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New £1.4m cash pot for digital projects at 18 councils looking to modernise social care

New adult social care funding for 18 councils across the UK has been awarded by NHS Digital, with the local authorities splitting the £1.4m cash pot to develop digital projects in support of social care.

NHS Digital has revealed three categories of funding, with the most money awarded to the nine councils looking to improve the flow of health information into social care, sharing over £820,000 in total.

One of these successful bidders, Westminster council, plans to use the funding to start sharing information when discharging patients from hospital into care, through the use of apps and skype.

Wolverhampton City Council is one of the six councils receiving a total of £350,000 to use predictive analytics for early intervention and prevention as it proposes using predictive analytics for early identification of adults with complex morbidities.

And a total of nearly £200,000 has been awarded to three councils looking to improve the flow of social care information into health.

Caroline Dinenage, minister for care said: “Digital technology has the potential to transform the way we deliver care, improving the experience for those receiving it and freeing up staff time so they can spend more with those in their care.

“This funding will enable councils and their partners delivering social care to make information sharing fast, secure and accurate, and will make the journey as smooth as possible for some of the most vulnerable in our society as they move between care settings.”

The funding is aimed at supporting collaborative partnership between local authorities, health partners, academia and the third sector.

Also receiving funding are Manchester City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, Lincolnshire County Council and Hull City Council.

James Palmer, head of the social care programme at NHS Digital, said: “The successful projects span a wide range of areas and give a glimpse into the future of social care. From giving care providers access to hospitals’ electronic patient records in real time, reducing delayed discharges, to providing health care professionals with live social care alerts.”

Palmer argued that the projects being undertaken could be “replicated easily to deliver benefits quickly” and “pave the way for a truly integrated future.”

He said: “The work on predictive analytics is significant given its potential to support people at earlier stages which may help to reduce the need for long-term social care.

“Through the use of predictive models that forecast service need and target interventions, we have the chance to help people remain independent, in their own homes, for longer.”

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 Image credit - Dean Mitchell


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