An Evaluation of an Assistive Technology Support Service

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The University of East Anglia, UK was commissioned by Norfolk County Council to undertake an evaluation of a new assistive technology support worker (ATSW) team set up to develop and implement strategic delivery of assistive technology service primarily but not exclusively for older people. The project was funded by Skills for Care (formerly TOPSS) England and was one of twenty eight pilot sites throughout England implementing new roles and new ways of working. The evaluation aimed to consider the issues and experiences surrounding the provision of an assistive technology service to a rural community. The findings would identify ways in which the posts could be developed to provide an on-going quality service; and would feed into the national arena by contributing to the understanding of possible approaches to the provision of new assistive technology services. The evaluation adopted a qualitative methodology to understand the experience of and impact of the new workforce from the perspectives of all stakeholders: service users and their carers, referrers to the new workforce, managers of the new workers and the ATSWs. Semi structured interviews and focus groups were carried out with all of these stakeholders and data was analysed to identify common themes arising from the data sets. This paper discusses the rationale for a new workforce to support assistive technology; details of the evaluation methods utilised; and presents the findings from the interviews and focus groups with service users, service managers, service providers and the ATSWs; and offers recommendations for the future.

Keywords: Assistive Technology, Older People, Service Provision, Qualitative Evaluation, Community Services
Stream: Technology in Community
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Jill Jepson

Lecturer, School of Allied Health Professions, University of East Anglia
Norwich, Norfolk, UK

Dyllis Faife

Affiliation not supplied
Norwich, Norfolk, UK

Mary Jane Evans

Affiliation not supplied
Norwich, Norfolk, UK

Ref: T08P0050