Mid-year Update May 2021

WAVE and say hello

mPower in the Southern Trust are delighted to be supporting the WAVE project, launched earlier this month by the Confederation of Community Groups (CCG). WAVE which stands for Weekly Audio Visual Engagement is the next generation of the Good morning call that the CCG will continue to offer. The benefits of taking this onto a visual platform means that a visual check can accompany the conversation. It’s difficult via the telephone alone to pick up meaningful information about a person’s wellbeing, such as are they looking well or dressed or shaved. A conversation via video allows more meaningful information to be shared through body language also and gives a better indicator of wellbeing. The WAVE project is being piloted in Newry, South Down and South Armagh and there are hopes to be able to expand it in the coming weeks and months.

mPower project extension

We are delighted to share that the project has been extended for a further seven months. This will enable us to continue the work in serving older people in our communities to live well and independently, in their own homes for longer. We have had some fantastic results using technology and digital health interventions in the last few years, and specifically in response to the Covid pandemic. We are so pleased to be able to continue the work to deliver more innovative strategies and develop a more robust legacy for the work to continue and be embedded into services. The operational project end date will now be May 2022 with all associated reports complete by July 2022.

Benefits of the KOMP device

The mPower  team in the Western Isles has purchased a small number of KOMP devices to help support people facing the challenge of social isolation. This is proving a specific challenge for many just now during the Coronavirus pandemic and is often felt by those in the most rural locations even during normal times. The Komp is easy to use and is aimed at people with very limited or no digital skills. It can be used to help people stay connected to family and friends.  It is particularly useful for those who simply struggle to use new technology, and for people with visual or hearing impairments, cognitive or learning difficulties who may struggle with a more standard device. The team have been able to distribute the devices to those most in need and are already seeing some wonderful feedback from their mPower Service Users and their families, like Deborah MacVicar, whose Dad was lent a KOMP device through mPower.Deborah’s Dad was able to connect with his sister, her Aunt, who lives in England and whom he hasn’t seen for many years. They had a video call on Deborah’s Aunt’s birthday and she opened all her cards and presents with her brother there watching and able to be a part of it. She blew out her candles on her cake too whilst they were virtually together. This time together meant to so much to both of them after such a long time apart.Learn more about Deborah and her Dad’s experience.

Keeping our beneficiaries connected

We are delighted to announce that our application to the Connecting Scotland programme was successful and as a result the D&G mPower team will receive 30 iPads to distribute to mPower beneficiaries. The iPads will be connected with 4G for two years and beneficiaries who require it will receive support from Digital Champions for up to 6 months.In addition, all of the Wigtownshire and Newton Stewart team members will be offered the opportunity to attend the Digital Champion training to enable them to support beneficiaries who receive the iPads, meaning that we are upskilling more and more of the team to be able to do deliver this valuable work.These iPads will help 30 people aged 65 and over who are currently digitally excluded for any reason – for example they may have an old device and can’t afford to replace it, they may have no access to the internet or haven’t ever tried to be connected because they feel they won’t be able to learn the skills required.

Helping people stay connected

Care homes across Dumfries and Galloway have received dozens of devices to help keep residents connected with loved ones.The iPads have been given thanks to NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s IT Department in collaboration with the mPower Project to help ensure that residents in Care Homes have access to the widest range of Health Care services during this year’s pandemic. It means that staff and patients can easily access digital health services including NHS Near Me and attend virtual appointments.Susan McKie, mPower Implementation Lead, said: “These iPads have provided a gateway for so many residents to have safe, secure consultations where their loved ones can join them and allow staff to quickly access digital NHS services and information. Technology has huge potential to improve the lives of care home residents, from helping them stay close to their own families to fixing an online consultation with their GP. This is just one example of how staff across social care settings are embracing new ways of working including increasing digital solutions to help them support those in their care.”

Proud of our involvement in DigiFest 2020m

Power and specifically, our Shared Learning part to the project, were an integral part of DigiFest 2020 and we couldn’t be happier with how it went. The virtual event saw over 3500 registrations attendees from over 50 countries, 75 sessions and 30 poster submissions.Digital health and care solutions have had a year of rapid scale up and development. Taking the time to reflect and learn about how digital solutions in Scotland and internationally have grown was the theme of this year’s event and we were thrilled to be able to contribute to the sessions directly.View the mPower team’s sessions!View all sessions from the event. 

mPower supports Connecting Scotland programme

mPower has been involved in supporting the work being done by the Scottish Government as part of the Connecting Scotland programme to connect digitally excluded households, many of which include older people. We estimate that together through the Connecting Scotland programme we’ve been able to provide around 300 devices to our beneficiaries.We are delighted that the next phase of the Connecting Scotland programme will be specifically aimed at older people and we’ll do all we can to ensure as many as possible of our project beneficiaries are included. 

Southern Trust team uses tech to connect care home residents

The team have worked hard to provide most of the Care Homes within the Trust’s region with a pre-loaded digital device allowing residents to stay connected to family, to clinicians and to the outdoors.Aidan McCabe, mPower Implementation Lead recognised right at the outset of the pandemic, as Care Homes sought to protect residents, that they would very likely face increased isolation and loneliness. Straight away, he and the team got to work in figuring out how mPower could assist.Aidan worked with Care Home Managers and the Southern Trust to purchase 10 devices and get them SIM enabled with pre-purchased Wi-Fi connectivity so they could be used anywhere in the Home and residents could have private calls with their family, friends and health care professionals.The devices were cleared of all unnecessary features which might be complicated to someone using them for the first time and pre-loaded with content and features that would be of interest and of benefit to Care Home residents, including music resources, social apps for video calling, content to support emotional and physical wellbeing as well as linking to the outside world and nature resources including live RSPB feeds and similar outdoor spaces.  Because Church services have also been restricted this year, the devices included religious content such as Scriptures as well as general library services where residents could download a whole range of books and magazines. Some residents have even been able to attend funerals virtually where this was made an option as part of the Service.  The project has literally been an overnight success! Many of the Care Homes told us that after we had delivered the devices, the very next day they were being used and they didn’t go off until they needed to be charged! At least 50% of the Care Home residents have been regularly using the devices, mostly for connecting with friends and family.

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