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Social care programme

The social care programme focuses on improving digital maturity in the adult social care provider sector (such as domiciliary care and care homes) and helping adult social care to join up its IT systems with the health sector.

We support the health and care sectors to share information securely between different systems and to simplify and standardise the information they collect and use.

There are many links between the health and care system, such as when someone is discharged from hospital into social care, but it's often difficult for health and care professionals to share information about patients and people accessing services. Access to the right information at the right time is essential to transfer people smoothly between care settings and to ensure continuity of care.


  • information that needs to be shared may not be standardised
  • health and social care IT systems may not link up, meaning that information has to be sent by fax or post
  • there are differing levels of digital maturity across the health and care system

We work with care professionals, commissioners, system leaders, IT suppliers and bodies that represent the care sector to identify, explore and develop digital solutions to address these problems. 


Our solutions are co-produced with the social care sector to make sure that we prioritise the right issues. They are designed to work on a national level whilst allowing for local flexibility.

The work of the social care programme supports better understanding and use of digital technology across the social care sector. Our projects are helping to make transfers of care smoother and safer, improving people’s experience of care, supporting better care decisions and saving care professionals’ time.

Our funding

See where we provide funding for social care projects across England by using our interactive map

Our services

Guidance to support care providers in completing the data security and protection toolkit

We have compiled sector-led guidance for information governance and cyber security, specifically tailored to be accessible for care providers. This guidance is intended to be used by care providers to support them in completing the Data security and protection toolkit. Completion of the Data Security and Protection Toolkit enables access to NHSmail, a national health and care email system enabling secure information sharing.

Information standard to support assessment discharge and withdrawal notices between hospitals and adult social care

The assessment, discharge and withdrawal notices between hospitals and social services information standard is designed to increase efficiency of the acute to social care discharge process. It helps to standardise data being sent from a hospital to a local authority's adult social care department when a safe discharge requires a social care assessment.

Assessment discharge withdrawal

This project is providing funding in 2018/19 for local authorities to digitise statutory elements of the discharge process between health and social care, to improve efficiency and reduce delays in transfers of care. They are doing this using existing NHS Digital infrastructure and the published information standard to support assessment discharge and withdrawal notices.

Social care digital innovation programme

Run by NHS Digital in partnership with the Local Government Association, the social care digital innovation programme provides funding for local authorities to support innovative uses of digital technology in the design and delivery of adult social care.

Machine learning/predictive analytic data use for adult social care early intervention and prevention

This grant award is for care providers and research organisations to explore and demonstrate the use of predictive analytics to predict or prevent long-term social care need. 
“Predictive analytics is a form of advanced analytics that uses both new and historical data to forecast activity, behavior and trends. It involves applying statistical analysis techniques, analytical queries and automated machine learning algorithms to data sets to create predictive models on the likelihood of a particular event happening in the future. Predictive analytics does not tell you what will happen in the future. It forecasts what might happen in the future with an acceptable level of reliability and includes what-if scenarios and risk assessment.”

Digital social care demonstrators of health information into adult social care

This funding supports local authorities, social care providers and health partners to transfer information from clinical into social care settings, using existing or new digital products and services. It is intended to improve care and support for people needing social care services through better information sharing.

Digital social care demonstrators of adult social care information into health

This grant provides local authorities, social care providers and health partners with the means to improve the digital flow of information from adult social care into health settings.

Suppliers and care professionals

If your care organisation is interested in standardising information and developing digital ways of sharing that information between organisations, contact to find out more about our programmes of work and how to get involved. 

Last edited: 19 June 2019 2:05 pm