Working Together to Improve Care

A new partnership between the National Care Forum, NHS Digital and The Access Group is helping providers share best practice around implementing care planning and medicine management technology into their services to improve the delivery of data-enabled care. Here, the Access Group’s Martin Lowthian explains more.

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic has placed huge attention on the technology in place to allow us to live with a semblance of normality, this year has focused eyes on the systems the care sector has in place to continue to deliver an outstanding level of care to residents. While Zoom and Skype have filled the gap to help people keep in touch with friends and family, the tech has been relied upon to keep many care providers operating to the highest possible level in hugely demanding circumstances.

Social care providers were already working in an increasingly digital world but, for those waiting to make the jump, the last year has increased the importance of introducing, using and evaluating technology to improve care. Given the ongoing challenges around resources, the question of when, how and which tech to invest in is a complex decision-making process.


The importance of these decisions led the National Care Forum to create a platform for providers to share best practice, funded by NHS Digital. The Hubble Project is a series of social care innovation hubs offering a chance to learn how other care providers have implemented digital technology including electronic care planning, electronic medication administration records (eMAR), medication management, acoustic monitoring, circadian lighting, sensor technology and telecare.

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Each hub is care-provider-led and hosted, and will showcase different combinations of digital technology which are embedded in their care settings. Participants have benefitted from well-established providers sharing their digital journey with visitors, including how they came to adopt it, the challenges and the benefits of implementing it and using it, and the use of data in the delivery of data-enabled care.


MEDICATION It is no secret that residential care providers are under huge pressure to improve efficiencies and maintain quality, despite challenges such as rising staff costs, higher occupancy and greater needs of residents.

A care and medication management plan are at the heart of every resident’s care and this is not only critical to giving them the best possible experience, but it can also help providers to maximise their own ways of working. An effective care planning and medication management process can help to address many of the challenges care businesses face, including improving efficiency, safety, communication and engagement, as well as CQC compliance.

When staff are stretched for time, it is little surprise that corners are occasionally cut in order to deliver care. Paperwork is oſten the task that makes way, and this is a natural response

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