12 councils to explore social care innovation

NHS Digital and the Local Government Association have chosen 12 councils to explore how technology and digital innovation could help shape the future of social care.

With 80 local authorities having applied for the funding, the two organisations have chosen Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, Bracknell Forest Council, South Tyneside Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Nottingham City Council, London Borough of Havering, London Borough of Haringey, Shropshire Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Isle of Wight Council, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council and Sunderland City Council.

The councils have been awarded £20,000 each in the first ‘discovery’ phase of funding to investigate local challenges that could be addressed using digital technology, before six will then be chosen to receive further funding of up to £80,000 to design and implement their solution.

Amongst the innovative proposals, biometric technology could be used to assist people with learning disabilities and autism in the Wirral, whilst skills passports could help the social care workforce streamline employment checks and statutory training between providers in the London Borough of Havering.

James Palmer, programme lead for the Social Care Programme at NHS Digital, said: “The successful projects span a wide range of areas, from assistive technologies to predictive analytics. This funding will give the local authorities a chance to identify and investigate a local problem before testing out a potential solution. They will be sharing their experiences from the pilot projects, adding to our collective knowledge of how digital can effectively be used to support the delivery of adult social care. There are some really exciting proposals this year and I am looking forward to seeing the outcomes.”

Elected Mayor Kate Allsop, digital lead on the LGA’s Community and Wellbeing Board, said: “The councils selected have chosen some important areas to address ranging from exploring new methods of linking residents with community resources to addressing social care provider workforce shortages. In the next three months they will be engaging with users to explore whether there are digital solutions to improve the lives and experiences of people needing social care. Projects will be designed around the needs of service users and complement the work of health and social care professionals. We will ensure that learning is shared across the sector.”

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