Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to look at the implications of the increasing use of Assisted Living Technology in the social care sector and to assess the implications for the workforce in terms of job roles, skills, knowledge, training, and support. Design/methodology/approach – A mixed methods approach was used, through a quantitative electronic survey of staff working in social care (as well as some health care) organisations in England, and three qualitative case studies of local authorities. Findings – The research shows that the organisations involved in delivering Assisted Living Technology, the types of Assisted Living Technology being introduced, and the way in which it is being delivered, have implications for job roles and the skills and knowledge needed by staff. The associated training and workforce development similarly varies across the social care sector; it is ad hoc, disparate, and provided primarily by individual employers or by suppliers and manufacturers. Research limitations/implications – There is a need for a standardised Assisted Living Technology workforce development approach which can be used across the social care sector. Practical implications – The varied nature of Assisted Living Technology providers and delivery models presents a challenge to the development and implementation of a standardised programme of workforce development. Originality/value – This paper presents the results of new empirical research arising from a quantitative and qualitative study of the workforce development implications of Assisted Living Technology in the English social care sector.
Journal of Assistive Technologies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 29, 2013
Keywords: Training; Social care; Telecare; Assisted Living Technology; Telehealth; Workforce development