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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2021

John Woolham, Paul Freddolino, Grant Gibson and Sarah Daniels

This paper aims to report on a structured attempt to develop new directions for research into telecare. Current research evidence suggests that telecare in the UK is not…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report on a structured attempt to develop new directions for research into telecare. Current research evidence suggests that telecare in the UK is not optimally cost-effective and does not deliver better outcomes than more traditional forms of care and support. To address this problem, an analysis of expert opinion about future directions for research is provided.

Design/methodology/approach

Two electronic surveys of UK based academic experts were conducted. Participants were drawn from a range of professional disciplines, including medicine, social care, occupational therapy and social policy and identified were by their contribution in this, or allied fields. The first survey included nine questions intended to identify at least one new research question that could form the basis of a funding proposal to the Nuffield Foundation, which provided “seedcorn” funding to support this work. Ten themes were identified following thematic analysis. The second survey asked participants to prioritise three of these themes.

Findings

Key themes emerging as priority areas for future research were as follows: the role of assessment in ensuring technology deployment meets the needs of service users; ethical implications of technology and how these might be addressed in the future; and the use of end user co-production/co-creation approaches in the development of new assistive technologies and digital enabled care.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are based on academic expert opinion; perspectives of practitioners, service users and family members are unrepresented.

Practical implications

The findings of this study could contribute to development of new directions for telecare research, and future strategic funding decisions in this rapidly changing field.

Originality/value

Evidence for sub-optimal outcomes for telecare requires new thinking. The authors are not aware of any other study that offers an analysis of expert opinion of fruitful areas for new research into telecare.

Details

Journal of Enabling Technologies, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6263

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 October 2019

John Woolham, Caroline Norrie, Kritika Samsi and Jill Manthorpe

The purpose of this paper is to describe the employment conditions of social care personal assistants (PAs) in England. In England, disabled adults have been able to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the employment conditions of social care personal assistants (PAs) in England. In England, disabled adults have been able to directly employ people to meet their care or support needs for a number of years, little is known about the employment conditions of people who are directly employed.

Design/methodology/approach

PAs were recruited mainly through third sector and user led organisations. A total of 105 social care PAs took part in a semi-structured telephone interview, which on average was an hour long. Interviews were fully transcribed. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS (v.24) and qualitative data by NVIVO software.

Findings

The paper focuses on employment conditions: contracts, pay, pensions, national insurance, overtime, holiday and sick pay, etc. Access to training and support are also described. Though PAs enjoyed considerable job satisfaction, many did not enjoy good employment conditions. Though employer abuse was uncommon, many PAs could arguably be described as exploited. Occupational isolation and lack of support to resolve disputes was striking.

Research limitations/implications

Though this may be currently the largest qualitative study of PAs in the UK, it is nonetheless relatively small and no claims for generalisability are made, though the geographical spread of the sample was wide and recruited from multiple sites.

Practical implications

PAs are an effective way of establishing relationship-based care, and confer direct control to disabled employers. Many PAs experienced high job satisfaction. However, lack of regulation and oversight creates considerable potential for exploitation or abuse. This may make the role less attractive to potential PAs in the medium term.

Social implications

Social care PAs may be a very effective means of achieving genuinely person-centred care or support for many people. However, PAs do not always appear to enjoy satisfactory conditions of employment and their role is largely unregulated. Growth and long-term sustainability of this emergent role may be jeopardised by these employment conditions.

Originality/value

Little is known about PA working conditions. This study suggests that much more needs to be done to improve these.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 July 2019

Fiona Aspinal, Martin Stevens, Jill Manthorpe, John Woolham, Kritika Samsi, Kate Baxter, Shereen Hussein and Mohamed Ismail

The purpose of this paper is to present findings from one element of a study exploring the relationship between personalisation, in the form of personal budgets (PBs) for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present findings from one element of a study exploring the relationship between personalisation, in the form of personal budgets (PBs) for publicly funded social care and safeguarding.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 people receiving PBs who had recently been the focus of a safeguarding investigation. Participants were recruited from two English local authority areas and data were subject to thematic analysis.

Findings

The analysis identified three main themes: levels of information and awareness; safeguarding concerns and processes; and choice and control. Many of the participants in this small study described having experienced multiple forms of abuse or neglect concurrently or repeatedly over time.

Research limitations/implications

This was a small scale, qualitative study, taking place in two local authorities. The small number of participants may have had strong opinions which may or may not have been typical. However, the study provides some rich data on people’s experiences.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that adults receiving PBs may need information on an ongoing and repeated basis together with advice on how to identify and address poor quality care that they are arranging for themselves. Practitioners need to be aware of the influence of the level of information received and the interaction of organisational or legal requirements when responding to safeguarding concerns when care being supplied tries to reflect the benefits of choice and control.

