NHS Digital creates £1m adult social care fund

Local authorities given chance to bid for slice of funding

NHS Digital has created a £1m funding pot to help local authorities design and roll out digital platforms and services for use in adult social care.

The Social Care Digital Innovation Programme will award the majority of its funding via a competition in which 12 councils will receive a grant of £20,000 to create a digital solution to a challenge facing their adult social care service. Once the design phase is complete, half of these will receive as much as an additional £80,000 to help deploy the technology.

The launch of the programme follows the success of a similar scheme that took place last year, which funded projects including the installation of videoconferencing in homes in Essex, e-referrals for home care packages in Sefton and Knowsley, and voice-activated support technologies for citizens in Hampshire.

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James Palmer, programme lead for the social care programme at NHS Digital, said: “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.”

Authorities wishing to take part have until 4pm on 1 June to apply

The award of the funding will be managed by the Local Government Association, supported by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care. 

Councils are encouraged to focus their bids on one of three themes: efficiency and strengths-based approaches; managing marketing and commission; and sustainable and integrated social care and health systems.

Kate Allsop, executive mayor of Mansfield and deputy chair of the LGA’s Community and Wellbeing Board, said: “We are committed to enhancing the role that information and technology can play in the commissioning and delivery of health and social care services. As part of this agenda we are pleased to run another funding round in collaboration with NHS Digital, to stimulate digital solutions to social-care challenges at a local level.”

Sam Trendall

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