Thursday 10th May 2012 saw Telecare Services Association members from across the South West meet for its annual regional forum. This forum provides members with the chance to share best practise, and we were delighted when Jessica Dunne, Occupational Therapist working for Dorset County Council, was invited to share the findings of her trial using Just Checking with adults in supported living.

Since May 2011 Jessica has completed 12 assessments, using Just Checking as a tool to ensure that value for money was being achieved in Learning Disability care packages. In her first paper, she concluded that the system could ensure improved quality of care as well as help to deliver considerable savings. Now one year on from the first assessments, the outcomes have been re-evaluated as follows:

  • Improved quality of care
  • Increased creative use of allocated support hours
  • Reduced package costs, through support reduction or change in the way support was provided (savings totalling £139,047.24, avoidances totalling £77,528.16 and further potential savings of £149,209.08).
  • Evidence based practice in risk assessment
  • Where care needs increased, care could be provided at the minimum level in response to the risk evidence provided through Just Checking
  • Supported adult safeguarding investigations

She was joined by Karen Hagenow, our Occupational Therapist for the South West, who has worked with Jessica closely during the trial. Karen said of the pilot:

“The Dorset Trial has clearly demonstrated how effective Just Checking is in providing accurate information in the assessment process to improve the quality of care an individual with a Learning Disability receives.  In every case using Just Checking there was a quantifiable improvement in the care being received, and it really does help ensure that the right care is going to the right people, and at the right time. The amazing  work Jess has completed in Dorset is a great example of how telecare can play an important role in making necessary cost savings, while ensuring that the quality of care is paramount.”