Partners: digital approaches in care homes

“I welcome the funding from Scottish Government and the opportunity to work in partnership with Connecting Scotland to provide care homes in Scotland with digital devices and internet connections.

In today’s world, opportunities for residents to connect with families through video calls and to have clinical appointments through Near Me will ensure that contact can still continue when visits to care homes are limited.

Having access to a digital device means opportunities for wellbeing and creative activities in a new and innovative way for care home residents who wish to join in. 

During recent months, some care homes for older people have used technology to provide activities such as acts of worship, virtual visits to museums and other places of interest, access to library archives and books, and much more.  Ensuring all care homes have this opportunity will enhance care and quality of life for those experiencing care.”

Peter Macleod, Chief Executive, Care Inspectorate

“This important piece of work comes at a critical time for care home providers in Scotland and, indeed, residents and families. Digital technology has been crucial to supporting wellbeing at a time where in-person contact has been extremely limited.

This plan offers a practical framework to overcome the barriers to digital connectivity in care homes and make a real difference to people whether they live, work in or support someone in a home. We hope this work will encourage ongoing consideration of the role of digital in health and social care and illustrate existing examples of innovation in the sector to improve people’s quality of life.”

Annie Gunner-Logan, Director, CCPS

“The use of technology and has been a central part of the response to COVID-19 in health and social care.  In care homes, we have seen welcome initiatives that have supported connection and communication for residents and for staff at a time where this has been particularly challenging.”

“That is why we are working to ensure that care homes have the connectivity and the devices needed to further develop and support these efforts, both during the pandemic and in the longer term. COSLA will continue to work with the Scottish Government and partners throughout the sector to support this important aim.”

Cllr Stuart Currie, COSLA Health and Social Care Spokesperson 

Scottish Care welcomes the commitment of this initial support to enable residents to have access to technology for connection and wellbeing. The use of digital and technology has been very beneficial in many instances of the pandemic during periods of lockdown and restriction to support and maintain connection to family and loved ones.

Care homes are first and foremost people’s homes therefore we must continue to prioritise the wishes of residents in their choice to use technology and digital, and also the needs of care homes where challenges persist in relation to connectivity. We are pleased to see a focus on enabling digital access for care home residents and hope that this commitment will inspire further focus and activity on the potential of technology and digital in social care more widely. 

“The funding which has been announced by the Cabinet Secretary will help to improve connection for many. We hope that it is the start of an increased recognition of the critical contribution of technology in the care home sector and that we will see an enhanced commitment to the appropriate use of technology and digital in social care as a whole.”

– Dr. Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive, Scottish Care

“We’ve been helping the workforce develop their digital skills for several years, so they can support the people in their care to use technology safely. These new devices for care homes mean even more people will be able to keep in touch with their loved ones with appropriate support.

‘This year, more than ever before, digital skills to use technology are vital because of the challenges of the pandemic and we’re pleased to be supporting workers through our learning resources, like 23 Things Digital and the new 23 Things for Technology Enabled Care, which we’ll publish next year.”

– Lorraine Gray, Chief Executive, SSSC

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