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. Apply now for the third wave of the programme – deadline to apply is 7 March 2019.


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 councils will use the principles of service design to develop genuinely new ideas to improve social care. If you are interested in applying, please review these pages to see what has already been approached in the council led projects and the lessons learned from these projects. The Social Care Digital Innovation Programme 2019-21 is again 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 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). To apply to the programme, councils should submit an expression of interest and 10 councils will receive funding of £30,000 to undertake a discovery and develop a digital solution for a specific issue. 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. Lead councils are expected to bring local partners through the discovery phase to develop a detailed proposal for the implementation phase (with up to £90,000 of further funding).

The application window for the Social Care Digital Innovation Programme 2019-21 is now closed. We will be announcing the discovery phase councils soon.

Recently added

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

4 DecemberElaine’s journey through social care presented at the King’s Fund Outstanding Social Care conference introducing a few LIP/SCDIP projects which may have improved her journey

23 November: SCDIP Project Search Tool - Find out about the projects in your area through this new interactive tool

15 November: Nine councils funded for SCDIP Implementation Phase announced at National Children and Adults Services Conference (NCAS)

17 October: Blog on lessons from the development of Nottinghamshire Health and Care Portal

8 October: Blog from Essex reviewing the introduction of video calls as part of reablement packages

1 October: Discovery Phase reviews from this year’s Social Care Digital Innovation Programme

24 SeptemberBlog from Barnet on the nine success factors for digital social care projects

23 July: Blog from Adam Hoare including tips for successful digital projects

Further information

If you have any questions about the Local Investment Programme in 2017/18 or the Social Care Digital Innovation Programme 2018/19, please contact: socialcaredigitalmaturity@local.gov.uk / ed.humphreys@local.gov.uk