NHS backs innovative assistive tech pilots across nine UK councils


Biometric devices measuring anxiety triggers for people with autism and exoskeleton devices for carers are among nine social care digitisation projects to receive funding from the NHS and the Local Government Association.

Other projects funded include online financial self-assessment and benefits checker tools and an app for social care providers, enabling them to collate important employment information to improve the care worker recruitment process.

The Social Care Digital Innovation Programme, commissioned by NHS Digital and managed by the Local Government Association, tasked councils to create digital pilots designed to advance frontline practice, improve systems and enable integration across adult social care.

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Earlier this year, 12 councils were awarded £20,000 each in the first ‘discovery’ phase of funding, to investigate local challenges that could be addressed using digital technology.  

Up to £700,000 has been made available and nine projects have now been chosen to design and implement their solution.

The successful councils are: Bracknell Forest Council; London Borough Havering; Isle of Wight Council; Lincolnshire County Council; Nottingham City Council; Shropshire Council; Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council; Sunderland City Council; Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council.

James Palmer, programme lead for the Social Care Programme at NHS Digital, said: “The successful projects all showed great promise during their discovery phase, looking at a wide range of areas from data visualisations and online financial assessment tools to wearable tech and exoskeleton devices. 

“These are some really exciting proposals and I am looking forward to seeing the outcomes. We will be sharing learning from the projects, with a view to these blueprints supporting other social care providers looking to innovate in the same area.”

Kate Allsop, executive mayor of Mansfield and Digital Lead on the LGA’s Community and Wellbeing Board, said: “These important projects will improve people’s experience of care and support as part of efforts to support people’s wellbeing.

“All of this year’s cohort have shown true innovation which made it extremely difficult to decide who to fund for implementation.

“The discovery phase has enabled a detailed study of user needs to determine the scope of some really interesting projects.

“These projects will add real value to the sector and will push the boundaries of digital innovation for social care across the country.”

Tags : assistive technologycouncilNHSnhs digital
Joe Peskett

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