Gary Baillie, of the Inspire project at Bield Housing Association, explains ALISS's involvement in the trial.

‘Inspire’ is an innovative Proactive Telecare project that aims to help older people live independent lives and to better engage with groups and services in their communities.  Gary Baillie, Project Manager of the Inspire project at Bield Housing Association, explains how ALISS – A Local Information System for Scotland – has been fundamental to the success of the scheme.

Gary advised “ALISS was the first point of reference, for our Call Handlers, when we wanted to direct beneficiaries/customers for support in their communities. It was an invaluable resource to signpost beneficiaries/customers to where they could seek support or more generally find out what was going on in their communities that they could engage with”

The project, run by Bield in collaboration with the Scottish Government’s Technology Enabled Care programme, has the fundamental principle to highlight issues amongst BR24 (Bield Response 24) alarm users and prevent them from becoming an emergency.  BR24 is a service that aims to enable people to live as independently as possible via means such as emergency personal alarm monitoring, fall detector monitoring, fire/CO2 monitoring, daily sure call contact service, and emergency out-of-hour repairs to name a few.

The first part of the Inspire test of change operated in partnership with Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership, and Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership.  During the trial of Inspire, up to 50 individuals using the BR24 alarm service in both Midlothian and Inverclyde were called each week for up to 45 mins to try out the preventative approach. Linstone Housing Association joined to create a third cohort, exploring a more dynamic service, after hearing of the successes the test of change was having in terms of positive outcomes for individuals.

Call handlers have found ALISS to be an invaluable resource to connect people to local and national resources.  One example highlighted by Gary was that of an individual identified as being malnourished.  Having entered the individual’s location into ALISS, the call handler was able to locate a nearby food bank that could assist, addressing the immediate need for food.  Subsequently, ALISS was used to link the person into a money advice service, which allowed them to maximise their benefits income.

In discussion with the ALISS team, it was highlighted that call handlers could further benefit from ALISS by utilising some functionality that is open only to logged-in users, such as creating “recommendation lists”.  Having engaged with the individual, and identified issues to be addressed, the call handler might use ALISS to refer several services, groups, activities, or resources which might benefit them. These lists of recommendations can then be emailed directly from the ALISS platform to the older person, a family member, or worker.

A further feature is that of ‘saved services’.  This allows logged-in users to compile a list of services that can be accessed at a later point, to save searching repeatedly each time ALISS is accessed.  These might be services that call handlers frequently refer to.

Even without these additional features, it is clear that ALISS has played a crucial role in the innovation of this new, proactive telecare service.  The ALISS team looks forward to working with the Inspire project as they enter the second phase of their development.

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