Empowercare Project Final Conference

Interreg Empowercare Logo

Kent County Council’s EMPOWERCARE Project held their Final Conference virtually on 25 January 2023.

EMPOWERCARE is an Interreg2Seas funded Project and representatives from all 13 project partners based across the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, and France attended. The event was attended by 130 attendees from across the partnership, including health and social care representatives, people involved in the project, care organisations and technology developers.

EMPOWERCARE aimed to address the current gaps in the care of people aged 65 and over, or 50 and over with at least one chronic health condition and empower people to take more responsibility for their care using technology and local services to keep them healthy and motivated.

The conference shared the main project outputs:

  • An Empowerment Strategy to deliver what matters to individuals and communities in managing their own care, and a Workforce Transformation Package available to access via the Virtual Skills Lab: https://empowercarecccu.moodlecloud.com/
  • A Technology Blueprint on initiatives and technologies that support enablement at individual and community level. This is informed by Partners testing different technologies in co-production with people.
  • A summary of preliminary findings analysed in a comprehensive evaluation of the EMPOWERCARE project by Canterbury Christ Church University to outline the benefits and key outcomes the project was shared during the event. These include positive outcomes for people involved, including reducing loneliness, increase in self- efficacy and digital literacy. For the workforce, this included a positive impact on person-centred practice, and increased in technology up-take.

A Canterbury Christ Church University researcher noted:  ‘’Smart and interactive technologies are part of our lives, especially since the COVID pandemic, and we need to acknowledge their importance in supporting and enabling users of health and social care systems’’.

The conference was a fantastic way to bring our project to a close, which officially ended on 31 March 2023. Some comments from the attendees: ‘’Thank you everyone, a very interesting day. Well done to all involved across the EMPOWERCARE partnership!’’

‘’Really interesting to start to see the results.”

At KCC, the future of the project includes the EMPOWERCARE trained Digital Ambassadors offering their support through KCC's Digital Kent Project.  You can find out more about Digital Kent here:  https://www.digitalkent.uk/information/projects/dcn.

The KCC Technology for Independent Living Facilitator roles have also been made permanent within Adult Social Care to continue to support people and the workforce with accessing technology to support independent living. EMPOWERCARE has also informed the procurement of county wide Technology Enabled Care contract.

All of the output documents will be made publicly available once finalised and will be available via EMPOWERCARE Project or via the Virtual Skills Lab: https://empowercarecccu.moodlecloud.com/

Notes to Editors:

The EMPOWERCARE project was awarded more than 4 million Euros of European Regional Development Funding via the Interreg VA 2Seas programme in 2020.

The project, involving 13 partners from the UK, Netherlands, France and Belgium, aims to fully involve older people in decisions concerning their own health and wellbeing, and provide the right support to enable them to remain in their homes, assisted by their local community. EMPOWERCARE will address the issues facing communities in caring for the growing ageing population, by bringing together existing, proven solutions, including innovative technologies, from across all project partners.

Kent County Council has an information, advice and guidance platform Home | Connect to Support | Kent which provides more information about adult social care, information and support on technology.