Nine social care digitisation projects gain funding

NHS Digital and the Local Government Association have awarded funding to nine social care digitisation projects that will use digital innovation to create social care of the future.

Funded under the Social Care Digital Innovation Programme, councils are tasked with creating digital pilots that will advance frontline practice, improve systems and enable integration across adult social care.

Commissioned by NHS Digital and managed by the Local Government Association, 12 councils were awarded £20,000 each in the first ‘discovery’ phase of funding earlier this year. Up to £700,000 has been made available and nine projects have now been chosen to design and implement their solution.

Among the innovations, the London Borough of Havering developing an app for social care workers to aid in sharing employment information securely and easily when moving on from care home or home care organisations., while Bracknell Forest will install interactive digital information kiosks and digital advertising with user designed content in key public locations, providing information on community support and activities for residents to encourage participation and combat loneliness.

James Palmer, Programme Lead for the Social Care Programme at NHS Digital, said: “The successful projects all showed great promise during their discovery phase, looking at a wide range of areas from data visualisations and online financial assessment tools to wearable tech and exoskeleton devices.

“These are some really exciting proposals and I am looking forward to seeing the outcomes. We will be sharing learning from the projects, with a view to these blueprints supporting other social care providers looking to innovate in the same area.”

Kate Allsop, digital lead on the LGA’s Community and Wellbeing Board, added: “These important projects will improve people’s experience of care and support as part of efforts to support people’s wellbeing. All of this year’s cohort have shown true innovation which made it extremely difficult to decide who to fund for implementation.

“The discovery phase has enabled a detailed study of user needs to determine the scope of some really interesting projects. These projects will add real value to the sector and will push the boundaries of digital innovation for social care across the country.”

The successful councils are: Bracknell Forest Council; London Borough Havering; Isle of Wight Council; Lincolnshire County Council; Nottingham City Council; Shropshire Council; Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council; Sunderland City Council; and Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council. A full list of how the funding will be spent can be found on the link below.

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