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Six housing providers awarded £440k to co-produce tech services with older residents

Bield Housing & Care, Haringey Council, Platform Housing Group, Pobl Group, Southend Care and Wiltshire Council will each receive between £65k and £75k in funding so they can involve their older residents in shaping new digital services. 

The funding is part of the pioneering TAPPI project (Technology for our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation) which aims to improve the way technology is used in housing and care for older people through ten practical principles. 

Led by the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN), the TEC Services Association (TSA) and funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust, the TAPPI project will co-produce new tech tools with people who have lived experience over a 12-15-month period.

Each housing organisation will engage a diverse range of older people to test different devices, apps and systems across a variety of housing settings. Residents will be given shared responsibility, alongside staff, to make decisions about which digital support services to develop.

person using laptop

It is hoped that this approach will help the six recipient providers to create digital services across England, Scotland and Wales that are determined by their residents, alongside the professionals and staff that support them. 

To facilitate this process, the TAPPI project has appointed Co-production Works, a specialist consultancy that supports organisations to work in co-production with people who use services. Co-production Works will train residents and staff and pay participants for their time.

The Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research (CCHPR) – part of the University of Cambridge – has been appointed to evaluate the TAPPI project. Researchers will work with the six housing providers to quantify benefits from their work and share what they’ve learnt with the wider housing and care sector.

Dr Lynne Douglas, CEO of Bield Housing & Care, said: ‘We are very excited to be the Scottish testbed for TAPPI2. This has huge potential to shift thinking on how housing can be integral to new models of delivery in the integration agenda. Most importantly, it will be delivered together with older people to improve the outcomes that matter to them.’

Caroline Humphrey, transformation project lead at Haringey council, added: ‘Our homes should be places where we feel happy and safe, but as our needs change they need to adapt with us – and that can be hard. We believe that technology can play a key role in supporting people in living their best lives independently at home and we are excited to be part of the TAPPI2 Project.’

TAPPI chair Roy Sandbach said: ‘The TAPPI principles will only be of value if they are applied in practice, and I’m thrilled that many housing and care organisations applied to become TAPPI testbeds. Those chosen will provide insights from a range of settings and, most importantly, will put users at the heart of this work. We’ll use the TAPPI principles and a co-production approach to develop digital services that address real-life problems of older people. I’m very excited to work with our six new testbed sites.’

Photo by John Schnobrich

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