A dozen local authorities have been chosen by NHS Digital and the Local Government Association to each receive up to £100,000 in funding
Twelve councils across England will each receive funding to run pilot programmes to explore the use of digital technologies and platforms in the delivery of social care.
The authorities were chosen as part of the Social Care Digital Innovation Programme being run by NHS Digital and the Local Government Association. Each council will receive £20,000 to run a discovery phase investigating how technology could be used to address a specific local social-care challenge. Half of these projects will then be approved to receive further backing of up to £80,000 to create and implement their proposed solution.
Proposals entering the discovery phase include a project run by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council that will explore the use of biometrics in supporting people with autism and learning disabilities. The London Borough of Havering, meanwhile, is to investigate the possible introduction of a digital ‘skills passport’ to help simplify employment checks and the provision of staff training.
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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.”
The other 10 council areas that will receive discovery-phase funding are Sunderland, South Tyneside, Stockport, Lincolnshire, Nottingham, Shropshire, Bracknell Forest, Cambridgeshire, the London Borough of Haringey, and the Isle of Wight.
The chosen authorities were picked from a total of 133 across England that were eligible for the programme – 80 of which applied to receive funding.
Kate Allsop, executive mayor of Mansfield and 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.”