12 councils test social care ideas

Twelve local authorities have been chosen by NHS Digital and the Local Government Association to explore how technology could help shape the future of social care in towns and cities across England.

digital-health-servicesProposals range from how biometric technology might be used to help people with learning disabilities and autism in the Wirral, to how skills passports might help the social care workforce streamline employment checks and statutory training between providers in Havering, east London.

The programme, commissioned by NHS Digital and managed by the Local Government Association, is for digital pilots by councils that will benefit people who access social care and improve services.

The funding is part of the LGA’s local investment programme.

The 12 have been awarded £20,000 each in the discovery phase of funding, to investigate local challenges that could be addressed using digital technology. Six will then be chosen to receive further funding of up to £80,000 to design and implement their solution.

Social care testbed 12

  • Bracknell Forest
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Haringey
  • Havering
  • Isle of Wight
  • Lincolnshire
  • Nottingham
  • Shropshire
  • South Tyneside
  • Stockport
  • Sunderland
  • Wirral

NHS Digital social care programme lead James Palmer 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.”

Kate Allsop, digital lead on the Local Government Association’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.”

Bid themes

Efficiency and strengths-based approaches – using digital channels to engage citizens and people accessing services in the design, development and delivery of health and social care processes

Managing markets and commissioning – using technology to support care providers with their digital maturity and improving the quality and range of care and support provisions.

Sustainable and integrated social care and health system – developing approaches to cross-sector working and ways of improving patient flow in and out of hospital.

Read the full list of projects at