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12.02.20

NHS Digital awards £4.5m to local digital adult social care projects

NHS Digital is overseeing the £4.5m investment into digital adult social care projects, with sixteen organisations across England set to receive a share of the money to enable them to roll out their local digital projects on a wider scale.

The sixteen organisations have been selected to receive a Social Care Digital Pathfinders grant, which is designed to support products and services which have already been successfully piloted in small local areas to expand and implement their innovations on a larger scale.

Having been successfully awarded their grant, the sixteen new Digital Pathfinders will commence a 13-month implementation phase, with projects predominantly focusing on standardisation of information and developing digital data sharing solutions to help dispense information efficiently between multiple health and care organisations.

NHS Digital will manage the investment, as part of the NHS’ Digital Transformation Portfolio.

Digital innovation has been a significant push for current Health Secretary Matt Hancock, and fits with the secretary of state’s vision for interoperability and openness, open standards and appropriate infrastructure.

Health Minister Nicola Blackwood said: “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.

“This £4.5 million 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.”

Senior Responsible Officer for the Social Care Programme at NHS Digital, Pam Garraway, added: “I’m delighted to see so many exciting digital projects now underway - every one of which has the potential to benefit the whole health and social care sector.  

“What makes it so exciting is the fact that these projects aren’t working in isolation, as they perhaps would have done in the past. They are working collectively to drive standards and solve problems, which is why we are confident that all of the pathfinder projects can be replicated easily.

“This isn’t just about best practice pilots. Once this work is finalised, we fully expect areas will be able to go out and use these products and implement them locally – safe in the knowledge that they are tried and tested.”

The full list of Pathfinders funded for implementation is available here.

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