Virtual visits to social care centres of digital innovation

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NCF and NHS Digital launch new Hubble Project

The use of digital technology has rapidly expanded during the coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak. Yet many social care providers are still struggling to make the most of technology to improve care.

A new project, launched today by the National Care Forum with funding from NHS Digital’s Digital Pathfinders Programme, will help care providers to understand the benefits of technology, how to build a business case for investment, and how to successfully introduce, use and evaluate technology.

The Hubble Project offers senior decision makers the chance to virtually visit ‘innovation hubs’ (via webinar) to learn how other care providers have introduced, used and evaluated digital technology to improve care. The sessions cover a wide range of technology so that they will be of value to all care providers, regardless of where they are on the digital journey. Speaking about the new project, Vic Rayner, chief executive of NCF said:

“Many care providers want to progress along their digital journey – but they feel they don’t have the knowledge or confidence to make what can be big decisions about investment and implementation in technology. Being able to learn from colleagues who have been there and done that can overcome some of those concerns.

“These are warts-and-all sessions, where care providers will share the lessons they have learned. Our virtual visitors will also have access to a wide range of resources after the visits, including a toolkit to support building a business case, getting buy in, and implementation. And the tech suppliers featured during the sessions are also offering participants a time-limited reduction on the cost of their technology.”

James Palmer, Social Care Programme Head at NHS Digital, said: “Involving care providers was a core founding principle of the NHS Digital Social Care Programme when it was established in 2015. All projects funded through the Pathfinders programme were required to support products and services that have the potential to make a big difference to the digitisation of the sector.

“We are delighted that NCF is using this innovative approach. It is so valuable to share direct experiences of introducing and using tech and these virtual visits will be accessible to a greater number of organisations than a physical visit would be.”

The hubs are based in three care settings in England and showcase a range of technologies which include, electronic care planning, eMAR, acoustic monitoring, circadian lighting, sensor technology and telecare.

Through a mixture of pre-recorded content and live Q&A, managers and staff will demonstrate the technology that they use, and share their digital journey, including how they came to adopt it, the challenges and the benefits of implementing and using it, and the use of data to improve the quality of care.

The virtual visit sessions will take place between September 2020 and December 2020. The sessions are aimed at decision makers within residential, home care and housing providers. The session hosted by Johnnie Johnson Housing will be of particular interest to housing associations, retirement communities and home care providers.

Bookings are now open for the 30 sessions at www.nationalcareforum.org.uk

NCF’s Hubble Project is funded by NHS Digital’s Social Care Digital Pathfinders grant. The project’s aim is to support and inspire the care sector to embrace digital technology in their care settings in order to improve people’s lives through the use of technology based, data-enabled care.

The Digital Hub

The Beeches, Parkhaven Trust

The Beeches is a new residential and nursing service for people with dementia run by the Parkhaven Trust. The service has been designed with guidance from the Dementia Design Centre at Stirling University to provide the highest quality environment to cater for the needs of people with dementia. It consists of three households which will care for up to 15 people each. Parkhaven Trust has installed circadian lighting, acoustic monitoring and electronic care planning to ensure that people are supported and cared for using the latest technology and to support staff to spend more time with people.

The Beeches will be showcasing:
• Circadian Lighting by Whitecroft Lighting
• Acoustic Monitoring by CLB/Adaptive IT Solutions
• Mobile Care Monitoring by Person Centred Software

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