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CECOPS has gained the prestigious CPD Certification for all of their training courses!
The CECOPS training courses cover the various assistive technology related services including digital health, telecare, electronic assistive technologies, community (disability) equipment, and wheelchair and seating services.
Uniquely, there are courses for: Planning and Commissioning; Service Provision and; Clinical and Technical aspects.
The training is outcome-focused, meaning it can apply in different settings and countries.
All training is based on CECOPS’ Codes of Practice:
National and International recognition
Our training already has widespread recognition as, for example, it was included as a requirement for staff to be trained by us in a recent national NHS Supply Chain Framework Agreement for Electronic Assistive Technology, Lone Working Devices and Telehealth.
The CECOPS framework, standards and training were also recommended in a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) Position Paper on Assistive Technology: ‘Enabling appropriate personnel skill-mix for progressive realisation of equitable access to assistive technology’.
The following CPD Certified training courses are now available:
Technology Enabled Care Services
These courses are for everyone involved in the planning, commissioning and delivery of technology enabled care services e.g. digital health, telecare, electronic assistive technology services.
COURSE 1: Planning and Commissioning
COURSE 2: Service Provision
Community Equipment Services
These courses are for everyone working in the planning, commissioning and delivery of community equipment, including clinical and technical aspects. The training covers all equipment services provided by health, social care and education. The training also applies in other settings where equipment is assessed for and provided e.g. care homes, home improvement agencies.
COURSE 3: Commissioning and Governance
COURSE 4: Service Provision
COURSE 5: Clinical and Technical Responsibilities
Wheelchair and Seating Services
These courses are for everyone working in the planning, commissioning and delivery of wheelchair and seating services, including clinical and technical aspects. The training covers all wheelchair and seating services provided by health. The training also applies in other settings where wheelchairs are assessed for and provided e.g. care homes.
COURSE 6: Commissioning and Governance
COURSE 7: Service Provision
COURSE 8: Clinical and Technical Responsibilities
CECOPS will be running training courses around the UK. Check our ‘Events and Training’ page on the CECOPS website for regular updates.
If you would like training provided on any of the above courses at your premises, please get in touch. +44 (0) 1494 863398 or email: email@example.com
It is with sadness that I write this tribute to Sir Bert Massie CBE, Chairman of CECOPS, who sadly passed away on 15/10/2017.
I first approached Sir Bert in 2009 to write a Foreword for a paper I was writing on national minimum standards for disability equipment services; he was very obliging and interested in my work. I kept in close contact from that time, and in 2012 I approached Sir Bert to see if he would be interested in chairing CECOPS, the not for profit standards and certification body for assistive technology services. Bert was delighted with the CECOPS concept and agreed to help me to establish the organisation.
Sir Bert said at the time that the main reason he took on the role of CECOPS Chair was that he believed in its aims and saw it as a vehicle for helping to improve services for disabled and older people, a cause close to his heart.
Sir Bert’s role has been very instrumental in establishing CECOPS; he has been a real champion for the cause. CECOPS’ growth over recent years is largely due to Sir Bert’s wisdom, experience and passion.
Bert was a true campaigner, but he was never a complainer. He only asked for what was right and nothing more. He had a wonderful art of guiding conversations in a way that made others feel that they had made decisions themselves.
Bert’s view was that a good cause is always worth fighting for. He always maintained a cheerful and happy spirit, and had a great sense of humour.
Bert was much more than a chairman, he was also a friend. As well as wanting CECOPS to succeed, he was also genuinely interested in my wellbeing and that of my family.
Bert was a mentor, giving me a positive outlook amidst the gloom. Lastly, he was an inspiration, not just in his role within CECOPS, but more as an individual. He overcame many personal barriers in his life, and more, he worked tirelessly to remove barriers others couldn’t remove for themselves. Thank you for your selfless labour Bert, you will be greatly missed.
I was recently asked to explain the digital health marketplace in the UK and how providers are supposed to access the market. This marketplace includes, for example, telehealth, telemedicine, eHealth and mHealth products, as well as telecare.
A marketplace is formed where there is demand for a product or service, and when this demand is supplied. Of course then, markets grow and evolve over a period of time.
