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Investment boost for social care

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that investment will be committed to boosting innovative social care projects around the country.

Over the course of 2023/24 and 2024/25, the Accelerating Reform Fund will inject a total of £42.6 million worth of backing for innovation initiatives across the nation, with £20 million of this being allocated to local authorities. These cover all 42 Integrated Care Systems and will see collaboration between a range of partners such as the NHS, care providers, and voluntary and community groups.

The funding will increase to £22.6 million for the second tranche.

Supporting the government’s vision for reforming social care, the Accelerating Reform Fund will help with the expansion of community-based care models through innovation and digital tools. This will be done with a focus on identifying and supporting carers that are unpaid, with some examples including:

  • Coventry and Warwickshire local authorities using a digital carers self-help tool to give carers the ability to identify local support and access personalised information to support their wellbeing.
  • West Yorkshire local authorities connecting hospitality, tourism, and leisure services with unpaid carers so that holidays and experiences can be donated, recognising the contribution that the carers make to society.
  • South West London benefitting from scaled-up approaches to identifying unpaid carers, with this including hospital discharge programmes and carer network references.
Social care innovation quote

Social Care Minister Helen Whately commented on the investment, saying:

“We’re sticking to our plan to deliver ambitious social care reforms that will ensure everyone gets the care they need and help even more people to live independently.

“Alongside our workforce reforms, we’re supporting the sector by backing innovations which will make our case system fit for the future and provide vital support to our selfless unpaid carers.”

The government’s decade-long vision for adult social care is driving the Accelerated Reform Fund, with three objectives being:

  • People have choice, control, and support to live independent lives
  • People can receive outstanding quality and tailored care and support
  • People fund adult social care fair and accessible.

Kathryn Smyth, Chief Executive Officer of the Social Care Institute of Excellence, added:

“We’re excited about the opportunities offered by the Accelerating Reform Fund, which is uniquely focused on innovation in social care. Whether digital innovation or new ways to deliver support, local people who draw on care and the millions of amazing unpaid carers delivering care around the clock stand to benefit significantly from the fund.

“It’s great to see a range of projects now emerging from local authorities working in partnership all over the country. We’re determined to support local leaders to find ways to overcome obstacles to innovation to improve lives.”

 

Image credit: iStock

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