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Social care programme provides money for digital pilots


Local authorities invited to bid for funds to support projects using digital tech to deal with issues in adult social care

NHS Digital and the Local Government Association (LGA) have announced a new round of funding under the Social Care Digital Innovation Programme for pilots to use digital technology in supporting people receiving adult social care.

They have opened up a call for local authorities to pitch for support for projects making innovative use of the technology in the design and delivery of care.

It is based on three themes: efficiency and strengths based approaches; managing marketing and commission; and sustainable and integrated social care and health systems.

In the first round 12 authorities will receive £20,000 each to design a digital solution to deal with a specific issue with their service, following which six will be selected to receive a further £80,000 to support its implementation.

The process will be managed by the LGS with support from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care (ADASS).

Forward thinking

James Palmer, lead for the Social Care Programme at NHS Digital said: “Last year’s projects delivered inventive, forward thinking and creative solutions to local challenges in social care. They have led to successful outcomes for both services and the people who use them. 

“This year, the funding will help to identify and address some key pinch points within local authority services, especially those around the integration of health and social care systems.  We are looking forward to seeing the innovative solutions that councils come up with in response to our latest round of funding.”

Projects supported in previous rounds include home video conferencing in Essex, voice activated home support in Hampshire and electronic referrals for home care packages in Sefton and Knowlsey.

Authorities will be able to submit proposals for projects up to 1 June.

UKAuthority will place the spotlight on the integration of care in its Digital Health and Social Care 2018 conference in London on 21 June. It will cover a range of issues around using digital technology to raise the standards of care and provide more effective collaboration between local authorities and NHS. More details are available here.

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