Participant 1: Yeah, and it gives a base line as well that we all work to, you know a standard across the UK that people can apply. Obviously people can build on that and hopefully it will end up in things like qualifications, development, future national occupational standard development possibly you know.
Participant 3: We’ve also looked at people like manufacturers, suppliers of equipment hoping to get them on board. We’ve got good contacts with them from the work that we do. It’s really nice to have things in the plan book and strategy that we include them as well and there’s so many people that have been involved in like the workshops around the country. So many people involved. There’s an awful lot of different view points that work really well and come to the same conclusions really.
Participant 1: I think it is good we’ve had good representation from you know [02:46] champions in your regions as well as many others because they’re interested and they want to see it succeed and want to see something that will drive the development forward as we’re all trying to meet different challenges in all our countries, you know with less resources.
Participant 4: I find in our flow and support service which is community based so its about support workers going into people’s homes we’re now introducing things like support staff going out and using tablets so we can develop, for example, maybe as a part of support golden menu platters – health eating. So you can pick through and flick through things rather than bring reams of paper, so it’s a matter of the person and if the person is lucky enough to have a printer and it’s also giving them the confidence maybe to use, if they have a smart phone, to actually start doing these things for themselves. So it’s also about the staff learning and it’s a two way process with the staff learning along with the service user and sometimes the service user showing the staff maybe what they can do which is a good thing as well.
Participant 3: They started off really nervous around the equipment but now they go on the creative artwork, the use of the drumming software, some with their eyes, some by touch, getting involved with and included in all sorts of stuff and you can see the staff are vividly more confident and relaxed around it and they all get so much out of it.
Participant 2: And that makes such a big difference to the individual because if the staff are confident…
Participant 3: Absolutely.
Participant 2: …and feel comfortable in using the equipment then that would make such a difference to them and how they use it and even how they think about or think about getting other types of technology to support them in their life.
Participant 1: I think it can introduce you know social isolation in some ways as long as it’s not the only thing that’s happened. But also in terms of you know like leisure work opportunities potentially you know it opens so much but also relieves pressures on people like carers, assisted technology whether it’s an alarm or just a buzzer on the door, stove sensor, warning them when their loved one gets up in the middle of the night and starts to go wandering at least they can get to sleep.
Participant 2: I think that’s one of the great things about the strategy, it’s not just about mental needs, it’s all about just everyday technology and how some people that we’re supporting are not able to access that everyday technology like mobile phones, like a laptop, internet and it’s about supporting them to access that as well.
Participant 3: [05:15] people who live in remote places, the tele-care, the tele-health it all provides a framework of how to ensure that your staff are comfortable to use all of this innovative stuff really.
Participant 4: I think that’s doing to be a very important thing in the future particularly for a place like Northern Ireland which is quite rural. You know it’s about using system technology to bring people who have been living in rural areas much closer to their community and not so much in terms of isolation. You know and it’s about staff as well when they’re learning the skills helping people to develop those skills so they don’t feel so scared or [05:53]. Not necessarily because of their disability but because of where they actually live.
Participant 1: And things that were recognised within the strategy and the knowledge and skill sets, one of the key things is the basic awareness across the sector. You know everybody needs some kind of awareness, what it is, what it does, a general understanding. People will become more skilled at that and that’s built in too, so building it in to how we recruit and induct and all of that is in the future. The strategy now has recommendations really, that is employers in the main, but it also has clearer conditions of how we can take this forward so specific recommendations but also some of them are specifically relevant for suppliers.
Participant 2: For me it’s the planner and learning and training programme for next year. We will just take the knowledge and skill sets and work out what is relevant to us, who is responsible for which area, who needs training in what and we can just use that and map them across a training programme and start to introduce those types of training and also introduce it with inductions and also across other types of training that we’ve already got running like vulnerable adults. Introducing some of the IT, introducing that into current courses that we have running. From my own personal point of view I was looking for further qualifications in training and electronic assisted technology and although I am actually managing a team and I have experience in using electronic assisted technology I don’t have the specific qualification in that field and what I’ve found is there’s hardly any training of qualifications out there and I’m now having to go down to Coventry University to get a qualification whereas I would rather achieve that in Scotland
Participant 4: It’s important certainly for the likes of organisations that provide social care services in Northern Ireland to get involved and the actual strategy is that there is more and more development in this protector technology and it’s continued to develop at a very rapid pace and I think at the end of the day the important thing to remember is if it’s going to improve the quality of life for the individuals that we provide services for that’s the very soul of becoming involved in the strategy and taking it on board and you know developing up the knowledge and skill sets and working to those so I think that’s very important for any service provider.
Participant 1: The main reason really is to improve the quality of life; you know the opportunities, independence for people and enabling people to stay at home longer, to have more choice and control.
Participant 3: I think for me it’s to be proactive rather than reactive because the technology is here, people are picking it p, they are seeing the opportunities. It’s exciting, it’s innovative, it’s a buzz and rather than having to get the skills later let’s be proactive and get them now.
[End of recording]