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A recent report by Age UK has warned that social care in England is at risk of collapsing unless urgent steps are taken to address the issues engulfing the sector. Almost 1 in 8 older people are living with some level of unmet need1 and the number of people aged 65 and over not receiving the care they need has risen 17% in the past year to 1.2 million1.
With increased pressures on finite resources, Bal Bange, Operations Director at Protomed, explains how care-enabled technology can offer a cost-effective solution to help reduce pressure on the Care sector.
“The pressures on the Care sector are growing immensely, there was a £1 billion shortfall for adult social care in 2015/162 and spending is set to fall by over 8% between 2016 and 20203. Local authorities aren’t just battling with budget cuts, but also pressures on resource, in 2015/16, two of the largest national homecare providers left the local authority market4. In the same period, 59 councils reported that at least one home care provider had elected to stop providing services to local authority clients5. Coupled with rising vacancy rates in the Social Care sector4, local authorities are at breaking point,” says Bal.
85% of people aged 85 and over are living with at least two long-term health conditions6. With that number due to grow exponentially in the next 20 years, an important question that arises is, how can we meet the needs of an aging population without crippling our already-stretched resources?
“Technology can play a vital role in helping social care providers improve efficiencies, streamline processes and enhance the quality of care that a patient receives. As well as improving the delivery of care, technology can also help patients to take their medicines as prescribed and live independently in their own homes,” Bal explains.
"The overall effect is reduced pressures on Social Care and the NHS through cost savings and diverting the demand on services,” continues Bal.
So, what is being done to raise awareness and speed up the adoption of technology?
Regional initiatives such as The West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) is leading the way in speeding up the adoption of technology through Meridian, an online health innovation exchange portal designed to support the spread of good practice and improved health across the West Midlands. Meridian is a collaborative platform where organisations can come together to discuss and showcase innovative technologies that offer high-quality, efficient, person-centred care that delivers the best clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.
“As Protomed is a partner to the WMAHSN and a specialist in medication adherence, we strongly advocate the role of technology in supporting the demands on today’s Care system. As a result, we launched Biodose Connect™ in 2016, a technology-enabled care device designed to support those with long-term conditions to take the right medicines, at the right time to support positive patient outcomes.”
It is estimated that around half of all medicines prescribed for long-term conditions aren’t taken as recommended7. Furthermore, a report by the Department of Health estimates that unused medicines cost the NHS around £300 million every year, with an estimated £110 million worth of medicine returned to pharmacies, £90 million worth of unused prescriptions being stored in homes and £50 million worth of medicines disposed of by care homes8.
Joining over 200 delegates at Meridian LIVE, an innovation-focused event which took place in Birmingham on 15 February 2017, our specialists were on hand to showcase the features and benefits of Biodose Connect™. The device’s clever reminder systems and real-time adherence monitoring capabilities could provide a proactive and preventative solution to reducing the associated human and financial costs of medicines not being taken as prescribed.
Ian Pearce, Managing Director of Protomed adds; “Our specialists heard first-hand the challenges faced by NHS and local authority delegates when looking for cost-saving solutions to maintain critical services, which provided us with an enriched understanding of the role of Biodose Connect™.”
“It’s clear that Biodose Connect™ could play a vital part in innovating care provision by supporting patients’ adherence to medication regimes in their own homes. As well as the benefits to health, we believe that the resulting cost savings to health and social care could run in excess of £1 million each year9. We’re looking forward to discussing opportunities to support the health care economy further at future WMAHSN events,” says Ian.
Find out more about Biodose Connect™
Missed Meridian Live? Click here to learn more about how the features and benefits of Biodose Connect™ can help to shape the future of healthcare services. Alternatively, our experts are on hand to answer any questions or to arrange a convenient time to provide a demonstration. Simply call +44 (0) 1260 292 840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 English social care system for elderly facing 'complete collapse' The Guardian, February 2017 https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/16/english-social-care-system-for-elderly-facing-complete-collapse
2 Vulnerable adults at risk as councils face £1bn social care shortfall The Guardian, July 2016 https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jul/13/vulnerable-adult-social-care-risk-england-councils-face-1bn-shortfall
3 The Health and Care of Older People in England 2017 Age UK February 2017 page 5 http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/For-professionals/Research/The_Health_and_Care_of_Older_People_in_England_2016.pdf?dtrk=true
4 The Health and Care of Older People in England 2017 Age UK February 2017 Page 34 http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/For-professionals/Research/The_Health_and_Care_of_Older_People_in_England_2016.pdf?dtrk=true
5 Budget Survey 2016/17 Association of Directors of Adult Social Services July 2016 https://www.adass.org.uk/media/5379/adass-budget-survey-report-2016.pdf
6 The Health and Care of Older People in England 2017 Age UK February 2017 Page 3 http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/For-professionals/Research/The_Health_and_Care_of_Older_People_in_England_2016.pdf?dtrk=true
7Medicines Adherence: Involving patients in decisions about prescribed medicines & supporting adherence Jan 2009 NICE Page 4 http://publications.nice.org.uk/medicines-adherence-cg76
8 How can you help? Medicines Waste 2017 http://www.medicinewaste.com/didyouknow [Accessed 14 February 2017]
9 Per 100 users per annum through supporting independent living. Reference – Data on file.
Notes to editors:
Established in 2007, medication adherence experts, Protomed develops and supplies medication-delivery systems comprising of Biodose® and Biodose Connect™. Both innovations are designed to help patients take the right medicines, at the right dose and at the right time.
Biodose® is a patent-protected, medication-delivery system that carries pre-dispensed liquid and solid-dose medication. Dispensed by pharmacies into care homes, Biodose® aims to strengthen medicines administration and adherence.
Building on the success of Biodose®, Biodose Connect™ takes patient safety and medicines adherence to the next level by bringing together smart reminders for patients, pre-dispensed medication doses and real-time adherence monitoring for carers and/or healthcare professionals all in one solution.
Established in 2007, Vaica is the chosen development partner for Biodose Connect™. Providing customised medication adherence solutions for healthcare organisations, their cloud-based software enables the remote management and monitoring of adherence data.
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