The fourth instalment in ours series of technology landscape reviews.
The residential care sector in the UK has a complex structure and is arranged between government funded, charity and privately funded care. Residential care homes cater for a range of scenarios, from children to young adults through to elderly care and hospice care. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the residential care sector. Vulnerable individuals in residential settings have suffered disproportionately through the pandemic, similarly the pandemic has had a significant impact on residential care workers. The true impact of the pandemic may not be fully realised for a number of years. It is already clear that residents and care workers have died at higher rates, mental health is on the decline and retention of care workers is more difficult than ever.
This review is the final instalment of a four-part series examining the state of play for digital services across different branches of adult social care in England. It builds on previous research examining the digital transformation in residential care homes, including by The King’s Fund and Digital Social Care. Although there is some understanding on the quality and breadth of technology being used, the degree to which the care home sector, and social care as a whole, is digitised is poorly understood. Therefore, this review was guided by the available data and conversations with experts in the field.
We are thankful to Tommy Henderson-Reay and Claire Sutton, Digital Transformation Leads at the National Care Forum, as well as Lee Omar, Founder and CEO at Safe Steps for their insights. We’d also like to extend our thanks to Professor Martin Green, CEO of Care England, and Vic Rayner, CEO of National Care Forum.