Wigan Council – People powered technology
“Technology is a key component of the way we’re transforming services in Wigan. We want to work together with our community, enabling people to become more independent and self-sufficient.
Technology can empower people to have more control over their services, and act as a gateway for them to find out what’s available to support them at home.”
Jane Stevens, Assistive Technology Lead, Wigan Council
With a population of 320,000, Wigan is the ninth-largest metropolitan authority in England and the second largest in Greater Manchester. The authority faces a number of challenges, including:
- A continued financial challenge requiring the delivery of a further £60m worth of efficiencies by 2019
- An increase in life expectancy that will result in increased demand for services from an ageing population
- A higher level of deprivation compared to England as a whole
These challenges led the council to redesign the way it delivers services and embark upon a journey of reform.
Central to its strategy is the ‘Deal for Communities’, an informal contract between the council and its residents to change behaviours in order to achieve a more positive future together.
The Council’s vision is for Wigan Borough to be a confident place with confident people. Great progress has already been made, transforming services to save more than £100m since 2010 and seeing resident satisfaction with the Council increase by 50% since 2012. This is largely due to its asset based approach to public sector reform, a key element of which is ‘The Deal’, a strategy to build self-reliance across the borough. This new relationship between public services and citizens enables shared decision making, genuine coproduction and joint delivery of services, including:
- An asset-based approach that recognises and builds on the strengths of individuals, families and communities
- Integrated services that place families and communities at the heart of everything
- Use of new technology to support residents to be independent and in control, enabling them to access services and support digitally
- An evidence based understanding of risk and impact to target services effectively and ensure the right intervention at the right time
- Building self-reliance and independence resulting in behaviour change and reduced demand for services
The Council’s innovative approach is focused on the person and how they can best use their strengths and skills to become more independent and contribute to their community. Joined up health and care services will ensure joint investment in prevention and health and care pathways that are seamless and co-ordinated no matter who provides the service. Health services are becoming more community based and focus on prevention and early intervention, with fewer acute hospital beds. Support will be provided to people to allow them to stay in their own communities for longer and be in control of their lives and their care.
The use of telecare in supported accommodation has also created financial gains, as sensors which monitor for events such as epileptic seizures and people getting out of bed can be linked to a CareAssist pager, meaning staffing be changed from waking to sleep in, or in some cases removed by using a hub and spoke model.
In 2016 Wigan Council was named Digital Council of the Year at the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards in London.
Our Connected Care solutions have been designed to support a wide range of people, including older people, people at risk of falls, people with limited mobility, people with learning disabilities, people with dementia and people with conditions such as epilepsy
Tunstall Healthcare (UK) Ltd
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