Council wins award for use of technology in social care

Jan 2, 2023 | Local News

A North East council and some of its local care homes are celebrating after winning national awards for their use of a digital social care system.

Durham County Council and care homes it works with have won two accolades at the national Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities (RITA) awards 2022.

The council and homes piloting RITA were presented with the silver award in the RITA Star Award category, and Redworth House Care Home in Shildon won the bronze award for Best Use of RITA to Prevent Falls.

The RITA equipment has been trialled in 12 care homes in the county where user-friendly interactive screens and tablets are used to assist residents, particularly those with memory impairments.

The equipment can be used to help residents in recalling and sharing events from their past through listening to music, watching news reports of significant historical events, listening to war-time speeches, playing games, watching films, and karaoke.

Cllr Chris Hood, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised in two categories for our local care homes’ use of the RITA equipment to support residents.

“County Durham care home staff do a fantastic job in caring for residents, many of whom have a range of complex needs. Staff have been able to utilise the RITA technology to provide tailored assistance based on each individual’s needs.”

Hazel Hill, activities manager at Redworth House, who started her career in social care through the County Durham Care Academy, said: “We are so happy to win this award. RITA has had a massive impact on both staff and residents. It’s now part of our daily support for residents. We couldn’t imagine life without it.”

The County Durham Care Academy, part of the County Durham Care Partnership, aims to support the development of a well-led, skilled and valued social care workforce, from entry level to senior management, through a range of training and qualification opportunities.