In December 2021 we published People at the Heart of Care, announcing at least £150m to drive digitisation across the adult social care sector to improve the quality, safety and personalisation of care.
Drawing on this investment, we are making a total of £25 million available to Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in 2022/23 to support adult social care providers to adopt technologies that can transform care.
Digital transformation can dramatically improve the quality and safety of care, with real time data being shared across the NHS and social care. This ensures people receive the right care, at the right time, and the right people have access to the information they need.
The use of innovative care technologies can tackle some of the most common and avoidable causes of admissions to acute care. For example, sensor-based falls prevention technologies are projected to significantly reduce the impact of falls, which cost an estimated £4.4 billion a year. But we still have a long way to go in achieving widespread digitisation: only 45% of social care providers have any form of digital care records and over 60% of care homes are still using internet connections that will not support full digital transformation.
The funding announced in June as part of the Plan for Digital Health and Care will enable the scaling of digital social care technology across England. ICS teams are working with local authorities and care providers in their area to develop plans to:
- Increase uptake of digital social care records (DSCR), also known as digital care plans, to ensure data is captured at the point of care and can be shared between care settings;
- Roll-out sensor based falls prevention and detection technologies for those most at risk of falls, to reduce the frequency and severity of falls-related injuries resulting in hospital admissions; and
- Test other care technologies based on local need to further develop understanding of what works.
The NHS Transformation Directorate’s Digitising Social Care programme has the aim of significantly increasing digitisation within social care. Alongside supporting the adoption of care technologies the programme will work with ICS to build an evidence base, development implementation guidance for care providers and assure supplier solutions. Further information and support can be found on the Digital Social Care website.
In the coming weeks more information will be shared through the Digital Social Care website to let care providers know how they can access funding.