Service deliveryAdult Social CareNHS Digital invites bids for £4.8m adult social care funding

NHS Digital invites bids for £4.8m adult social care funding

£4.8m has been made available to scale up local digital adult social care projects by NHS Digital which is a part of the Digital Transformation Portfolio

NHS Digital is inviting bids from organisations that provide and commission adult social care services for a share of £4.8 million worth of funding. The funding will enable organisations to roll out their local digital adult social care projects on a wider scale and is part of the NHS Digital Transformation Portfolio.

Applications for the Social Care Digital Pathfinders grant are now open. Applicants can apply with adult social care products and services that have already been piloted in small local areas. Alternately, they can also be from adult social care products and services that have a strong evidence base. All the applications must have a view of implementing adult social care on a larger scale. The selected Digital Pathfinders will begin with a four-month development phase, followed by a 13-month implementation phase if development is successful.

Applications can be made by adult social care providers with not for profit status, local authorities and academic organisations. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, 22 May at 5 pm. There will be two webinars on Wednesday 10 April and on Monday 29 April for potential applicants to ask questions.

Interoperability and early intervention

There are two main themes to the adult social care programme of work:

  1. Use of standards to support whole health and care system interoperability, for example:
  • Sharing of information across the health and social care system to support efficient access to care, and for direct care
  • Real-time event alerts that notify a social care provider when a citizen receiving social care support has been admitted to hospital, discharged from hospital and other appropriate flags
  • Removal of fax machines from care providers through the implementation of appropriate safe and secure messaging platforms between health, care providers and local authorities
  1. Use of data for the prevention of escalating social care needs and for early intervention of those at risk of requiring social care, for example:
  • Predictive modelling for adult social care demands and needs across a population
  • Using data to highlight those whose combination of health, social and environmental indicators means that they are at higher risk of losing their independence

Pam Garraway Senior Responsible Officer for the Social Care Programme at NHS Digital said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the social care sector to see their local digital projects rolled out on a wider scale; potentially benefiting the whole health and social care sector.

“Applicants should have already successfully piloted a solution in their area or have a strong evidence base of need.

“This investment will then support them in scaling up across multiple organisations that can reuse and share successful solutions in the wider area or elsewhere.”

Providing better care

The NHS is using technology to help health and care professionals communicate better. It also aims to enable people to access the care they need quickly and easily when it suits them.

From websites and apps that make care and advice easy to access wherever you are, to connected computer systems that give staff the test results, history and evidence they need to make the best decisions for patients, NHS is working to provide better care.

The NHS Long Term Plan was published on 7 January 2019 and sets out its ambitions for improvement over the next decade. It was following the five-year funding settlement announced by the government in July 2018. The plan underpins the importance of technology in the future NHS. It sets out the critical priorities that will support digital transformation and provide a step change in the way the NHS cares for citizens.

Recently, Health Minister Nicola Blackwood had said that barriers to the reforms must not stop the progress to digitally enabled NHS because #DataSavesMoreLives.

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