‘This could save us £500,000 a year’ – Herts County Council defends purchase of 800 iPads for adult social care department after decision labelled ‘embarrassing’

800 iPads are being bought by Herts County Council.

800 iPads are being bought by Herts County Council. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A decision to buy 800 iPads for an initial outlay of almost £300,000 has been labelled as ‘embarrassing’ – but Herts County Council claims it will save the adult social care department half a million pounds a year.

Councillor Colette Wyatt-Lowe from Herts County Council.

Councillor Colette Wyatt-Lowe from Herts County Council. - Credit: Archant

The iPads – which cost about £370 each but will be offset by the return of laptops – will be used by County Hall employees working in health and community services, and rolled out over the next 12 months.

Councillor Colette Wyatt-Lowe, cabinet member for adult care and health at the county council, said: “A successful pilot determined that the use of iPads by our adult social care department would lead to annual efficiencies of approximately £490,000 through reduced paper costs, travel expenses and freeing up our staff to spend less time on admin and paperwork and more doing what they do best – helping older and vulnerable people and those with physical and learning disabilities. It also allows our staff to better communicate with service users.”

One County Hall employee who alerted the Comet says the costs involved are ‘embarrassing’.

But a county council spokesman highlighted the positive feedback from the pilot which included one member of the older person and physical disability team saying it had ‘completely transformed’ the way they work.

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