalised care service, offering intelligent technology and connectivity that demonstrably improves the quality of their lives. We were equally impressed at the level of collaboration achieved across public services, the innovative use of resources and the substantial savings achieved from the outset.
Congratulations to all entrants and finalists whose projects were recognised for successful delivery of outstanding outcomes for the public sector.
Steve CarefullDirector with PA Consulting and Programme Director of the Argenti Telehealthcare Partnership
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