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Supporting independent living for vulnerable people

Matt Daniel, Director of Partnerships, AutonoMe

18th August 2021 about a 5 minute read

The Community of Practice for Social Care Analytics is sharing a number of exemplars that demonstrate good and innovative use of data and analytics in order to support those who provide and receive social care. Here Matt Daniel describes how AutonoMe are supporting vulnerable individuals to lead independent lives.

Background

AutonoMe’s approach blends human support with smart technology to support vulnerable people, including (though not exclusively) those with learning disabilities, mental health needs, care leavers and autistic people.  Essentially, our system can be helpful for anyone who needs extra time/support to learn skills relating to daily living, relationships, safety and/or employability.

Our system 

  1. The AutonoMe app gives access to tailored video content created by our team of experts; step-by-step instructions on a range of independent living skills (aligned to categories of eligible need and ASCOF measures) direct to learners whenever they need them. The app also collects self-reported progress data direct from learners.
  2. An AutonoMe Development Coordinator will work with a learner (remotely or face to face) to undertake an initial assessment and identify with them (and their supporters) the skills they want to acquire. They will continue to work with the learner, and their support network, for as long as they choose to use AutonoMe.  In this way we can build up an incredibly detailed picture of progress and adapt the system as the learner’s independence grows.
  3. The AutonoMe data dashboard provides real-time data on learners’ journey towards independence; enabling success to be recognised and decisions on the support needs to be based on clearly evidenced outcomes.

The need

According to the LGA, over the last 10 years councils have had their budgets reduced by 60% whilst the cost of supporting people has increased due to rises in the national living wage and an increased population of those with long- term conditions.  At the same time support providers are facing a chronic shortage of trained support workers and relief or agency workers are being used in most services, making it difficult to provide consistent support for people who really need it.

The result of these pre-existing pressures coupled with the pandemic is that all too often when someone with learning disabilities leaves education and enters adult services, they are not given the opportunity to challenge themselves, they have fewer opportunities to develop skills or continue learning and as a result have a poorer quality of life.

Data to support decision making

Local authorities are responsible for ensuring their vulnerable population receives the support they need.  However, they often find it difficult to access clear evidence which identifies how well an individual is managing a range of daily living tasks or identifies the daily living skills people are developing over their lifetime.

AutonoMe is designed to address this need via an inbuilt self-assessment function.  As learners access the system, they self-assess their level of independence with each task.  The self-assessment function on the AutonoMe app gives learners a voice; a say in their own abilities and a direct line of communication to commissioners on a regular basis.

Over time, these self-assessments provide a detailed picture of the skills each learner is working on, the progress they are making and the new skills they have acquired.  When a learner’s self-assessments show a sustained increase in independence AutonoMe confirms the increased independence by proactively engaging with the user/support worker to observe and confirm the learner’s level of independence with the skill.  This data enables commissioners to make better informed, evidence-based decisions.

Additionally, this rich data allowed us to work with NHS Digital (as part of the Social Care Digital Innovation Accelerator) to develop a tool that can identify the Social Return on Investment (SROI) on an individual and project basis.  The SROI relates to a range of benefits with highlights including[1]:

  • Greater confidence leading to improved mental health/wellbeing
  • Greater independence leading to reduced demand on commissioned services
  • Improved family relationships
  • Successful transition into education, independent living, employment and training

Our ambition

Our ambition is to be the UK’s number one provider of blended care, and we are already supporting approximately 400 users across a range of local authority, social care and education providers.  However, the social care landscape is changing rapidly, technology enabled care (TEC) is at last being looked properly as policy decisions are being made and we need to be able to influence these decisions to ensure our knowledge of what works in terms of TEC, and the implementation of it, is utilised.

I’m really keen to talk about our work and opportunities to collaborate, please get in touch!

 

Matt Daniel, Director of Partnerships, AutonoMe

[email protected]

07904 020 210

[1] 20/21 Social Care Digital Innovation Accelerator programme by NHS Digital and the Local Government Association

https://www.local.gov.uk/case-studies/virtual-support-project-autonome

https://issuu.com/autonome/docs/autonome_impact_report_v2