Organisations that provide and commission adult social care services will share a £4.5m grant from NHS Digital to enable the development of digital services.
A group of 16 councils and boroughs will get the Social Care Digital Pathfinders grant, which is part of the NHS Digital Transformation Portfolio and supports products and services that have already been piloted in small local areas and are ready to expand.
The organisations will now start a 13-month implementation phase. This period will focus on standardising information and developing digital ways of sharing information between multiple health and care organisations.
“Bridging the technology gap between the NHS and social care is a central part of achieving a health and care service that is fit for the future,” said health minister Nicola Blackwood.
“This investment will support local areas to improve information sharing across services, ensuring people avoid hospital unless absolutely necessary and helping everyone live independently for longer,” she added.
Local projects to be funded include an initiative led by Wirral Council, which is working on a digital discharge process, which enables hospitals to send care information directly to the local authority’s social care system.
Another project, led by South Gloucestershire Council and London Borough of Sutton to create a ‘digital red bag’, positions care homes as partners. It provides care homes with access to the existing local health and care record portals, which allow information to be shared across GPs, hospitals and other local organisations. The project is aimed at supporting continuity of care and enables care homes to also view and update those records.
The list of projects to receive the digital funding includes an initiative led by the National Care Forum, which is creating a network of innovation hubs designed to assist and inspire the care and support sector to embrace technological and digital innovations.