Many care services still work solely on paper, with the pressures in which they operate, many still lack the confidence to start using digital tools, with some still not having internet connection or WiFi. But in light of the recent Coronavirus pandemic, it has become clear that technology is now a necessary part of the world we live in.
NHSX has been working hard since before the pandemic to improve access to the internet and technology for care services, and have since negotiated a number of broadband deals to help care homes get online and stay connected. Having access to WiFi can really open up care services to faster, more efficient ways of working, as well as being able to provide even better care to residents during this uncertain time.
Most recently launched is the NHS free iPad giveaway for residential homes, as a way to support the care sector with technology and internet access. The aim is to improve internet connectivity in care homes as well as provide iPads that can be used to assist with various aspects of running a care home such as emails, video calls and access to information online.
How would an iPad benefit your care service?
NHSX say they wish these iPads to allow care homes to:
- Hold video consultations with healthcare professionals
- Use NHS Mail as their secure email service
- Connect residents with their loved ones remotely
- Allow access to any other digital tools they may need to enhance care
With the world adjusting to a ‘new normal’ of social distancing, staying connected digitally can really help to protect everyone and slow down transmission of the Coronavirus. Working digitally also means that those who are high risk and shielding don’t have to miss out on family visits or routine check ups as they can instead be conducted online. You can also check out our article How to stay connected to those in care for tips on the best digital tools to use.
For any services who have poor or no WiFi available on site, the NHS free iPad giveaway will also include a data enabled SIM for the device that will be free for 12 months.
Who is eligible?
There are only a limited number of iPads available, and NHSX will prioritise those that need them most. Their eligibility criteria states that you can apply for an iPad if you are a care home that receives all or part of your funding from the NHS or your Local Authority and have less than one tablet device per 40 residents.
You can also apply if you do not have any tablet devices at all and homes with less than 40 residents will qualify for one tablet device and those with 40 or more residents will receive two tablet devices.
The data-enabled SIM-card devices are available to care services who have very poor WiFi connectivity or no internet access at all.
Nourish Care is positive about the future of technology in care. To find out more about our digital care planning solutions, get in touch and book a demo today!