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Digital Social Care Demonstrator Programme 2018-19

In 2018 NHS Digital awarded a share of £1.4m to a number of local authorities to develop digital projects that support social care. The successful local authorities were funded to enable them and their partners delivering social care to make information sharing between health and care fast, secure and accurate to make the journey as smooth as possible for some of the most vulnerable in our society as they move between care settings. This money also funded work on predictive analytics that forecast service need and target interventions to reduce the need for long-term social care and to help people remain independent, in their own homes, for longer.

Digital Social Care case studies

Projects selected to participate were known as demonstrators. They were expected to promote the value of integrated care approaches, and share best practice and lessons learned, to enable further roll-out across the sector. Common emerging themes included:

  • early engagement with users and stakeholders - crucial from the project outset and throughout project delivery to ensure requirements are understood
  • management buy-in, effective governance and a dedicated project team -  crucial to successful project delivery
  • engagement with 3rd party suppliers -  this needs to be carried out at an early stage to prevent delays
  • information governance and consent for digital projects can be time consuming  - it requires agreement of documents to be used by multiple stakeholders, this needs to start early in the project

This collection of case studies illustrate how the Social Care Demonstrator projects helped social care providers develop ways of sharing information digitally with other care providers, local authorities and independent sector organisations. 

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Free-text data for adult social care prevention and intervention

Islington Council are working towards a novel and comprehensive dataset that utilises structured NHS and adult social care (ASC) data, and free-text data from ASC case notes. It aims to identify current and escalating need, and predict demand for ASC.

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Digital maturity in care providers

Case study with Lincolnshire Care Association and Lincolnshire County Council. Funding aiming to improve the flow of information between NHS and independent and voluntary sector care providers.

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Developing the e-Red Bag

Sutton Council improved upon the successful Red Bag pathway by digitising and electronically transferring the residents’ records in the event of an emergency admission to hospital - improving both communication and information security.