Originality/value

This paper reports original research asking adults with care and support needs about the interaction between two key policies of safeguarding and personalisation.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 18 December 2017

John Woolham

233

Abstract

Details

Journal of Enabling Technologies, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6263

Content available
Article
Publication date: 20 March 2017

Sarah Parsons and John Woolham

572

Abstract

Details

Journal of Enabling Technologies, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6263

Content available
Article
Publication date: 18 September 2017

Sarah Parsons and John Woolham

231

Abstract

Details

Journal of Enabling Technologies, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6263

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

John Woolham and Sarah Parsons

413

Abstract

Details

Journal of Enabling Technologies, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6263

Article
Publication date: 18 March 2011

John Woolham

This article explores the origins, aims and ongoing development of the self‐assessment tool under development at www.atdementia.org.uk.

Abstract

This article explores the origins, aims and ongoing development of the self‐assessment tool under development at www.atdementia.org.uk.

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 February 2015

Jill Manthorpe, Martin Stevens, Kritika Samsi, Fiona Aspinal, John Woolham, Shereen Hussein, Mohamed Ismail and Kate Baxter

The purpose of this paper is to report on a part of a study examining the interrelationships between personalisation and safeguarding practice. Specifically the authors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on a part of a study examining the interrelationships between personalisation and safeguarding practice. Specifically the authors aimed to examine how safeguarding practice is affected by the roll out of personalisation in adult social care, particularly when the adult at risk has a personal budget or is considering this.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of annual reports from Adult Safeguarding Boards in England was accessed for content analysis covering the period 2009-2011. One part of this sample of local authorities was selected at random; the other authorities selected had been early adopters of personalisation. The reports were analysed using a pro forma to collect salient information on personalisation that was cross-referenced to identify common themes and differences.

Findings

The authors found variable mentions of personalisation as part of the macro policy context reported in the annual reviews, some examples of system or process changes at mezzo level where opportunities to discuss the interface were emerging, and some small reports of training and case accounts relevant to personalisation. Overall these two policy priorities seemed to be more closely related than had been found in earlier research on the interface between adult safeguarding and personalisation.

Research limitations/implications

There was wide variation in the annual reports in terms of detail, size and content, and reports for only one year were collected. Developments may have taken place but might not have been recorded in the annual reports so these should not be relied upon as complete accounts of organisational or practice developments.

Practical implications

Authors of Safeguarding Adults Board reports may benefit from learning that their reports may be read both immediately and potentially in the future. They may wish to ensure their comments on current matters will be intelligible to possible future readers and researchers.

Originality/value

There does not appear to have been any other previous study of Safeguarding Adult Boards’ annual reports. Documentary analysis at local level is under-developed in safeguarding studies.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 June 2015

Esmé Wood, Gillian Ward and John Woolham

– The purpose of this paper is to gain a greater understanding of the development of safer walking technology for people with dementia through contemporary literature.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to gain a greater understanding of the development of safer walking technology for people with dementia through contemporary literature.

Design/methodology/approach

A two stage systematic approach to searching the literature was adopted. Initially this involved searching the literature to gain a broad overview of the development of safer walking technology and the context in which it has been developed. Then, this literature was examined in detail to look at published evidence surrounding the use of safer walking technology by people with dementia. These articles were quality appraised and a meta ethnographic approach taken to synthesis of the findings.

Findings

There is a small but growing body of literature within this field. Whilst there is only limited evidence to support the use of safer walking technologies for people with dementia, the evidence to date indicates great potential for its use. If provided with the right support and guidance, safer walking technology has the potential to increase freedoms and independence for people with dementia; gaining them improved access to outdoor spaces and environments to support their health and wellbeing. However, if the safer walking technology continues to be associated with only risk management it will not achieve this potential.

Research limitations/implications

The published literature within this field is small and has limited generalisability as much of it was generated in recent years has been by the same small research teams, often reusing data sets. There is also very little research that examines the experience of actually using safer walking technology and even less which explores the views of people with dementia. It is evident that a greater breadth and depth of knowledge is needed within this field to develop a clearer understanding of how this technology is used and perceived by all stakeholders concerned. In particular the literature would benefit from greater consideration of the views and experiences of people with dementia themselves.

Practical implications

For many people with dementia, health and social care professionals can play an important role in ensuring appropriate assessment and support in the decision-making process when using safer walking technology. However, greater support is needed in decision making for all people with dementia, especially those people not currently engaged with specialist services. Therefore greater awareness of the benefits and limitations of this technology is needed by all health and social care professionals as well as the general public.

Originality/value

At the time of conducting this review the author is unaware of any other systematic search of literature or overview of research on the use of safer walking technology and its use by people with dementia. Despite this safer walking technology is growing in popularity, commonly recommended by health and social care practitioners and often marketed and purchased directly by people with dementia and their families. This review offers an insight into the development of the technology and the current evidence base for its use.

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

Keywords

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