Smart Place is helping to provide better access to services and improve quality and length of life. Through digital technology solutions we can empower volunteers, reduce loneliness, tackle homelessness and help suicide prevention.
Using data to support quality social care
Good quality and effective social care is essential to support vulnerable adults, children and families. Social care budgets account for the majority of the Council’s revenue spending.
Utilising latest data technologies and analytics at scale across multiple agencies and datasets will provide new insights leading to enhanced outcomes and helping to deliver significant operational savings.
Empowering the voluntary and community sector
With increasing demands on traditional council services and significant pressure on budgets it is vital that the Council makes the most of the resources available within the community.
Technology can play an important role in providing the tools that communities and volunteers need to help them play their part. For example, Wigan Council launched a community-based initiative called The Wigan Deal which achieved 40% budget savings and delivered better outcomes for local people.
Reducing loneliness and isolation
Some people, particularly older people, can become vulnerable and feel isolated leading to avoidable demands upon council and healthcare services. Digital interaction with family and friends and emerging technological devices can help address loneliness as well as enable earlier detection and intervention before wellbeing problems become more serious.
Promoting active and healthy lifestyles
Poor lifestyle choices result in significant costs both for the health service and adult social care. Type II diabetes alone costs the NHS over £5 billion every year and yet its onset can be prevented or delayed through improved lifestyles. Early intervention is important and digital technologies can help with communicating the benefits of lifestyle changes reducing demand and costs on services.
Homelessness is an increasing issue in our towns. There is a need to address the root causes of homelessness, helping to prevent it from occurring in the first place. There is also a need to support the welfare of homeless people, helping them to move off the street as well as tackling anti-social begging.
Suicide has a major long-term impact upon families. Death by suicide is the largest killer of men under 45 in the UK. Being able to detect early behaviours that might prevent someone from taking their own life will provide a major benefit to society. Locally, technology can help BCP Council and Public Health Dorset implement the Dorset Suicide Prevention Plan.
Major incident response
In major emergency situations the ability to predict demand and rapidly plan, co-ordinate and deploy both physical and human resources is vital to deliver the best possible outcomes.
Facilitating remote GP appointments
GP surgeries are increasingly under pressure to cope with demand. For patients, appointments can sometimes be difficult to arrange or attend. Utilising digital technologies for remote GP appointments has proven to be very helpful during the Covid-19 pandemic, but for this to be successful and affordable, digital infrastructure needs to be in place and people may need support with understanding the technology.
Remote and robotic surgery
Emerging technologies coupled with high-speed digital networks mean that surgeons are beginning to be able to use their skills to perform operations remotely. Robotic technology is now becoming used in surgery as well. These advances will enable specialist surgeons’ time to be used more effectively and increasing the number of patients who can be treated.