Technology trade association techUK has released a new report which addresses the urgent need for technological advancements in the adult social care sector.

‘The Five Point Plan for CareTech’, developed in collaboration with techUK’s Social Care Working Group, offers a blueprint for revolutionising care provision and delivery across the United Kingdom.

The report highlights the crucial role of digital solutions in enabling citizens to lead independent and fulfilling lives while empowering care providers to offer improved, personalised services. 

It outlines techUK’s commitment to driving change in the sector, including promoting the benefits of digital solutions, simplifying guidance for innovators, and fostering partnerships between local authorities and industry players through initiatives like the Innovators Network and the Social Care Innovation Hub.

The report serves as a call to action for stakeholders across the spectrum, from policymakers and care providers to technology innovators and citizens, to come together and shape the future of adult social care through digital transformation.

Mapping digital poverty and exclusion

techUK underscores the importance of understanding and addressing digital poverty and exclusion, advocating for collaboration between the Department of Health and Social Care, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and Integrated Care Partnerships to eliminate digital disparities. The report calls for the establishment of digital libraries and increased accessibility to digital resources.

Developing a methodology for co-production

To foster a culture of collaboration and innovation, the report suggests that the Government should create a clear methodology for co-producing technology-based care solutions. Drawing from best practices, this approach can drive the development and deployment of solutions that genuinely meet the needs of citizens and care providers.

Making Citizens Health Accounts a reality

techUK advocates for the implementation of Citizen Health Accounts, a concept endorsed by the Hewitt Review. These accounts would empower individuals to access and manage their health and care data, leading to more personalised and effective care. The report stresses the importance of safeguarding data while enabling seamless data sharing for improved care outcomes.

Investing in services and staff

In light of underfunding challenges, the report emphasises the critical importance of investing in the adult social care workforce. techUK recommends allocating funding to support recruitment, retention, and skill development of care professionals. Additionally, it suggests central financial support for technology adoption, enabling social care providers to embrace digital solutions effectively.

Enhancing Collaboration and Data Interoperability

The report underscores the need for standardised data formats and terminologies, as well as expanding interoperability frameworks. techUK calls for the industry to collaborate with public and private bodies to break down barriers to data sharing and exchange, allowing seamless collaboration between health and care providers.

Georgina Maratheftis, associate director for local public services at techUK, said: “techUK is dedicated to reshaping the landscape of adult social care through meaningful partnerships and technological advancements. 

“By working closely with policymakers and our members, we have developed this report to help simplify complex guidance for innovators and ensure that their feedback plays a pivotal role in shaping upcoming changes to promote the tangible benefits that digital solutions bring to citizens and carers alike.”