Deputy Chief Executive Bernie Keenan joins with senior colleagues in the care sector to talk to Care Minister Gillian Keegan MP

Posted on: 19/01/2022

Deputy Chief Executive Bernie Keenan joins with senior colleagues in the care sector to talk to Care Minister Gillian Keegan MP about the impact of the pandemic, workforce and resource issues and the integration and transformation of care, health and housing services.

This week our Deputy Chief Executive Bernie Keenan talked to Care Minister Gillian Keegan MP in a meeting organised by the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) to discuss several key issues in the Health, Care and Housing sectors. The discussion involved Progress Housing Group, alongside six care providers, looking at how organisations responded to the pandemic, workforce and resource issues, and how the integration of services can help to transform the care, health, and housing sectors.

Earlier this year, the Government published a white paper; ‘Working together to improve health and social care for all’, setting out legislative proposals to build on the collaborations generated during the pandemic and shape a system that's better able to serve people in a fast-changing world.

The white paper states: “We are living through the greatest challenge our health and care system has ever faced. Yet even in crisis conditions, everyone working in our health and care system has continued to deliver excellence. Critically, collaboration across health and social care has accelerated at a pace showing what we can do when we work together, flexibly, adopting new technology focused on the needs of the patient.”

Bernie Keenan, Deputy Chief Executive, said, “The meeting was a great opportunity for several organisations to share their challenges over the past 18 months, and we had a useful exchange of views on issues within the sector. It was also great to hear that the government continue to support the increasing use of technology to improve the quality of services to the end-user and ensure limited resources are used to the maximum benefit.”

Progress Lifeline, part of Progress Housing Group, delivers Technology Enabled Care services to over 65,000 people in the UK. Our aim is to enable people to stay in their own homes and live independently.

Over the past 18 months, Progress Lifeline, in partnership with North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), the Health & Social Care Commissioners of Lancashire County Council and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, have been working together to create an improved service for patients who fall but are uninjured.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) triage the calls and if a fall patient is uninjured and does not need medical attention, they refer the job to Progress Lifeline's Assistive Lifting Service. This reduces the need for an emergency ambulance response, freeing up valuable ambulance resources to attend to life-critical calls.

With the increasing demands on the NHS and ambulance services, our response and assistive lifting provision is a vital service that not only strengthens partnerships with public services but also improves the lives of many people who may suffer further injuries and hours of discomfort waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

In December 2021, the Progress Lifeline Emergency Home Response service:

  • Handled 2,467 fall-related calls and carried out 1,392 lifts
  • Had an average response time of under 23 minutes
  • Relieved pressure on the North West Ambulance Service and decreased the number of hospital admissions following a fall
  • Saved the NHS ambulance call-out costs for the referred uninjured falls, as well as further savings in non-conveyance to A&E and ongoing treatment or hospital stays
  • Made referrals to local falls prevention services following a responder visit, reducing falls and subsequent 999 calls in the future
  • Have established three referral pathways directly into the 24/7 alarm response centre; Progress Lifeline monitoring services, electronically from 999 triage calls and via a direct line used by Care and Residential homes.

It is vitally important that investment into Technology Enabled Care continues and is high on the government agenda to enable the provision of high-quality care to an ageing and post-pandemic population.

Many people want to continue living independently and safely for as long as possible, with the reassurance that care and support will be provided when needed. Assistive technology and smart solutions can help to protect the safety of individuals, especially where people are particularly frail or at risk of falls. The use of technology can provide 24-hour reassurance and enables care service providers to deliver care safely and efficiently.

Progress Lifeline is committed to working in innovatively to ensure that our services are fit-for-purpose and add real value and positive outcomes to our service users. We are already implementing our new future-focused strategy including investment in our teams, products, technology, and customer care. We will continue to grow and provide the highest quality service to our existing customers and new ones alike. Having the opportunity for our deputy chief executive to speak to the care minister is just one of the many ways that we are working to shape the future of TECs services.