Policy Connect launches Smart Homes and Independent Living Commission

Policy Connect and the APPG for Assistive Technology have launched a new cross-party Commission on Smart Homes and Independent Living.

Smart home technologies allow people to control household appliances, fixtures and fittings through a single device. These new tools are an increasingly important part of disabled and older people’s lives. They offer unprecedented control over people’s immediate environment and connect people more easily with family, friends and public services, importantly but not solely the health and social care sector. They can also be integrated into social care services to meet a range of different personal needs and operational challenges.

The Commission will make recommendations to government on how the latest technologies for the home can be used to help disabled and older people lead healthy, independent and socially rewarding domestic lives.

It will be chaired by Councillor Sir Paul Carter CBE, the former leader of Kent County Council. The steering group will also include Liz Twist MP, leading academics in technology and social care, industry experts and people with lived experience.

Yesterday’s event brought together experts from across the social care, housing and technology sectors to discuss how commissioning processes can be aligned with the principles of independent living in light of these technological trends, including potential reforms to the Disabled Facilities Grant.

The meeting was the first of three evidence gathering roundtables that the Commission will be holding over the next few weeks.

The evidence collected these events - together with the results of our forthcoming Call for Evidence - will be used to develop the Commission's findings and inform a report that will be published later this year.

To find out more about the Commission, please download our project outline or clive.gilbert [at] policyconnect.org.uk (email Clive Gilbert).