Within the digital health space, on the supply side there is a vast range of products and services, but the demand side is unclear. The need is there, but organisations responsible for planning and commissioning services are often unsure of how best to engage with some of the technologies available and to procure these. What works? Where do we start? Is it cost effective? How can we assess service impact?
So we could reasonably conclude that the marketplace for digital health is not well defined and has not yet matured. This is discouraging for providers, especially SMEs, and there is confusion about the best approach for accessing the market. This could even cause a provider, particularly a smaller one, to ‘give up’. This would be a shame if they had an excellent product which they were struggling to sell.
It is important for those on the demand side to be clear about what it is that they want to procure or commission, and that they are ready for adopting the technologies and services. Organisational readiness is often an area overlooked; yet this is such an important issue to address to ensure the marketplace matures and thrives.
While there are some pockets of excellent working in getting products to segments of the market e.g. acceleration programmes, processes are not the same across different geographical areas and sectors. These issues are not limited to the UK. From conversations I am having with people overseas, the situation is pretty much the same internationally.
The imbalance between the supply and demand sides of the market cannot continue.
So, what can be done?
To help shape the marketplace, CECOPS has developed the first ever International Code of Practice for Planning, Commissioning and Providing Technology Enabled Care Services. This is an outcomes-focused quality framework for procurement and provision of services. It offers an end-to-end solution which addresses all aspects of the marketplace.
This new framework for the first time provides structure to the marketplace and is set to become the recognised benchmark.
Working with the Code will help to create and shape a more balanced marketplace. Following it will also help to ensure an organisation’s readiness before engaging with digital health. The Code can also act as a framework to support providers coming into the space, so that they have a clearer understanding of what might be required of them.
Using the Code within tender specifications simplifies the procurement process. As the Code is outcomes-focused, it encourages providers to be innovative. It will also help to achieve sustainable economic growth in the space; as growth for some providers is currently minimal and short-lived.
As the standards and certification body for these services, CECOPS is also able to accredit services via an external assessment.
Some of the many benefits of this new approach include:
- Marketplace development and maturity
- Brokering improved relationships in the marketplace
- Accelerating organisations to a state of readiness
- Achieving sustainable economic growth for the sector
- Simplifying procurement, commissioning and contract management processes
- Better chance of realising benefits from providers’ products and services
- Saving time and cost (by providing a ready-made framework)
- Improved quality and performance
- Local, regional, national and international benchmark and platform for sharing good practice and having a community building approach
- Improved clinical, wellbeing and financial outcomes
Copies of the International Code are available from here. The Code is free to organisations registered with CECOPS.
To find out more about CECOPS accreditation scheme or the Code, please get in touch.
Brian Donnelly MSc, CEO, CECOPS CIC
E: firstname.lastname@example.org | +44 (0) 7511 667 330 | T: +44 (0) 1494 863398 | www.cecops.org.uk
Technology Enabled Care Services: Overcoming barriers and organisational readiness – by Ruth Agbakoba
Understanding the landscape of the readiness to adopt technology enabled care services in practice is a key factor in ascertaining the likelihood for successful service transformation.
There is renewed pressure to act on the opportunities that digital technologies present with the publication of government documents such as ‘Personalised Health and care 2020’ and ‘Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future’. Emphasis is focused on the ability for organisations to proactively adapt their products, services and operations in order to embrace transformative change. Many organisations that embark on projects incorporating TECS fail at this point as they underestimate the significance of evaluation.
Organisations need to be able to assess their own readiness in order to address barriers to adoption. Barriers impeding progress include but are not limited to a lack of stakeholder engagement, insufficient strategic planning, under-developed IT infrastructure and resource limitations.
How do you know if your organisation is ready to maximise the full potential of technology?
CECOPS can help your organisation to address this transformational gap by working closely with you to identify barriers early on before there is a significant investment in time, resources and finances. We provide you with our accredited CECOPS readiness framework and iCOPS evaluation tool for continuous improvement.
We will work with you to ensure that your organisation understands its current position whilst equally accelerating it’s state of readiness to enable successful uptake, fidelity and sustainability of TECS. We also provide added value in providing a platform sharing best practice for large scale innovation.
