Connecting Care bulletin - October 2015

We round-up of the best technology and social care news from the last few weeks. This bulletin is produced by Lasa for our Department of Health funded Connecting Care community project. Follow us @LasaICT.

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  1. Connecting Care news from Lasa

  2. IT Health checks: we can help you plan and implement technology changes that could help you save time and money and deliver more effective services. You can also download our handy 10 Top Tips for making better use of technology in health and social care.
  3. This is what one organisation we have worked with had to say.

    "Your time spent with us has definitely paid off so thank you. We have introduced Office 365 so all of our work is now stored in the Cloud and every member of staff has access to a One Drive account. So all in all we are very pleased with what we have achieved to date." (Residential Learning Disabilities Centre).
  4. Digital 'show and tell' events: If you are a small charity providing social care to older people we can show your staff and volunteers how to make use of tablet devices to support independent living.

    Contact us through the Connecting Care website if you'd like to find out some more about how we can help you with a health check or run a FREE session like this with your organisation.
  5. Technology News for Social Care Organisations

  6. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) make regular checks on organisations to check they comply with the terms of Data Protection Act (1998). Areas of particular interest in these latest reports from 11 Residential Care Homes include Security of Personal Data, Records Management and Data Sharing. The report which can be downloaded here, gives lots of good practice guidance for care homes about their use of resident's personal data
  7. Go On UK have released two useful resources this week aimed at helping understand and tackle Digital Exclusion in communities. With 23% of the population lacking basic digital skills and 58% of charities unable to make the most of digital communications, these are vital tools.

    The first tool is a searchable Digital Heatmap of the UK, which identifies by town or postcode the areas of the country that are most likely to not be on-line based on a range of social and digital factors. The second is a range of resources under the Go On Local banner which lists resources, training, community facilities and digital champions in your area that can help build your digital skills.
  8. If you are a charity based near Leeds or Birmingham, these free events will be a useful opportunity to find out how on-line technology and cloud services can help you grow your work.
  9. How often do you wish there was a list of programs and websites to help you with a particular office task ... or how often do you think "there must be an easier way to do this". This list of free or low-cost websites and tools was recently compiled at the London NetSquared Meet-up by people working in and with charities. If that list isn't enough then try these from the Comms2Point0 blog - another list of 45 of their favourite tools and apps.
  10. Living Well in the Digital Age

  11. It's always good to see the difference tablet technology makes for good, this article shows four examples of how people can live well using their iPads.
  12. Bristol based Alive Activities have recently started a new intergenerational story telling project using their iPads and one of our favourite apps - Pic Collage. This free app makes selecting pictures from your tablet or the internet about any topic of interest so easy. Completed collages of pictures can then be printed or e-mailed to friends and family. The app can be downloaded for Android here and for IPad here.
  13. The Department of Health Digital Friends initiative continues to grow as members of the department are paired with their 'digital friend', to help them use and understand the benefits of being on-line. There are lots of useful links on the Digital Skills Website about helping someone get on-line for the first time and you can read more about Digital Friends here.
  14. Volunteering in care homes - a handbook: Volunteers can augment the staff team and help run activities. NCVO's Learn and Share events launched the volunteering handboook, good practice toolkit and showcased examples of successful volunteering in care homes. Read more here.
  15. To keep up to date with the latest statistics about the adult social care workforce, it's worth bookmarking or printing off the handy infographics of the latest figures from @skillsforcare about how many people work in the adult social care sector.
  16. Apps & Social Media

  17. The NHS App Store launched in 2013 was an early pioneer listing and recommending some of the many healthcare apps that could be useful for people with a range of health & social care needs, however, the method that apps are being promoted by the NHS is changing this month. The app store will be closing and being replaced by a range of fully accredited apps and tools being incorporated into the healthcare solutions listed on the NHS Choices website or in specialist Apps Libraries such as the one for Mental Health Apps.
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