Getting involved in the ALTAS project – a blog by Dr Michael Richards

Published: 26 April 2017

Getting involved in the ALTAS Project

A while back, an opportunity arose within Edge Hill University which offered the chance to be involved in an exciting project called ALTAS (assisted living, training, and skills). The project is an international project co-funded by Erasmus+. It involves partners from universities and colleges across Western Europe, including Spain, Denmark and Norway, as well as organisations such as the Innovation Agency, the NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, the HF Trust Limited and Smarter Futures.

The aim of the project is to work in partnership, to create and deliver a new training course to support professional health and care workers to implement assisted living technology across Europe. The focus is on primary-care and community-based workers (and their managers), in the health and care sectors, who provide front-line services to older people and people with long term conditions.

From an academic perspective, there are a number of technology-related educational programmes in the health and social care sector currently available across Europe; however, none specifically target the identified needs of supporting health and social care professionals to engage effectively with the assisted living sector.

Edge Hill University‘s contribution is to provide some detail and content to themes previously discussed with partners at a meeting in Valencia in June 2016. The themes and content will provide a foundation for the development of a curriculum, and set of standards that will aim to contribute to the design of a training package.

This training will aim to provide health and social care professionals with the knowledge, skills and confidence to utilise, deploy and recommend appropriate devices, technologies, and related services that provide their clients and patients with solutions to independent living, self-care, and wellbeing challenges that they face.

So what did I learn?

  1. Partnership working with colleagues across nations is challenging, interesting and rewarding all at the same time.
  2. More work is needed to help develop knowledge, experience and to improve attitudes for workers of all kinds, who work with people who need/use assistive learning technology.
  3. We discussed the importance of ‘communication’, and the importance of this in any training that is to be developed for people who work with people who use assistive learning technology.
  4. Norway is a beautiful country, with great people and great hospitality.

 

Dr Michael Richards, Lecturer in Applied Health & Social Care, Edge Hill University