Our work in the TECS space is based on the International Code of Practice for Planning, Commissioning and Providing Technology Enabled Care Services.
Get in touch today to find out how we can support you.
T: +44 (0) 1494 863398 | E: email@example.com
Ruth Agbakoba, Digital Health Consultant, CECOPS CIC. View Ruth’s profile HERE
The first ever Code of Practice and support tools covering all aspects of planning, commissioning and providing technology enabled care services (e.g. telehealth, telecare, eHealth, digital health) have been developed by CECOPS, the independent standards body in the UK for assistive technology services.
Uniquely, this new Code, which sets out standards covering every aspect of services, offers an end-to-end and whole-system approach, ranging from the early planning stages through to post-implementation of services. It can be looked at as a value-chain solution that interlinks those responsible for planning and commissioning services with service users, through the activities of clinicians and providers.
‘…this is more than a Code of Practice; it is a map, a guide and a chaperone. It is thought provoking and a source of inspiration.’
Roy Lilley, leading expert and analyst in healthcare
The Code is complemented by a unique and powerful self-evaluation and continuous improvement tool iCOPS®, which helps organisations to self-evaluate services, assess readiness before engaging with TECS and drive their own quality and performance agenda.
It is anticipated the Code and support tools will encourage wider adoption of TECS and set the benchmark and framework for all organisations in the sector to work to.
Following the Code enables the longstanding barriers to adopting TECS more widely to be overcome, ensuring projects and initiatives are delivered with the best possible outcomes, with the ability to measure their success and embed sustainability.
These latest developments offer a quality framework for the procurement and provision of services, with the ability to assess, influence and improve outcomes, as well as streamlining the whole contract management process.
The introduction of this Code means that CECOPS can now extend its accreditation scheme across all assistive technology related services (e.g. telecare, telehealth, wheelchairs, electronic assistive technology, disability equipment), nationally (UK) and internationally.
The new Code and iCOPS® tool incorporate the following subject areas:
PART ONE: PLANNING AND COMMISSIONING
- Strategic Planning and Preliminary Considerations
- Involvement of Stakeholders, Users and Carers
- Partnerships, Joint Working and Integration
- Governance, Ethics and Risk Management
- Business Case Development
- Investment and Funding
- Service Requirements and Specifications
- Contractual Arrangements
- Eligibility Criteria and Self-funding
- Legal & Regulatory Obligations and Standards
- Information Technology and Information Management
- Marketing and Promotion
- Performance Management and Continuous Improvement
- Measuring and Evaluating Service Impact
PART TWO: SERVICE PROVISION
- Governance, Risk and Ethics
- Legal & Regulatory Obligations and Compliance with Standards
- Managing Referrals and Assessments
- Procuring Technologies, Equipment and Services
- Implementation of New Technologies and Services
- Trialling, Assembling, Installing and Demonstrating Technologies and Equipment
- Involving Patients/Service Users and Carers in Decision Making
- Management of Medical Devices/Technologies
- Management of Assets and Inventory
- Monitoring and Alerts
- Quality Management Systems
- Health and Safety Management
- Staff Competence
- Information Technology, Management and Governance
- Collaborative Working
- Third Party Contractors
- Marketing and Promotion
- Contract and Performance Management, and Continuous Improvement
- Measuring and Demonstrating Service Impact
The new Code is currently available to organisations working with the CECOPS scheme.
A published hard copy and eBook version of the Code will be available to purchase in the coming weeks.
The iCOPS® tool is available for purchase now. A FREE 30 day trial is available.
If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the Code, becoming CECOPS accredited or trying out the iCOPS® tool, please get in touch.
T: 01494 863398
M: 07511 667 330
Note to editors:
CECOPS CIC is a UK-based independent, not-for-profit, standards body for assistive technology services. CECOPS is widely supported by regulators and professional organisations. CECOPS is often cited as a requirement in tender specifications, and, although relatively new, is already working with approximately 80 organisations in the UK, with growing international interest.
NHS England recently announced that to give people more choice and control about the care they receive, personal health budgets will be extended to cover wheelchairs from April 2017.
