William Eichler 11 February 2020

Councils to receive share of £4.5m to roll out digital social care projects

Councils to receive share of £4.5m to roll out digital social care projects image

Sixteen organisations that provide and commission adult social care services are to receive a share of £4.5m to enable them to roll out their local digital projects on a wider scale.

The organisations have been selected to receive a Social Care Digital Pathfinders grant, which supports products and services that have already been piloted in small local areas with the view to implementing them on a larger scale.

They will now commence a 13-month implementation phase with projects predominantly looking at standardising information and developing digital ways of sharing that information between multiple health and care organisations.

The investment will be managed by NHS Digital.

‘Bridging the technology gap between the NHS and social care is a central part of achieving a health and care service that is fit for the future,’ said health minister Nicola Blackwood.

‘This £4.5m investment will support local areas to improve information sharing across services, ensuring people avoid hospital unless absolutely necessary and helping everyone live independently for longer.’

Among the councils who are to receive funding are South Gloucestershire Council, London Borough of Sutton, Wirral Council, and Bristol City Council.

Pam Garraway, senior responsible officer for the Social Care Programme at NHS Digital commented: ‘I’m delighted to see so many exciting digital projects now underway - every one of which has the potential to benefit the whole health and social care sector.

‘What makes it so exciting is the fact that these projects aren’t working in isolation, as they perhaps would have done in the past. They are working collectively to drive standards and solve problems, which is why we are confident that all of the pathfinder projects can be replicated easily.

‘This isn’t just about best practice pilots. Once this work is finalised, we fully expect areas will be able to go out and use these products and implement them locally – safe in the knowledge that they are tried and tested.’

The power of local systems to save lives image

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Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
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