Social Care Digital Pathfinders (SCDP) NHS Digital

Organisations that provide and commission adult social care services are invited to bid for a share of £4.8m to enable them to roll out their local digital projects on a wider scale.

Applications for the Social Care Digital Pathfinders grant open today for existing products and services that have already been piloted in small local areas, or have a strong evidence base, with the view to implementing them on a larger scale.

The investment, part of the Government’s Digital Transformation Portfolio, is managed by NHS Digital2 andsupports the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock’s vision for interoperability and openness, open standards and appropriate infrastructure.

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 based in England. Partnerships and consortiums are welcomed and encouraged.

There are two main themes to this 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

2. 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.”

There will be two webinars on Wednesday 10 April and on Monday 29 April for potential applicants to ask questions. Email scp.general@nhs.net for more information and to book a place.

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