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Digital Social Care: What’s the progress so far?
Blog //10-06-2024

Digital Social Care: What’s the progress so far?

by Health and Care, OneAdvanced Public Sector

The Digitising Social Care Programme was introduced to help scale up the adoption of software to ultimately help improve the quality and safety of care delivery.

Back in the early days of this journey, only 40% of CQC registered providers had digital social care records (DSCRs) in place. Fast forward to today, and over 60% of providers have embraced DSCRs, with many more embarking on their own digital transformation.

The question is: what does that progress look like exactly? Let's take a look into the digital journey so far and exactly why digital transformation in the social care sector is so crucial.

What digital progress have care providers made so far?

Although the target of 80% of care providers having Digital Social Care Records by March 2024 was missed, the sector has rapidly embraced technology in recent years. According to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), over 5,000 care providers in England have switched from paper to digital care records since the programme began. With many care providers noting significant time savings for staff, family portals supporting greater collaboration with client families, and faster audits as a result.

Along with digital care planning tools, some care providers may well have made a move from out-dated systems to more secure, cloud-based solutions. And in doing so, gain anywhere, anytime access to their vital data. Others may have introduced things like wearable devices or assistive technology to help support high-quality care delivery.

However, further research by the DHSC into the adoption of technology in social care found that the largest and smallest providers have been the least likely to make the switch from paper to digital. They also discovered significant regional variation, with some areas being further ahead in their digital journey than others.

In our own Care Trends Report 2024, we found that 32% of care providers still heavily utilise spreadsheets to manage their organisations data.

So even with the rapid progress being made, it’s clear that there is still work to be done to enable the future digital transformation of social care. And it’s vital that innovative software helps to improve care delivery, being designed with care professionals and clients at its core.

The importance of a digital social care sector

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have stated that it will only get more difficult to maintain an Outstanding or Good rating without implementing a digital care record solution. And that ‘Good quality records underpin safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care… They are an essential part of achieving good outcomes for people who use services.’

According to the CQC, a good digital care record solution should help to:

  • Easily capture information at the point of care
  • Allow staff to respond quicker to client needs
  • Share important information quickly and securely between care settings
  • Reduce risks to people’s safety

Of course, software should be a tool that helps enhance care quality, supporting care organisations, staff and service users throughout the entire care journey. Yet shockingly, 43% of respondents to our Care Trends Report 2024 found that their current IT systems are not adequate enough and could potentially be putting clients at risk.

In April 2023, 4% of services were rated ‘Outstanding’, 79% ‘Good’, 15% were rated ‘Requires Improvement’ and 1% ‘Inadequate’, according to The King’s Fund Social Care 360 Report. And as part of the report, The King’s Fund notes that while there is an upward trend of improvement, 1 in 6 services unfortunately remain below standard.

This is why dedicated software solutions need to be designed to help providers achieve and evidence regulatory compliance whilst alleviating the struggles that often come with insufficient, manual processes.

Digital Social Care Records

The struggles faced in the care sector are widely recognised, with factors like recruitment and retention challenges being exacerbating by the rising cost of care. Currently, until March 2025, care organisations can receive funding from their Integrated Care System when they implement a Digital Social Care Records tool from the assured supplier list.

Our care business management software - Care Cloud - is an Assured Solution, which means that care providers can receive funding (typically up to 50%) when they look to enhance their processes using Care Cloud.

Care Cloud gives you complete oversight of all your care business needs; from your client care plans and assessments to your recruitment pipeline and staff rostering.

Find out today about how Care Cloud can meet your organisation’s needs.

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Health and Care

Health and Care


OneAdvanced Public Sector

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