Quality in Service Delivery
In July 2004 the AT Forum, a sector partnership co-ordinated by FAST, produced a Position Paper which provides a clear analysis of the fragmentation in this field and outlines five problems affecting all services within the AT sector. [Use the 'Related Documents' links on the left hand menu to download the Paper].
This analysis is still relevant today and the Paper provides a succinct overview for anyone new to the field. The paper proposes 5 key barriers to the provision of services and work by FAST over the past few years has sought to address these barriers.
Standards for service delivery:
- Having identified in the Position Paper that there is an ad hoc approach to developing service standardsacross the AT sector, in 2006 FAST and the AT Forum mapped out the existing service standards and provided recommendations on future service development activity.
- Following this work to understand good practice in standards development for AT, FAST worked with partners to understand how to develop detailed, pragmatic standards recommendations for the construction of future homes to support independent aging and for the delivery of specialist communication aids.
- This work led to a detailed understanding of the vital importance of establishing regulation in the field of AT which can be relevant to statutory, 3rd sector and private providers of AT services.
- Find out more about our work to develop service standards.
A skilled workforce:
- Poor workforce training, education and career development opportunities were identified as barriers to good service delivery in the Position Paper. Work was undertaken by the AT Forum to understand the complex field of workforce development and to put forward recommendations for action.
- Funding from the Sector Skills Councils, Skills for Health and Skills for Care, provided funding to undertake a feasibility study of the work that would be required to implement the AT Forum recommendations. This resulted in a comprehensive and clear set of papers setting forth the preferred approach by the sector for future workforce development.
- This work influenced activity undertaken by FAST for the Technology Strategy Board to understand the future roles for staff who would be undertaking installation of future telehealth, telecare and assisted living services in people's homes.
- Find out more about our work to understand and progress workforce development for AT.
Information provision and awareness raising
- The Position Paper highlighted the need to develop a coherent information strategy to meet the needs of users and carers, practitioners and commissioners. To understand this further FAST undertook work with the key 3rd sector organisations who provide information and advice services to the public, the Disabled Living Foundation, Ricability and Assist UK. This resulted in a report mapping information provision and requirements in the UK.
- To build on this theoretical knowledge, FAST undertook work to provide engaging information for individuals, families and carers to understand how to get hold of AT to help to manage the early stages of dementia.
- Find out more about our work to understand and provide good information on AT.
Personalisation of services and control of budgets
- Over the past few years FAST has undertaken a number of programmes to involve users in the planning and design of AT services.
- As the new arrangements for commissioning in the NHS and for social care lead to greater control of health and social care budgets by the individual, FAST has been working to understand how disabled and older people can access high quality assistive technology services through the retail market, paid for directly or through personal budgets.
- Find out more about our work to understand and support increased personalisation of services.
Integration of services around the person
- The Position Paper noted the requirement to integrate assistive technology services which were provided in a fragmented and incoherent way. Since the Paper was written Integration of health and social care has risen up the national agenda. With the increasing drive towards personalisation, there is a risk that the need for specialised equipment services is underestimated and that technology services are provided as a 'bolt on' to health and care services.
- FAST has undertaken work to identify the need for a specialised equipment service, that for communication aids, and to identify how this service should be commissioned across England. This could act as a template for all specialised services commissioning.
- Find out more our work to support assisted living service integration between specialist and local services.
Business models to grow the assisted living market - draft paper
FAST is participating in the Dap Connect project to support the development of business models that will enable disabled and older people to easily access the latest technologies. Working with partners FAST has drafted a paper proposing new ways of shaping the market to enable this to happen. A final version of the paper will be published in the summer and any comments are welcome. Download the document here.
Getting Equipped for Active Ageing
- Awareness raising course material for anyone who wants to understand what equipment is available to support active aging, increase people's confidence to choose and use it and find out how to get hold of it. Available here.
Getting hold of equipment
- If you are looking for equipment for yourself or a family member, use the external links below to the charity DLF to find out more information:
- Database of equipment, plus helpline and factsheet provided by the charity the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) - Living Made Easy [external site]
Communication Champion report on AAC
Commissioned by the Office of the Communication Champion and authored by FAST, this report aims to inform arrangements for commissioning of specialised Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) services under new NHS arrangements. The Communication Champion recommends that the models proposed in the report are adopted by the NHS Commissioning Board and by local NHS and local authority commissioners. The report is available here.
Provided separately is a model Service Specification for specialised AAC services, available here.
Quality Standards for AAC
Document setting out a Quality Standard for AAC which provides specific, concise quality statements and measures and identifies those services that should comply with them. Based on sector expertise and compiled and edited by FAST, the document is available here.
Assisted Living Installation Practice
Report by FAST looking at the technical and person-centred competences needed to install a range of next generational assisted living services in a recent project led by Tynetec. The report identifies changing business and workforce practice and the implications for training and education. Read the report here.
'Lifetime Digital Homes'
Publication edited by FAST, aimed at commissioners and installers of data, power and telecommunications networks in new build homes to support assisted living - a decision support tool. Available via this link.
Press release for the guide is here.
Getting Equipped to Tackle Forgetfulness
Guide to help friends and family understand how equipment and technology can support the independence and safety of people with the early symptoms of dementia.
Download the guide here.