The government has now set out plans to allocate over £1bn in funding for social care reform over the next three years following the release of its new national social care strategy. Local government and care sector leaders welcomed the document's ambitions, and there is a commitment to invest around £150 million in new technology solutions, which includes technology enabled care, and support for service provider organisations.
However, one of the recurring problems the Local Authority social care sector faces is about knowing how much to invest in digital solutions for strategic and successful change alongside identifying accurately, what it currently spends to determine how it can achieve more value from this.
Common expectations across the government agencies that impact or influence social care include:
That in this technological age, there ought to be a greater level of digital solutions to support citizen engagement in public services.
Having a public sector workforce that is digitally enabled to plan and deliver these services.
That the commercial technology providers that support public service, design and develop good quality system solutions at reasonable prices to achieve both aims.
In terms of social care organisations, given the well-publicised perilous state of funding, an existing shortfall in skilled resources and the substantial increase in service demands, it is unclear as to how LA’s are meant to achieve these things, what they might cost, and how they might be paid for.
Solving these problems for clients is ‘work-in-progress’ at BetterGov, and to encourage debate and dialogue on these topics it has now published a new report on the challenges on meeting this ‘knowledge gap’ and welcomes ideas and comments to help increase modernisation and innovation through digital solutions.