Care Homes Digital Services

Since March 2020 National Guidance (from NHSX, NHSD and Digital Social Care) and regional support across NHS and Local Authority partners for Care Homes has increased significantly and many initiatives have been rolled out at pace as a response to the pandemic. To improve oversight of this work Cheshire and Merseyside ICS established a Care Homes Steering group meeting which reported directly into the Out of Hospital Cell and four key priorities were agreed by the group:

  • Care Home workforce development and training
  • Supporting the adoption of digital technology adoption within the sector.
  • Falls prevention
  • Dementia

A Senior Responsible Officer and Clinical lead have been identified for the Digital element and a Programme Manager has assigned to the programme since November 2020. HSLI funding has been agreed for the Programme. There is also agreed time and support available from the North West Coast Innovation Agency who are also supporting Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS with similar initiatives. This will support the development of regional collaboration across the North West region.

A digital working group that will meet monthly has been set up to oversee activity with representation from NHSD and local Place based leads across the Cheshire and Merseyside region.

Key activity for this digital programme over the next 6 months will be:

  • Baselining activity and support required for the nine different places across the region. Places each have a diverse and complex care home landscape and information has been gathered into a digital maturity heat map for care homes across the region which gives information regarding WIFI and infrastructure, devices and staff digital confidence. This is being enhanced with information from key local stakeholders
  • Encouraging and supporting care home staff to move from paper based to digital assessment tools which will promote a consistency of approach and will enable staff and commissioners to gather data and electronic information about residents health and wellbeing. Eventually NHSX wish to support social care providers to move towards the use of a suitable Electronic Care Record by 2024.
  • Work in partnership with other regional Digital Programmes such as remote monitoring which will be scaled up with additional funding and a particular focus on care homes in 21/22
  • Ensure that health and social care partners work together to agree priorities and share engagement with place based care providers
  • Supporting care home staff to increase the use of video and remote consultations with relevant clinicians and the use of online tools for medication ordering and accessing GP information.

Activity and progress will be reported directly to the Cheshire and Merseyside Digital board.