This move is intended to support the government’s target of enabling 100,000 people to benefit from greater control via personal health budgets by 2020/21.
It is proposed that Personal Health Budgets (PHBs) will replace the current wheelchair voucher scheme as part of efforts to improve services for over 1.2 million people that currently use wheelchairs.
NHS England claims the new personal health budget scheme will offer more choice over what wheelchair can be acquired, and will include a detailed care plan to help users make informed decisions about their wheelchair. They claim care plans will not only cover purchasing the chair, but will also include guidance on future maintenance, repair and replacement needs. Without a business case or impact assessment or relevant evidence, it is difficult to assess at this stage exactly how the model will work in practice.
NHS England has been reviewing wheelchair provision over the past 2.5 years, and introducing PHBs would appear to be in response to the findings of that review; however we sincerely hope that issuing PHBs for wheelchair users is not the only outcome of that review, as PHBs cannot possibly be a solution to the numerous problems associated with these services.
As the independent standards body in the UK for wheelchair services, CECOPS welcomes the move to extend personal health budgets to these services, and we have in fact already included the use of PHBs in our Code of Practice. The use of PHBs for wheelchairs will be an area which our assessment processes will cover, for organisations seeking accreditation with us.
Notwithstanding our support of measures to improve wheelchair services and user experience, we do have some concerns which we hope will be addressed before the introduction of PHBs for wheelchairs in April 2017.
We feel that if the areas of concern below are not sufficiently addressed, the roll-out of PHBs for wheelchairs will not achieve its well-intended aims. At this point it is unclear how PHBs will work better than the existing voucher scheme, and this is something we would like to hear more about from NHS England Personal Health Budget team.
Could PHBs exacerbate current difficulties associated with disjointed services?
Disabled people often require a range of assistive technology (AT) related services e.g. communication aids, posture equipment, adaptations. As the different AT services generally operate independently of each other, people usually undergo several different assessments to cover their various and holistic equipment needs.
The current model is costly and is far from being person-centred. Offering a PHB exclusively for one type of assistive technology (i.e. wheelchair) could potentially exacerbate the problem, and would appear to go against the direction of offering more holistic, personalised and person-centred care.
The following quote from a service user clearly demonstrates current difficulties, and why offering PHBs exclusively for wheelchairs won’t help with wider issues:
“It was great that I eventually got an indoor/outdoor wheelchair, but I couldn’t get in or out of my home because the adaptation hadn’t been done. I was given a communication aid but no-one would agree to mount it to my wheelchair.”
Will PHBs address long waiting times?
One of the main problems associated with many wheelchair services is the waiting times. It is not uncommon for people to wait 18 months for a wheelchair.
PHBs won’t address waiting times, as they are not set up for that purpose. In fact, PHBs could even increase waiting times, for reasons explained below.
The main reason currently for long waiting times is lack of funds. PHBs won’t introduce any new money, and purchasing a wheelchair at retail price under a PHB rather than at bulk contract price will be more expensive. In addition, wheelchairs bought under a PHB belong to the user and will never come back into the wheelchair service to be reissued to another user. This could add significant pressure to current overstretched budgets and increase waiting times for all wheelchairs, whether under a PHB or not.
Will PHBs help people who need equipment urgently?
People with rapidly progressive conditions, such as motor neurone disease or some types of multiple sclerosis, require access to equipment urgently. Sadly, fast-tracking of services for these people is not generally in place.
Providing people with PHBs is not likely to address this serious problem. Presumably there will be a waiting list for accessing PHBs just as there is for loaned equipment, as without new money there will still be funding issues. We feel strongly that this area should be looked at as a priority; it is disgraceful that some people die whilst waiting to receive vital equipment.
One solution could be that the PHB scheme includes a fast-tracking arrangement so that eligible people have access to funds immediately to buy everything they need quickly. Obviously there would need to be clinical professionals involved to facilitate and advise.
Could PHBs for wheelchairs actually be more costly?
As previously mentioned most wheelchairs are purchased by the NHS or out-sourced provider under a bulk contract or framework, in some cases at significantly discounted prices. With PHBs, people will purchase equipment outside of these agreements from retailers at high street prices, which are very likely to be much higher than the prices currently paid by the NHS for wheelchairs. PHBs will have to be of sufficient value to cover the retail price of a wheelchair, otherwise people will not take them up! As this cost is likely to be higher than is currently paid by the wheelchair service, this could strain wheelchair budgets.
