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Councils and care providers urged to bid for tech testbed funding


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Image source: Rowan Atkins

Care providers and local authorities have been invited to apply for grants of £75,000 to test the use of technology tools and digital housing services with older people.

The funding is part of the Technology for our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (TAPPI) project, led by the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN), the Technology Enabled Care Services Association (TSA) and funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust.

The trust has called for ‘care ready’ digital infrastructure to be woven into the fabric of all new and retrofitted homes.

The first phase of TAPPI concluded in 2021, examining current practice then setting out 10 principles for using technology in housing and care for older people. The second phase will trial the use of these principles in people’s homes over 12-15 months.

A range of organisations including providers of social housing, supported living services, grouped living schemes and step-down dwellings that support re-ablement are eligible to apply for funding to become demonstrator sites, as are those that support older people to live independently at home. 

Four organisations will each be awarded a grant of £75,000 so they can try out different mainstream and specialist technologies with older people.

Assessment on principles

Digital services and solutions will be assessed using TAPPI principles to ensure they are: adaptable, co-produced, cost-effective, choice led, interoperable, inclusive, outcome focused, person centred, preventative and quality focused.

Each demonstrator site will share their findings throughout the project, reporting on people’s views, barriers to using digital services, what worked well and how easy it was to embed the TAPPI principles when building and retrofitting homes.

The Housing LIN, the TEC Services Association (TSA) and the Dunhill Medical Trust will use case studies and learnings from the project to support other housing providers that are seeking to adopt the TAPPI principles and make homes care ready.

Susan Kay, CEO of the Dunhill Medical Trust said: “We view enabling technology as a vital element of supporting people to remain as independent as possible in their own homes and communities as they age, so this programme is much broader than simply evaluating the impact of the digital upgrade of a scheme’s alarm systems, for example.

“We’re looking for practical, holistic solutions that enable people to choose and control the support they want so they can do the things they love, in the communities they call home.”

Details on how to apply for the funding are available here and the closing date is 16 May.


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