Enhanced framework for care homes highlights need for digital readiness and data sharing

NHS England has published its enhanced health in care homes (EHCH) framework, highlighting a series of digital enablers including digital readiness and data sharing, to support the provision of proactive care.

The framework is intended for PCNs, providers and commissioners of community health and social care services, “so that the entire system works together to provide personalised care, improve outcomes and promote independence for people living in care”. It highlights changes to working practices driven by the pandemic, including the use of digital to enhance integration and information sharing.

Digital is described as “a key enabler for all the conditions critical for the success of the EHCH model”, with focus on improving information sharing between health and care teams and overall improvement in the quality, safety and personalisation of care.

Under ‘digital fundamentals to enable the EHCH model’ the framework focuses on the ways digital technology can support choice and independence in care. By implementing digital social care records, it looks at the savings in care worker time; advising providers to use the assured supplier list to purchase DSCRs and to take advantage of financial and implementation support available through ICSs.

On the theme of digital readiness, the framework encourages care providers to use the Digital Social Care website for accessible training and online resources “to build digital skills in the adult social care workforce”.

On data sharing, the framework looks at the ways data sharing agreements can enhance multidisciplinary working, “by allowing appropriate access to rich information from both the social care and health records”. It emphasises the importance of adhering to the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT).

The framework encourages providers to choose NHSmail as a way of ensuring their emails are secure, and enabling them to access a free Microsoft Office 365 licence including full functionality of apps including Outlook and Teams.

To read the framework in full, please click here.

Also on care homes, NHS England has published a new case study entitled ‘Improving care home residents’ wellbeing through digital technology – South Devon and Torbay’, in which Digital Health Devon, a collaboration between the NHS, Torbay council and local Healthwatch; aimed to support care homes and their residents in making the best use of SMART technology.

On strategy, Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW) has published its Information & Analytics Strategy for 2023-2026, highlighting a focus on enabling an environment for innovation, developing common design and best practice standards, increasing collaboration to share knowledge, and improving training and opportunities for data staff.