In addition, there are significant savings and cost avoidances under the current model where wheelchairs are reissued by wheelchair services. For example, a wheelchair costing £2000 issued 3 times over its life results in a cost avoidance of £4000; whereas 3 of the same wheelchairs purchased using PHBs will cost £6000. Equipment purchased using a PHB will not be recycled within the wheelchair service, and is in effect a sunk cost.
If PHBs for wheelchairs are widely taken up it could have a drastic effect on wheelchair service budgets.
Could wheelchair users be exploited?
There will need to be proper support and safeguards in place to ensure people using their PHBs to buy wheelchairs are not exploited by retailers i.e. being sold something they don’t actually need, or charged an excessive amount. It is recognised that people are consumers in other aspects of their lives, and should be able to make their own choices; however some buyers will be in a vulnerable position, making a large purchase in an unfamiliar market, which could leave them open to exploitation without appropriate guidance, safeguards or support.
When the Department of Health introduced the retail model several years ago for aids to daily living, there were cases reported of people being exploited by retailers, so this is a real concern.
Could using a PHB compromise clinical needs being met?
A PHB for a wheelchair will only be for a limited amount, although it is currently unclear how this will be set. Wheelchair users will be able to top up from personal funds if they want a higher specification wheelchair. There is a risk that wheelchair users acquire an item which does not meet their clinically assessed needs.
This is a high risk area and it is vital that users get the right wheelchair to avoid problems associated with postural care and pressure, for example. It is difficult to see how it can be ensured that retailers are competent to advise on these matters, some of which require specialist clinical input.
Failure to address the above issue could mean people end up with equipment that doesn’t meet their clinical needs, resulting in further health problems such as a pressure ulcer.
PHBs and Training
As yet no guidance has been made available from NHS England Personal Health Budgets team on training for frontline staff with regards to PHBs for wheelchairs e.g. what training is needed, who needs to be trained, who would carry out the training and who pays for it. It could be a costly and timely exercise for local areas to formulate their own guidance on this, and deliver their own training, which could potentially be a barrier for wider adoption.
CECOPS hopes the above issues will be sufficiently addressed before commencement of this initiative in April 2017; we would be willing to work with the NHS Personal Health Budget team to work through possible solutions.
Many of the areas of concern can be addressed by following our Code of Practice and working with our accreditation framework, which is now formally approved by Care Quality Commission and being adopted by many wheelchair services across the country.
Brian Donnelly, CEO, CECOPS
We have put together practical guidance for complying with the parts of The Care Act 2014 which relate to Disability Equipment (incorporating the Care and Support Statutory Guidance). This will be useful for local authorities (and health partners), commissioners, social workers and occupational therapists.
Download the Free guidance HERE
If you would like to find out more about how working with CECOPS can help you, please get in touch.
NEW: Code of Practice for Planning & Commissioning Technology Enabled Care Services (TECS) coming soon.
A new and unique Code of Practice for Planning and Commissioning TECS, an official CECOPS guide, is set to be published in the coming weeks.
The main reason for the guide is that, to date, other Codes of Practice for TECS have focussed exclusively on the service provision and supplier end of the market.
This new Code will help all those with responsibility for planning and commissioning TECS to overcome the many and longstanding barriers to adopting TECS more widely, and ensure projects and initiatives are delivered efficiently and effectively, with the ability to measure their success.
The Code acts as a risk, quality and performance framework. It takes organisations through sequential steps, allowing a readiness assessment check at every stage and promoting continuous improvements.
The Code can be used for all digital health and care technologies, in the health, housing and care sectors. Technologies covered by the Code include for example telehealth, telecare, telemedicine, telecoaching and self-care apps. It also has wider application for use when introducing any assistive technology or medical device related service.
The Code covers services as single entities e.g. a telecare control centre, or grouped together as digital health and care, or integrated with a wide range of assistive technology services.
