The council’s commissioned digital care programme project ‘Kara’ has won national recognition at the HTN HealthTech Awards (7 October), winning the Major Project Go Live category.
Healthcare transformation consultancy Rethink Partners and pioneers of virtual care Alcove delivered the £1.5million project on behalf of the council last year. By the end of July 2020, they had successfully equipped over 1,700 vulnerable and digitally disadvantaged adults in Kent with video ‘carephones’, so that they could talk to friends, family, carers, and other professionals, via video, when they were unable to meet due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The technology, in the form of a “one touch” secure tablet-type device, provided video-calling to an individual’s support network, which allowed KCC support staff to monitor care needs, ensure that residents were safe, and enabled residents to conduct online activities such as ordering essential supplies and stay video connected with their loved ones.
The team also trained health and care professionals, including those working in care homes and in the community, so they were able to support vulnerable people to use the technology.
Rethink were up against stiff competition, including projects such as Exeter’s Nightingale Hospital build, Medway Community Healthcare’s IT infrastructure scheme to support a transition to remote working during the pandemic, and Medicheck’s COVID-19 Antibody testing programme.
Clair Bell, KCC Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health said: “These carephones have proved to be a real lifeline for those Kent residents most in need. Not only do they provide easy virtual access to vital care and support services they also prevent loneliness and isolation for those living independently at home at a time when COVID-19 restrictions are in place and vulnerable people are more at risk.
“Care services have also hugely benefitted from being able to keep in contact with residents and continue to monitor their care, only providing face-to-face help and assistance when absolutely necessary, minimising the risk of infection.
“My heartfelt congratulations go to Rethink partners and all those involved in the expert delivery of this project. This is a fantastic and well-deserved award, and I am truly delighted that this outstanding work has been recognised nationally.”
Clare Morris, CEO of Rethink Partners, said:
“We are absolutely delighted. Thank you so much for the recognition and well done to everyone who has worked tirelessly over the last 12 months to make lives better!”
Hellen Bowey, CEO of Alcove, said:
“I’m so proud of everything we have achieved in collaboration with local authorities and Rethink Partners. Winning this award speaks volumes about just how much we’ve achieved together, and I’m delighted that our digital care solutions have made such a difference to people’s lives since the beginning of the pandemic.”
Notes to Editors
About the Partnership
Alcove’s intelligent care technology ecosystem was developed to enhance independent living for older and disabled adults, and revolutionise the delivery of care and support services globally to provide the 21st-century replacement for telecare.
The business specialises in delivering connected care technology systems for local authorities, the NHS, housing associations and sheltered accommodation providers across the country.
More at www.youralcove.com
Rethink is an organisation fuelled by passionate individuals dedicated to improving health and care services. The team all have background in public sector leadership and are experienced change agents.
More at www.rethinkpartners.couk