Government to drive digital transformation of Adult Social Care sector

A long road with trees either side
  • Social care professionals to be supported to develop digital skills and drive digital transformation across the sector
  • Guidance will set standard for digital transformation of adult social care in providing quality care
  • People at home and in care settings to be better supported to reduce hospital admissions through new technology

Social care employers will be better able to equip their staff with the skills required to benefit from new technologies, enhancing patient care and providing staff with career development opportunities, thanks to new guidance published today.

To complement this, guidance for care providers and local authorities has also been issued, to set a standard for care and support settings when switching to using digital technology, such as virtual 24/7 monitoring centres to provide quick and instantaneous support.

For those working in adult social care, the Digital Skills Framework will provide a structure in which new skills can be developed. This will ensure innovative technology is being put to the best possible use to enhance care, for example systems that allow a care professional to access a resident’s information from GP records via a digital social care record, to support their care from hospital to home.

Staff will be given training on how to use the technology which will include virtual care centres – where people drawing on care can access a care worker virtually for help and reassurance 24/7. This will give those needing care more autonomy and independence in their own homes by eliminating the need for reoccurring or overnight checks.

In some cases, care settings may choose to use the new structure to support staff in implementing new artificial intelligence (AI) monitoring technology which helps to reduce falls by tracking the movements of those receiving care.

The guidance covers seven key themes including using and managing data, how to use technology for person-centred care and supporting a culture of good practice in using technology for personalised care.

Minister for Care Helen Whately said:

Technology embedded into care and support can be transformative both for people who need care and staff in the sector.

Innovative technology in care settings improves care and can increase the time that care workers spend with the people they care for.

The guidance and standards published today will give social care staff the support they need to improve their digital capabilities.


Sonia Patel, System CIO at NHS England, said:

This new guidance is a significant step in ensuring our digital ‘north star’ is clear in all health and care settings, helping reduce health inequalities in every community in England. We’ve worked closely with social care colleagues to provide the What Good Looks Like guidance for adult social care, building on the framework we’ve already published for ICSs and providers which we’ll be updating later this year.

Alongside the Digital Skills Framework, guidance for care providers and local authorities has also been published targeted at those who have a responsibility for digital transformation in local areas – such as digital leads, directors of adult social services, commissioners, and service managers.

Developed with support from LGA, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, who are Partners in Care and Health, as well as sector stakeholders the ‘What Good Looks Like’ guidance encourages smart foundations and safe practice of technology in care settings so the right technology can be used to benefit local people.

Professor Vic Rayner OBE, Chief Executive of National Care Forum said:

The delivery of great quality, safe and person-centred care is the number one priority for all care providers. Digital approaches to the delivery of care should complement this work of care professionals and many innovative providers are already leading the way in driving this digital transformation, supported by teams who are digitally skilled and confident. 

The publication of both the Digital Skills Framework as well as the What Good Looks Like guidance will be essential resources in the journey towards ensuring all providers and people who receive care and support services can benefit from a digitised adult social care sector

Cllr David Fothergill. Chair of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board said:

This guidance is designed to support local authorities and care providers of all sizes and types to modernise and improve the way they deliver care, such as expanded social care record systems in their areas. It will help support staff and put in place a better system that frees up more time for care.

Digitising social care is one of the key components of the Partners in Care and Health programme, delivered in partnership by the Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services. It aims to help councils to improve the way they deliver adult social care, through developing and sharing best practice, providing support and building connections.

What Good Looks Like, gives organisations and local authorities a standard to meet when seeking opportunities to modernise and improve the quality of care in their area through technology interventions such as the Digital Care Record.

The guidance builds on the NHS England What Good Looks Like framework which provides clear guidance across seven success measures for health and care leaders to digitise, connect and transform services safely and securely.

It provides a series of common goals to work towards that will help achieve the vision set out in People at the Heart of Care. It is an aspirational framework designed to be used by local authorities and care providers of all sizes and types of service, including both Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered and non-registered providers.

Digitising social care is part of the government’s recently published Next Steps to Put People at the Heart of Care plan to reform social care and improve the lives of the 10 million people who draw on, work in or provide, care and support.




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