Health Policy November 15, 2018
Digital innovation to create social care of the future

By Daniel Male - Accountable Care Journal

Nine councils in England have been awarded extra funding for digitisation projects from NHS Digital and the Local Government Association (LGA).

Up to £700,000 of funding has been made available to support projects including; anxiety triggers for people with autism, exoskeleton devices for carers, an online financial self-assessment and benefits checker and an app for social care providers to help them collate important employment information to improve the care recruitment process.

“These important projects will improve people’s experience of care and support as part of efforts to support people’s well-being,” commented Kate Allsop, digital lead on the LGA’s Community and Wellbeing Board.

In June 2018, twelve councils were awarded £20,000 in the ‘discovery’ phase to investigate local challenges that can be addressed using digital innovation. The extra funding has been awarded to nine projects to design and implement their solutions.


Councils who will receive the funding are: 

  • Bracknell Forest Council – Interactive information kiosks with information on community support and activities to combat loneliness.
  • London Borough Havering – App for social care workers to share employment information securely.
  • Isle of Wight Council – Pilot for exoskeleton device for informal carers to help with manual tasks.
  • Lincolnshire County Council – Online financial self-assessment and benefit checker tool for people on social care packages.
  • Nottingham City Council – Portal for care providers and social workers to match outcomes with care packages and monitor progress.
  • Shropshire Council – Data visualisation tool to improve commissioning for care home and home care markets by identifying areas of need.
  • Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council – Fast-track installation of tailored assistive technology devices to reduce telecare false alarms.
  • Sunderland City Council – Devices to monitor medication management, mood, nutrition and hydration around the home.
  • Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council – Biometric wearable devices for people with autism and complex learning disabilities to identify periods of anxiety.

“The successful projects all showed great promise during their discovery phase, looking at a wide range of areas,” said James Palmer, Programme Lead for the Social Care Programme at NHS Digital.

Mr Palmer added: “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. ”

More information can be found here.


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