Minister provides progress update on plan to increase use of technology systems
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The government is planning to invest millions of pounds to support digitisation for the half of social-care providers across the country that are still entirely reliant on paper care records.
In the People at the Heart of Care strategy document published last year, government set out a 10-year reform plan for the adult social care sector across England. This included a commitment that, by March 2024, 80% of providers registered with the Care Quality Commission will have adopted digital care records.
Social care minister Helen Whately has revealed that, as of August 2022, the figure stands at just 50% – meaning one in two providers across England still uses entirely paper-based record-keeping processes.
Digital adoption has begun increasing, having risen five percentage points between March and August. To help support ongoing uptake, in June the government announced £25m funding for the implementation of digital care records via the newly established national network of integrated care systems – a model that aims to create collaborative local networks of providers of NHS and social-care services. The 42 integrated care systems that came into being in July replace the previous model of clinical commissioning groups.
“In 2021, People at the Heart of Care set out a 10-year vision to reform adult social care, recognising the role of technology in improving the quality and safety of care,” Whately said. “Based on local delivery plans, we are on schedule to meet the interim target of 60% adoption of [digital records] by March 2023.”
The minister was answering a written parliamentary question from shadow health secretary Wes Streeting.