A government white paper has committed to ensuring that at least 80% of social care providers have a digitised care record in place by March 2024.
The Adult Social Care Reform White Paper, which is part of the government’s wider social care plans, is backed by £5.4billion which will go towards helping to improve the physical, digital and technological infrastructure of care homes.
This includes at least £150million going towards improving care quality and safety, support independent living through new technology and digitisation such as digital care records, over the next ten years.
According to the paper, ‘only 40% of social care providers are fully digitised with the remainder using paper records’.
The paper adds: “By March 2024, we will ensure that at least 80% of social care providers have a digitised care record in place that can connect to a shared care record – a commitment that was set out in the draft Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data strategy.
“To support care providers in adopting proven technologies that can transform quality of care and safety, we will fund implementation support within each integrated care system and invest in the infrastructure and skills required for the future.
“By rapidly digitising social care, we can ensure a more equal partnership with colleagues in the NHS and achieve wider ambitions for joined-up care around the individual.”
According to a Department of Health and Social Care press release, ‘the improvements will be funded through the 1.25 per cent Health and Social Care levy’.
Health secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “The pandemic has been an important turning point for social care, putting into the spotlight the incredible work the sector delivers day in and day out and highlighting the urgent need for change.
“This ten-year vision clearly lays out how we will make the system fairer and better to serve everyone, from the millions of people receiving care to those who are providing it.
“We are investing in our country’s future – boosting support to help people live at home with their families for longer and ensuring that health and care work hand in hand so people get the help they need.”
The news of the funding follows NHS Digital’s Social Care Programme, which has funded over 100 projects including the development of apps, the roll out of new robotic technology to help carers and tools to reduce the risk of falls.
Recent analysis of the programme revealed it could lead to £127million worth of benefits. Innovations included an Electronic Red Bag to replace the physical ‘red bag’ which contains a standardised set of information about health and care and remote monitoring technology which monitors care home residents, particularly through the night.