Enhancing skills for domiciliary care workers
Over the last twenty years, recipients of social care have become older and sicker. Homecare agencies and care homes are dealing with tougher, more complex challenges. At times, society has looked the other way. But something more positive has also happened. Digital innovation has seen diagnostic tools become smaller, cheaper and easier to use.
The e-Care project from Barking & Dagenham College and Care City aims to give domiciliary carers some of the latest digital technology to spot ill-health quicker, so they can call the right clinician at the right time with the right information.
e-Care are building a mobile learning platform to help carers – many of whom lack the time and resources to go to college for long periods – to learn about physiology, the latest care tech and about working with District Nurses and GPs.
We want care workers to feel confident and empowered in their role.
Project Lead Julia Prudhoe said that e-Care was aiming to:
“...enhance care workers skills and knowledge in body systems, digital tools and diagnostics they can use to monitor service users, and learn about how to have a professional conversation with a medical professional. We want care workers to feel confident and empowered in their role.”
The first phase pilot of the app has now been released, and testing is now getting underway. To boost awareness, the team have released a new promotional video:
Programme Manager (Development & Education) Julia Prudhoe said: “We are excited about e-Care as it's an accessible way to learn more about how to care for service users, which will in turn help care workers to enhance their skills. It is quick and easy to download, you can use the app on the go and in between working shifts. We hope it teaches care workers new concepts and learning, but also indicates how much they already know, making them feel more confident in their abilities.”
Above and beyond existing pressures, the pandemic has made the project’s aims even more relevant. Julia added: “With the Covid-19 pandemic, care workers have been required to remotely monitor their service users e.g. taking readings of heart rate, sending a picture to a GP via text and then the GP initiating treatment. If there's a change in their service user - they are the first to spot it and the app will hopefully provide them with the skills and knowledge to have an idea of what might be wrong, take some readings, and then give this all to a clinician to initiate a diagnosis. It's about making care workers feel empowered and confident to communicate health information to a clinician.”