As a result of the pandemic, demand for social care support is increasing as people recover from the virus or suffer from adverse mental health.
Here at Sutton Council, over 70 per cent of our budget is spent on social care and supporting the borough’s vulnerable children and adults – this includes our social care teams and the services that they commission from care homes and other providers who give care in residents’ own homes. We rely heavily on a combination of weekly phone calls and scheduled visits to residents to keep an eye on any issues which may arise.
As part of our response to the demand for social care, Sutton and Richmond Councils have partnered with IoT Solutions Group (IoTSG) to deploy 200 in-home sensors in February 2021 to improve the safety of vulnerable residents in social housing.
The single sensors are battery powered, connected by a low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) and placed in the kitchens of the 100 participants. They don’t need any wi-fi or broadband connection.
The sensors enable our council officers to be alerted when residents might require help, without the need to keep disturbing them or adding to the workloads of our independent living officers.
At the end of the 12-month trial of the IoT sensors and the information they deliver, the intention is to ramp up supplier and business engagement at the same time as collaborating with other agencies operating within the IoT area, such as the London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI).
The key emphasis of this trial is that we are strongly respecting people’s privacy and any information will be anonymous.
For more information about the project, please visit: https://www.innovateproject.org/
Sunita Gordon is the lead member for finance and resources at Sutton Council.