Knowledge and Skills Sets for Telecare Service Staff in the Context of Digital Health
Telecare services have an established place within the United Kingdom. Through using online technologies to help mostly older people to remain at home, they are recognised as having a support role for health as well as social care. This positions telecare services within the broader realm of ‘digital health’. As that position becomes more embedded, it poses questions about the nature of tasks that are (or should be) undertaken by telecare staff, and regarding the knowledge and skills that are required. A convergence of telecare and telehealth services is indicated together with a need for some kind of accord or accommodation. This paper summarises the United Kingdom policy context; references the technologies that are provided by telecare services or can be linked to them; notes briefly the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; and proposes six knowledge and skills sets. Outcomes of the UTOPIA study undertaken in England from 2016 to 2017 are drawn upon: this study provided important information from over 100 local authority telecare managers.
Telecare Services Association. (2017). Connecting People, Improving Lives: A Digital Future for Technology Enabled Care, Wilmslow.
Poole T. Telecare and Older People. The King’s Fund, London. (2006). Available at: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwi535uLwsvtAhV5SxUIHSOUBZcQFjAAegQIAhAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kingsfund.org.uk%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Ftelecare-older-people-wanless-background-paper-teresa-poole2006.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1C9q1lLCxRYhhc7JRi7w5C accessed 13 December 2020.
Fisk M. Social Alarms to Telecare: Older People’s Services in Transition. The Policy Press, Bristol, 2003.
Pols J. Radical Relationality: Epistemology in Care and Care Ethics for research. In: Olthuis G, Kohlen H and Heier J, Eds. Moral boundaries Redrawn: the Significance of Joan Tronto’s Argument for Political theory, Professional Ethics, and Care as Practice’, Peeters Publishers, Leuven, 2014.
Fisk M, Livingstone A, Pit S. Changing perspectives in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States: Telehealth in the context of COVID-19. J Med Internet Res 2020;22(6):e19264. DOI: 10.2196/19264
Topol E. Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence can make Healthcare Human Again. Basic Books, New York, 2019.
Topol E. Preparing the Healthcare Workforce to Deliver the Digital Future the Topol Review: An Independent Report on Behalf of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. NHS Health Education: London, UK, 2019.
Woolham J, Steils N, Fisk M, Porteus J, Forsyth K. Outcomes for older telecare recipients: the importance of assessments. J Soc Work 2019: 1468017319883499. DOI: 10.1177/1468017319883499
Fisk M. Telehealth. In: Gu D and Dupre ME, Eds: Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging, Springer Nature, 2019.
Woolham J, Steils N, Fisk M, Porteus J, Forsyth K. (2018). The UTOPIA Project: Using Telecare for Older People in Adult Social Care: A Report of Findings of a 2016-17 National Survey of Local Authority Telecare Provision for Older People in England, King’s College, London. Available at: https://www.housinglin.org.uk/_assets/Resources/Housing/OtherOrganisation/Utopia_project_report-KCL.pdf accessed 13 December 2020.
Proctor R, Wherton J, Greenhalgh T, et al. Telecare call centre work and ageing in place. Comput Support Coop Work 2016;25(1):79-105. DOI 10.1007/s10606-015-9242-5
Steils N, Woolham J, Fisk M, Porteus J, Forsyth K. Carers’ involvement in telecare provision by local councils for older people in England: perspectives of council telecare managers and stakeholders. Ageing Soc 2019;Oct 8;1-20 DOI: doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X1900120X
Health and Social Care Board. (2011). Transforming Your Care: A Review of Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. Available at: http://www.transformingyourcare.hscni.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Transforming-Your-Care-Review-of-HSC-in-NI.pdf accessed 13 December 2020.
Llewellyn M, Longley M, Fisk M, et al. Care at Home: Challenges, Possibilities and Implications for the Workforce in Wales. Summary Report, 2010. Available at: https://pureportal.coventry.ac.uk/en/publications/care-at-home-challenges-possibilities-and-implications-for-the-wo-3 accessed 13 December 2020.
Wales NHS. (2015). Informed health and care: a digital health and social care strategy for Wales. Cardiff. Welsh Government. Available at: https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2019-03/informed-health-and-care-a-digital-health-and-social-care-strategy-for-wales.pdf accessed 13 December 2020.
NHS Confederation. A workforce fit for the future: Working together to improve the delivery of urgent and emergency care. Urgent and emergency care briefing. August. 2014(276).
Rooney L, Rimpiläinen S, Morrison C, Nielsen SL. (2018). Review of emerging trends in digital health and care: a report by the Digital Health and Care Institute. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Available at: https://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/67860 accessed 13 December 2020.
Skills for Care and Development. (2014). Technology to Care: Knowledge and Skills Sets to Embed Electronic Assistive Technology (eAT) into Social Care, Leeds.
NHS Education for Scotland. (2017). Supporting Scotland’s Workforce: Technology Enabled Care. Edinburgh.
Tronto J. Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care. Psychology Press, London, 2019.
Koehler I. Key to Care: Report of the Burstow Commission on the Future of the Home Care Workforce. 2014. Available at: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/13613/1/ accessed 13 December 2020.
Burtney L. Supporting Employers with the Workforce Implications of Assistive Technology: Survey Findings. Skills for Care and Development, Leeds. 2012.
Fisk M, Ward G, Awang D, et al. (2013) Skills and Knowledge Sets: Supporting Employers with the Workforce Implications of Electronic Assistive Technologies. Report for the Care Council for Wales on behalf of Skills for Care and Development, Health Design and Technology Unit, Coventry University.
Barnett K, Livingstone A, Margelis G, Tomlins G. Young R. Aged and community sector technology and innovative practice: discussion paper. Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council. 2019.
Sixsmith A, Sixsmith J. Age tech, cognitive health and dementia: synthesis lectures on assistive, rehabilitative and health preserving technologies. Assistive Rehabilitative, and Health-Preserving Technologies 2020 Sep 22;9(2):i-166. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2200/S01025ED1V01Y202006ARH014)
Wigfield A, Moore S, Buse C, Fry G. Workforce Development for Assisted Living Technology: Understanding Roles, Delivery and Workforce Needs. Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities, University of Leeds. 2012;35. Available at: https://pvac-sites.leeds.ac.uk/circle/files/2012/08/Workforce-Development-for-Assisted-Living-Technology-14-June-2012.pdf accessed 13 December 2020.
Copyright (c) 2020 Malcolm John Fisk, John Woolham, Nicole Steils
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.