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Alpine Innovation: Digital Catapult events integration of health and social care

Earlier this year, alongside Atlantic Customer Services, Alpine organised two large events on the integration of health and adult social care for the national Digital Catapult.

These events addressed the huge strategic issues councils face in joining up services under the Social Care Act 2014 and integrating health and adult social care at t at time when demand is growing while resources are being cut. One response has been to consider outsourcing more services. But while this may result in some savings, it will also create a dependency on agency staff with variable skills and variable quality of service.

Instead, these Alpine events looked at how councils can retain ownership of services and provide better care through a data-driven approach. The events used an interactive methods to explore how public bodies could use digital tools to improve services, enhance decision making, and deliver customer-focused dignity in care. Both events brought together a unique practitioner group – including councils, clinical commissioning groups, existing providers, digital entrepreneurs, and customers, to make active progress and model solutions.

Participants defined the problems in detail from their perspective, and worked collaboratively to design solutions and new pathways for improved outcomes and better customer experience. Real (anonymous) data and prototypes emerged from these sessions, and the Digital Catapult and Innovate UK shared opportunities for funding to support this type of work. And thanks to the Digital Catapult, the events were completely free of charge.

The two events were:

The digital opportunities for personalisation of Social Care (March 2015)

Here participants focused on prevention through accessible data and visualisation. Some of the areas addressed included how digital can be used for self service, such as tele-care; how data can be used to speed up the assessment process; the creation of a more outcome-based commissioning model; and implementation of the care Act (including setting up care accounts and monitoring spend).


Integrating Health Care and Social Care – the digital challenge (March-April 2015)

Evidence suggests that one of the greatest inhibitors to the integration of health and social care lies in the sharing and integration of data. Shared data has the potential to unlock insights into patients and recipients of care and improve their independence, longevity and quality of lives. Building on the customer journey and issues raised in the first session, this event looked at how information could be used to better inform decisions, commissioning and reducing the costs of delivery. Ensuring privacy, compassion and accountability were also key in the agenda.


Of course neither event was intended to provide all the answers to this complex issue. But by identifying a number of challenges and opportunities, practitioners understanding was raised of how a data-driven approach might work in practice, and the various benefits it can achieve.


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