Recognising digital innovation

Written by on 25th June 2018

Sunderland City Council’s pioneering use of digital technology to help improve social care for vulnerable adults, has received national recognition and additional financial support.

Sunderland was one of only twelve local authorities out of the 82 who applied for funding from NHS Digital and the Local Government Association, to have been successful.

Sunderland will further explore how ‘Smart’ digital technology can be used help shape the future of social care, with the £20,000 which has been awarded to each council to progress this exciting area of work.

Later this year, six of the 12 local authorities will be shortlisted to receive further funding of up to £80,000 each for the second phase of the project which Sunderland City Council will also bid for.

The aim is to improve health and social care services using Smart digital technology which includes everyday items such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Hive and mobile devices such smart phones and tablets.

The data from the Smart technology will be analysed and used to help staff work together to support people’s individual and specific care needs.

During the first phase of the project Sunderland City Council will be working in partnership with Sunderland Software City, Digital Catapult North East and Tees Valley and Urban Foresight.

The partnership will explore how the adult care sector can use Smart digital technology to meet future challenges such as the increasing demand on services from an increasingly older population.

It is hoped that by using Smart technology and the data the devices collect so efficiently, that the adult care sector in Sunderland can be better placed to plan services and meet increasing demands on adult social care.

Sunderland City Council Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, Councillor Dr Geoffrey Walker said: “Sunderland City Council is at the cutting edge of using assistive and digital technology to support residents with their individual care needs.

“Working with our clients we have tested a range of devices to help people with a variety of conditions.

“Feedback from those taking part, staff and residents alike, has been extremely positive showing that assistive technology can be used very effectively to help support people to remain independent for longer, improve the quality of life for residents and their families/carers, and also save money from an increasingly limited budget.”

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