What is the offer?
The purpose of this funding is to provide residents in care homes with a package solution that enables them to use digital devices to support their health, wellbeing and connection with family and friends.
The digital package consists of a combination of the following:
- A tablet device / laptop
- A connection to the internet, wherever possible
- Staff skills development opportunities
Tablets In the pre-Christmas period 2020, the available offer is an iPad (or two iPads for care homes with more than 25 residents). We expect to add Chromebooks to the offer in early 2021, subject to available supply.
Connection The best option for connection is that the devices are connected to wifi that may be available in the care home already. But we know that this is not always available. For care homes without available wifi, we will offer a mifi dongle enabled tablet with a data package for 12 months. The mifi is through Vodafone 4G, so an available signal with Vodafone will be required for this arrangement to work.
Staff skills development A range of digital skills development opportunities will be made available for care home staff so that they can develop their digital skills and confidence and to support residents to use the devices.
What is being asked of the care home?
It is important that the purposes of this funding are fulfilled but equally, we would like to understand the impact of the programme to inform future work and plans. We therefore have three asks of the participating care homes:
- The device will be used by, or with, the residents in your care home
- You will participate in the ongoing impact evaluation of the initiative
- Staff will be able to engage with skills development opportunities if needed.
Why should our care home apply?
All of Scotland’s 1400 registered care homes are being given the opportunity to apply for up to two devices. This opportunity will enable you to enhance your care by providing an increased digital capability for those you support to use technology for their own wellbeing and enjoyment, and to engage and keep connected with family and friends.
The devices are intended to support residents to have access to the benefits of digital activity if they wish and should not replace visiting, but offer an additional way for people living in your care home to keep in touch with their family, friends and other social connections.
Digital devices provide a different way for people to engage individually or collectively in activities they enjoy. Activities could include watching films, playing games, virtual visits to museums and other places of interest, acts of worship, access to library archives and books, and much more.
The devices also offer the opportunity for residents to have a remote NearMe consultation with their GP or other clinician if they wish and to connect virtually in other social activities and engagements.
How to apply?
Applications need to be made online via the TEC.scot website. The application form is available here: https://connecting.scot/residential-care-application
Please make a separate application for every care home even where these are owned and managed together. We need this information so that we can make decisions about whether mifi is needed and how many devices to allocate.
The application process will remain open until early 2021; however, if at all possible, please submit your application before 30 November 2020 to be considered early for a digital package. Applications will be reviewed once per calendar month, the first time being between 1-4 December 2020. We would expect decisions on awards made in that period to result in devices to be distributed later in December 2020.
Who can apply for a device?
Care homes that are registered with the Care Inspectorate can apply.
Currently other care providers (for example, supported living, home care services) are not eligible for a digital device. Other Connecting Scotland schemes may be available to other communities or local programmes or organisations that are distributing donated devices. For more information visit Connecting Scotland’s website.
Will all care homes have the opportunity to receive at least one device?
All registered care homes have the opportunity to apply to the programme to receive a device. Initially, we aim to give priority to registered care homes that lack sufficient devices for use by or with residents, and already have the necessary connectivity, either though wifi or a suitable 4G signal. We urge care homes in this situation to apply early, so that we can seek to support a solution prior to Christmas.
Is there any other equipment that will be provided apart from the device?
Yes, the device will come with a protective case. Any other equipment that residents might need should be provided by the care home.
How will we receive the new device?
After you have applied, we will contact you to tell you the outcome and when you can expect to receive the device. We will arrange for delivery of the device to your care home and cover the cost of this.
Who will own the device?
The device will be owned by the care home. Once received the device becomes an asset of the care home and Scottish Government will have no ongoing responsibilities or obligations. As part of the arrangements for setting up the device and connecting to the internet, an email address will need to be provided for a designated contact person within the care home.
What if the device gets broken?
If it is damaged or stops working, we will not be able to replace it but if the reason is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, we may be able to support getting it repaired.
We have a poor or no internet connection – how will the device connect to the internet?
If you have wifi throughout your care home the device will be able to connect to your existing wifi signal.
But you do not need to have wifi to apply for a device. For care homes without wifi or only wifi in part of the building, we will offer a mifi dongle enabled tablet. The mifi is through Vodafone 4G, so an available signal with Vodafone will be required for this arrangement to work.
The mifi will come with a data package for 12 months and an unlimited data allowance (subject to a fair usage cap). We will contact you during this period to explain options for what happens at the end of this 12 months.
If the care home has neither wifi nor 4G Vodafone signal, we may not be able to help you in the short term. Please highlight in your application if this is the position.
What support is available to help set up and use the device?
You will receive guidance material on how to set up, use and clean the device. Support material is also available on the Connecting Scotland website. Existing members of staff may have relevant experience that you can recognise and use.
How will we be able to use the device?
The devices are provided to benefit the life of those who live in care homes. Use should reflect the needs and aspirations of those who you support and give access to a range of digital opportunities for wellbeing and creative activities, provide an opportunity to connect with others and engage with wider health, social care and clinical support were appropriate.
How do these devices fit in with other digital support for care homes?
The Action Plan for Digital Approaches in Care Homes has identified existing developments and anticipated areas of priority to support care homes and is making connections to ensure these will be as effective as possible for care providers and those receiving care.
Will our residents’ data be secure?
The device will be provided for your residents and as a shared unit. Should any resident wish to use the device for an activity which needs personal details, such as online shopping, we would recommend that this is password protected to improve security. We would recommend that you not use the auto fill function and that you clear any browsing history between use.
What skills development will be available?
Many staff have experience of using digital devices in their personal life which are transferrable to their caring.
Connecting Scotland, SCVO, Open University and SSSC all provide online courses which your staff team members will be able to access.
You may find that locally there are organisations that can help provide support.
Any further questions?
Contact nss.DigiCareHome@nhs.scot if you’ve any questions about the scheme.