News, Secondary Care

NHS Digital announces £1m fund for social care digital innovation

NHS Digital has announced £1m in funding to support local authorities developing digital social care projects.

The Social Care Digital Innovation Programme (SCDIP) fund will support innovative uses of digital technology in the design and delivery of adult social care.

Ten authorities will receive up to £30,000 to design a digital solution to address a specific issue with their service, with eight receiving up to a further £90,000 to support its implementation. The funding will run over two years.

NHS Digital said bids should focus on one of three themes including efficiency and strengths-based approaches, managing marketing and commission and sustainable and integrated social care and health systems.

Previous projects funded have included exoskeleton devices to help carers on the Isle of Wight and the introduction of Amazon Alexa into people’s homes in Hampshire to combat isolation and encourage independent living.

Pam Garraway, Senior Responsible Officer for Social Care at NHS Digital said: “Every year we see some truly innovative projects that take a creative digital approach to solving the challenges that local authorities face in social care. We are now looking forward to seeing the exciting proposals that will come forward in response to this round of funding.”

Mayor Kate Allsop, Deputy Chair of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board said: “We are pleased to run the third wave of funding in collaboration with NHS Digital, to stimulate digital solutions to social care challenges at a local level. We have seen some exciting solutions over the last two years and I hope this funding encourages further innovation across the sector.”

Glen Garrod, President of ADASS said: “Digital technology needs and deserves to be an increasing part of our future. Local councils and partners can work together find their own solutions through the discovery phase and I look forward to seeing what emerges in 2019.”

The Social Care Digital Innovation Programme (SCDIP) encourages the adult social care sector to use technology to respond to challenges in their local area. It is intended to support direct practice, improve information sharing and enable integration.