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What pandemic taught me about partnerships

New TSA Board Director for Wales and Llesiant Delta Wellbeing Managing Director Samantha Watkins sets out her expectations for technology enabled care and how Covid-19 influenced her decision to strengthen links and services with the local council


“Since Covid-19 the TEC sector has a unique opportunity to demonstrate the true impact that TECS can have on the lives of the most vulnerable in our society and how it can support some very stretched front line services. I’m delighted to be joining the TSA CIC board at such an incredibly important time for the industry and when significant national policy changes can be secured with the right drive and ambition and I’m particularly looking forward to the role I can play in driving this agenda forward in Wales.

There’s never been a more important time for TEC providers to be stepping up and showcasing the value we can add to critical frontline public services. From the outset our team at Delta Wellbeing worked with colleagues in the health and social care sector from frontline to the senior leadership teams, identifying where we could add value. We’ve been working closely with Carmarthenshire County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board to support those at home and help get patients out of hospital at the earliest opportunity, providing the latest TEC to improve a person’s independence.

Significantly, we’re now having very different conversations with commissioners about TEC prescriptions in the future with some really exciting work being developed, tested and implemented with GDS Digital and Tunstall Health.

Proactive services

Our close partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council has meant that arrangements were in place very early on to help local people who are shielding. To date, we have made around 7,321 calls to residents in Carmarthenshire who have received shielding letters from Welsh Government to make sure they have everything they need to stay safe during these difficult times. Through our pro-active calls, we have been able to support vulnerable residents to ensure they have food shopping, access to medication and to ensure their general wellbeing. If a need is identified for further social care support, a suitable referral is then made. Our team has also helped deliver essential food parcels to vulnerable residents in the local community.

Our new emergency responder service has been visiting people at home when required to solve practical issues people have when shielding. The feedback from service users and their families has been extremely positive.

Ongoing partnership work

As part of this ongoing support and our involvement with Hywel Dda University Health Board we obtained 250 oximeters that will be used to gain vital information from patients on Hywel Dda University Health Board virtual wards and for those discharged home as we work together in the fight against COVID. The devices measure oxygen levels in patients’ blood and will support us in timely interventions, as in conjunction with the oximeters, patients would also have a Delta Wellbeing lifeline installed in their homes. If a patient was concerned about their oxygen level reading, they could press their lifeline button to alert staff in our 24/7 monitoring centre who would then be able to provide the necessary help should they require. Our TEC Officers also helped deliver oximeters to every care home across Carmarthenshire.

We continue to work together with the council and health board to put measures in place should we experience a second wave of COVID - this includes providing support for virtual surgeries, through pro-active wellbeing calls, identifying other social care needs at the earliest opportunity to provide the right support at the right time, utilising the latest Technology Enabled Care."

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