This Code is supported by a self-evaluation and continuous improvement software tool, iCOPS® – see here for details: www.icops.co.uk
Whilst the Code is mainly aimed at the UK, the principles apply internationally.
It is anticipated that the Code will eventually fit in with the CECOPS registration and accreditation scheme, although it will also be available as a standalone guide.
The Code is made up of 16 Code Standards. These are supported by relevant outcomes and sub-clauses.
The 16 Code Standards are:
CODE STANDARD 1: Strategic planning and preliminary considerations
CODE STANDARD 2: Involvement of stakeholders, users and carers
CODE STANDARD 3: Partnerships, joint working and integration
CODE STANDARD 4: Governance and risk management
CODE STANDARD 5: Business case development
CODE STANDARD 6: Investment and funding
CODE STANDARD 7: Procurement
CODE STANDARD 8: Service requirements and specifications
CODE STANDARD 9: Contractual arrangements
CODE STANDARD 10: Eligibility criteria and self-funding
CODE STANDARD 11: Legal & regulatory obligations and standards
CODE STANDARD 12: Information technology and information management
CODE STANDARD 13: Marketing and promotion
CODE STANDARD 14: Implementation
CODE STANDARD 15: Performance management and continuous improvement
CODE STANDARD 16: Measuring and evaluating service impact
If you are interested in this new Code, please contact us and we will let you know when it is available.
T: 01494 863398
Do you commission or plan for Technology Enabled Care Services (TECS)?
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An Independent Review of CECOPS UK-wide Code of Practice for Disability Equipment, Wheelchair and Seating Services (2015)
An Independent Review of CECOPS UK-wide Code of Practice for Disability Equipment, Wheelchair and Seating Services (2015)
A Quality Framework for Procurement and Provision of Services
Karen Pearce, MBA, MCSP, GradDipPhys, Director of Care, Motor Neurone Disease Association (UK)
The CECOPS Code of Practice for Disability Equipment, Wheelchair and Seating Services has been published during a period of significant change within health and social care systems in the UK. There is significant pressure on budgets as well as those providing services (whether statutory bodies, private or third sector providers), with increasing demand for disability equipment to support the best quality of life possible.
The need to ensure efficient and effective services that are built around those people with significant need and those who care for them has not been more important. Amongst all this change, there is also a focus on improving services, particularly wheelchair provision and specialist services such as communication aids and environmental controls. The inclusion of these areas and the importance of service integration in the Code is a welcome addition.
Whilst CECOPS Code is not the only quality standard available to assess the quality of services, it is however a standard written to address equipment provision specifically rather than a more generic quality management framework. It cleverly encompasses the commissioning, service provision and clinical and professional responsibilities relating to services, allowing a ‘whole-systems’ perspective to be taken.
The Code is presented in a clear and well structured format and sectioned for ease of access for those who are commissioning/procuring services, those who are providing services, those clinicians delivering services and a section on peripheral issues and specialist areas. There are useful appendices relating to current legislation and policy documents as well as guidance on areas such as medical device management and decontamination. This ensures quality provision and minimal risk for service users as well as employees.
The Code has a welcomed outcome focus to it. The outcomes for each of the 47 Code Standards are clear, with useful and balanced commentary as an introduction.
The Code is written with service users, their families and carers clearly at the centre of provision and highlights the importance and advantage of integrating services. It highlights the complexity around reporting and funding streams when an integrated approach is taken, and considers the advantages too.
The Code is a robust, clear and simple to use framework and tool that will assure those using services and those funding them that a quality standard is being delivered. It also gives service providers and clinicians a system to support audits and best practice.
There is an expectation that all services are delivering defined quality standards, and CECOPS Code offers a framework to enable this, with the added advantage of providing independent accreditation.
The Code of Practice has been researched thoroughly and developed to address the current challenges of providing a good service, with the tools to show how this is being achieved, and the ability to improve where gaps are indentified. It is an important addition to the quality frameworks currently available and the focus on seamless pathways is commendable.
Copies of the Code of Practice can be obtained from HERE
Please note copies of the Code are free to organisations registered with CECOPS
Title: Code of Practice for Disability Equipment, Wheelchair and Seating Services – A Quality Framework for Procurement and Provision of Services