Social Care Digital Innovation Programme

The LGA in collaboration with NHS Digital is grant funding digital innovation in social care, with projects ranging from new assistive technology to data analytics to predict demand. Twelve councils have been selected for the third wave of funding. Find out more about the 43 projects funded across the three years.


Over the last two years NHS Digital has funded 31 councils to provide digital solutions to social care challenges. In 2017-18 we saw Amazon Alexa introduced in Hampshire to reduce isolation and enhance independence; Luton and Central Bedfordshire improved the digital maturity of care homes and Norfolk increased referrals from customer services to appropriate voluntary sector support. In 2018-19 Nottingham is exploring an outcomes portal, Isle of Wight is testing exoskeletal devices for informal carers and Wirral is investing in biometric wearables to better understand support for people with autism.

In 2019-21 12 more councils will use the principles of service design to develop genuinely new ideas to improve social care, seeking innovative uses of digital technology in service design to improve the service user’s experience and/or enable better service planning and commissioning.

The Programme

The 2019-21 programme aims to:

  • use principles of service design to address social care problems differently
  • develop collaborative, innovative and person-led solutions to social care problems
  • measure the benefits, share learning and practice to encourage wider action.

Up to £120,000 funding is split into two phases: a discovery phase (April to September 2019) and an implementation phase (December 2019 to December 2020). During the discovery phase, councils will be supported to research and understand the needs, behaviours and experiences of users (social care service users, informal carers, social care providers, health partners and the voluntary sector. Councils will be supported on this journey by Snook, a design agency. Councils are expected to bring local partners through the discovery phase to develop a detailed proposal for the implementation phase.

Discovery phase



Cambridgeshire County Council

Enhancing the independence of those with learning disabilities in the community during their transition to adult social care.
Cambridgeshire Progress Report - July 2019
Cambridgeshire Discovery Phase Review - October 2019

London Borough of Camden

Using technology to provide travel assistance and establish long term independent travel
Camden Progress Report - July 2019
Camden Discovery Phase Review - October 2019

Derbyshire County Council

Designing and testing a remote assessment process for some adaptations in domestic environments
Derbyshire Progress Report - July 2019
Derbyshire Discovery Phase Review - October 2019

Essex County Council

Exploring real-time prediction and/or monitoring of falls testing technology used in other fields
Essex Progress Report - July 2019
Essex Discovery Phase Review - October 2019

Kirklees Council

Providing direct citizen access to real-time information held about care needs and services
Kirklees Progress Report - July 2019
Kirklees Discovery Phase Review - October 2019

Leeds City Council

Digitally integrating care homes into the health and care system to ensure personalised, joined up care
Leeds Progress Report - July 2019 
Leeds Discovery Phase Review - October 2019

Newcastle City Council

Exploring how community equipment provided at the right time to maximise independence
Newcastle Progress Report - July 2019 
Newcastle Discovery Phase Review - October 2019

Norfolk County Council

A new process for booking and allocating appointments for social workers, care managers and therapists
Norfolk Progress Report - July 2019 
Norfolk Discovery Phase Review - October 2019

North East Lincolnshire Council

Improving home care communications, rostering, tracking of visits, outcomes and costs
NE Lincolnshire Progress Report - July 2019
NE Lincolnshire Discovery Phase Review - October 2019

North Somerset Council

Using technology to support identifying and proactively manage hydration in care homes
North Somerset Progress Report - July 2019
North Somerset Discovery Phase Review - October 2019

Richmond and Wandsworth Councils

Identifying informal carers and developing awareness of the local offer of support and services
Richmond and Wandsworth Progress Report - July 2019
Richmond and Wandsworth Discovery Phase Review - October 2019

London Borough of Southwark

Exploring better management and prevention of falls
Southwark Progress Report - July 2019
Southwark Discovery Phase Review - October 2019

The Accelerator

Three new projects sought partner councils to help develop a collaborative digital solution to the following areas across social care:

  • a people and partnership-centred approach to the new Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) legislation
  • multi-agency domiciliary care medicine support
  • home assessments virtual reality app: Think ‘Ikea Place’ for Adult Social Care.

The first two projects each attracted five partner councils and discovery reports for the LPS and medicine support projects have now been published.

The business case for each project shows frontline savings opportunities and we are looking for councils to collaborate in these key areas to drive change. The LGA and NHS Digital (the project funder) are working with public sector co-funding experts CC2i to progress these projects and the approach will be independently evaluated by the Institute of Public Care. Partner councils (as well as the lead council for each project) are supported by expert technology partners and additional funding from the LGA.

If either of the projects could be of interest to your authority, please get in touch. For more information or if you have any queries please contact

Recently added

12 November: Discovery phase reports for LPS and medicine support projects on the Social Care Digital Innovation Accelerator programme have been published

31 October: Discovery phase reviews have been published for the 12 Social Care Digital Innovation Programme councils in 2019-21

10 July: Elaine’s journey through social care presented at Carers’ UK’s State of Caring conference introducing a few digital  projects which may have improved her journey

4 July: Interesting blog from the National Audit Office about lessons learnt from major programmes.

10 May: The Local Investment Programme 2017/18 final evaluation report published, including a Social Care Digital project checklist.

30 January: Progress reports from project funded for the implementation phase in 2018-19  programme

1 January 2019: Review of the SCDIP Discovery Phase looking at methods of carrying out a successful discovery phase.

Further information

If any of the projects could be of interest to your authority, please get in touch. For more information or if you have any queries please contact