NRS Healthcare – Kent County Council Technology Enabled Care Service

27th September 2023

Throughout 2022 and 2023, Unity Insights partnered with NRS Healthcare and EK360 to deliver an evaluation of NRS Healthcare’s Technology Enabled Care Service (TECS), which seeks to support people accessing care in achieving their goals whilst supporting Kent County Council in delivering a quality, personalised care service.

From June 2022, NRS Healthcare launched and delivered a pilot TECS service in East Kent, supporting the council’s strategy of delivering personalised care to residents in need. The programme aimed to provide registered practitioners with access to a wide range of digital products and services to support individuals in achieving their goals.

The evaluation team sought to understand the impact upon individuals accessing care and support, as well as the economic impact upon the council.

Unity Insights delivered a health economic evaluation, as well as quantitative analysis for the programme. The health economic evaluation incorporated a budget impact model and a cost-benefit analysis. Quantitative analysis focused on the impact of the service upon individuals, measuring goals when individuals were first referred into the service, and compared with feedback collected two months after the intervention had been delivered. Further to this, Unity Insights delivered multiple surveys to assess the views of Kent County Council staff, feeding back into the programme to support iterative improvement of the process.

The results showed the clear impact that digital technology can have, both in terms of financial impact for the council, but also the significant benefits to individuals receiving care. Feedback from individuals almost universally expressed an improvement in their conditions and support towards the achievement of their care goals. In some cases, this was as simple as feeling able to maintain their social connections, but for others it meant the confidence to independently travel outside of their own home. The council strategy set clear aims to deliver a personalised care service that supported individuals living their lives as best they could, and TECS is seen as a key element to deliver such a service.

The TECS pilot programme in Kent generated a positive return on investment and realised appreciable savings for the social care system, mainly through a reduction in domiciliary care costs (£210,000 for year 1). The benefit-to-cost ratio for the pilot is around 1.1, with an estimated total net benefit of £116,000 across five years. When modelling a countywide deployment throughout Kent, a total net benefit of £14.16M was forecast, at a benefit-cost ratio of 1.9.

Within Unity Insights’ evaluation, there were also reported improvements in priority Activities for Daily Living experienced by people who draw on care and support, especially around independence, safety, and social life. Overall, the programme was estimated to provide positive benefits from the perspective of both individuals accessing care and support, and the council itself.

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