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TEC Ready Update September 2016

TECReady is a programme funded by the Scottish Government TEC Team to help the housing sector achieve a step change in the role and contribution the housing sector makes to the TEC Programme objectives.

This article provides an update on the TECReady project. 

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The Scottish Government’s TEC programme has been funded and developed on the basis that in order to fulfill this potential, Scotland’s citizens and workforce will need to be able to be confident in using digital technology and have at least basic digital skills.

At the beginning of the year, the SFHA, with a number of partners, received funding from the Scottish Government TEC Programme to pursue a housing focused Technology Enabled Care programme.

Steering the programme has been a group of highly experienced and knowledgeable people in the field of TEC, including Housing Options Scotland, Care and Repair, iHub, SCVO, the Scottish Government TEC Team as well as a few practitioners from the world of housing. Collectively, this group has adopted the moniker TECRAG – which stands for the TEC Ready Advisory Group.

The different backgrounds and experiences of the TECRAG bring together a wealth of knowledge and expectations of what the TEC ready housing and TEC programme can bring.

The overall aim of this housing focused TEC programme is to:

“achieve a step change in the role and contribution the housing sector makes to the TEC Programme objectives by building on the reach that the sector has, particularly amongst people who do not receive formal health and social care services”.

As part of this project, we hope that the following will be delivered:

1. Contact with housing sector customers with information on TEC, aiming to reach around 300,000 people to support independent living (both in the public and private sectors)

2. Targeted uptake focusing on those most likely to benefit from the use of technology to support independent living, particularly carers and people who are not receiving formal care and support services. We would hope to see an increase in uptake of elements of technology enabled care of 1,500 to 3,000 new users across all age groups.

3. The development of materials, both written and digital, that provide information tailored to the housing world and those they have contact with that will encourage people to use technology to support their independent living.

4. Beacons of good practice, where housing organisations are mainstreaming the opportunities offered by technology across their services. 

5. Approaches such as ‘come and try’ hubs or pop ups that offer a rolling programme across Scotland for people to learn about different technologies.

6. Toolkits/approaches for housing organisations to use to identify those who would benefit from and want to use technology, so that case finding can be efficient and effective.

7. Identified specialist housing developments where technology will be included as an integral part of the future provision.

Based on the existing approaches to dissemination of TEC, the TEC Ready Housing approach will have six core features:

  • Working with and through housing organisations on all aspects of the programme; the TEC Ready Housing programme is there to support activity and draw learning which is transferable.
  • Building on the reach of housing organisations, particularly for those customers who are not in contact with formal health, care and support services.
  • Focusing on those who are able to take advantage of technology for self help, self management or in support of their carer role.
  • Mainstreaming and sustainability will be achieved by
    • Delivering the programme in partnership with organisations
    • Developing the housing workforce – their understanding and engagement – as contacts and conduits for customers on a continuing basis
    • Case studies of housing organisations where technology as a support for independent living forms an integral part of policies and processes
  • Collaborating across all activities with partnerships and other organisations which have received funding from the TEC programme.
  • Having both a structured programme, and also being opportunistic building on activities being taken forward by others which enable the TEC Ready deliverables to be met.

The TEC Ready Team have been doing fact finding in recent months, in particular exploring how other sectors have risen to the challenge of getting TEC Ready, as well as looking at pioneering work going on already within the housing sector.

A few key messages have emerged:

  • Adoption of TEC for both the housing sector workforce and their customers will require basic digital skills
  • Getting TEC Ready needs to be fun and engage people in things they want to do

Moving forward, the TEC Ready Team are looking for partners to pilot an ‘Organisation’ and ‘Area-Based’ approach with partners ‘One Digital’. Partners will be invited to take part in bespoke train-the-trainer Basic Digital Skills training with a TEC focus and then offered support to hold their own training events with their team and customers.

Through building existing digital skills, customers and staff will be better placed to explore and adopt TEC when it is required to help self-manage and provide anticipatory and preventative care.

In addition to the training pilots, the TEC Ready Team is working with other partners to offer ‘pop-up’ information sessions to help raise awareness of what TEC is available and how people might use it now and in the future.

If you are interested in taking part in either of the pilots, or hosting a pop-up event in your reception or at an event you are already holding, get in touch now with Zhan McIntyre at the SFHA - zmcintyre@sfha.co.uk