Clive Gilbert gives evidence to the House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee

This morning, Clive Gilbert, Policy Manager for Assistive and Accessible Technology (ATech), gave evidence to the House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee.

Clive was asked about how digital technologies can respond to individuals’ real needs and desires, how tech can be designed to meet people’s aspirations and the role of co-production in achieving this.

He spoke about how the current approach to technology embodies a medical model of care – what he described as ‘doing technology to people’. Clive outlined that in order to tackle this, we need to challenge every initiative and policy to start with the client and what they can and want to do with technology. He also explained the need for better training for tech developers to enable them to include clients in the product development cycle and properly understand disabled people’s needs.

Clive drew on the recommendations of our recent report, Smarter Homes for Independent Living, which he authored. In particular, the report recommends:

  • The Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework should include measures of digital inclusion. How many people who receive care are enabled to do basic things like shop online, if they want to?
  • Local authorities should ensure that adult social care services contracts have an independent living chapter setting out how independent living - including through technology - will be supported.
  • The Care Quality Commission should develop guidance on co-production in local authority adult social services departments and social care providers and incorporate it into the key lines of enquiry used to guide adult social care inspections.
  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy should implement its commitment to promote innovation in assistive technology by developing (with UK Research and Innovation) an Independent Living Technology Innovation Mission, aimed at ensuring and accelerating the arrival of new technologies for the home on the market.

We look forward to following the future work of this Committee. You can watch the session back online - Clive's contribution begins at around 11.10am.