The Adult Social Care Technology Fund – known more widely as Integrated Care System (ICS) funding – has been set up to accelerate the digital transformation of social care in England. Some £25 million has been allocated by the Treasury with an ambition to support 80% of care providers to go digital by March 2024.
Care providers can submit an application to access these vital funds to activate their digital transformation projects and put people, not paperwork, at the heart of care delivery.
Digital care management software is significantly improving the quality of adult social care across the country. But according to recent research, 46 per cent of care providers are still working on paper to deliver care.
This guide gives you the information you need to understand ICS funding, including how and when to apply and what you can spend your funding on.
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What is ICS funding for social care and what can I spend it on?
ICS funding – also known as the Adult Social Care Technology Fund – supports the digitisation of social care in England. It can be spent on a range of digital care solutions proven to increase care quality, safety and efficiency (including safe discharge from hospital), reduce avoidable hospital admissions, or increase support for people to live independently in their own home.
This could include:
- Care management software, like PASS, to create Digital Social Care Records (DSCR)
- Infrastructure and devices to improve access to high-speed internet connectivity
- Fall prevention technologies that reduce the frequencies and severity of hospital admissions.
By March 2024, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) aims to provide funding to at least 80% of CQC-registered providers to support them to adopt digital care management solutions.
Do you need support in putting together your ICS funding bid? Our team are here to help you secure funding for digital social care software. Click here to book a meeting.
Am I eligible for the Adult Social Care Technology Fund?
Providers seeking funding for DSCR solutions must be CQC-registered and currently be using paper records to document care activities. Local ICSs may also require providers to be DSPT standards met/exceeded or be able to provide evidence of working towards standards met or exceeded.
You can find the exact requirements by visiting your local ICS’s help page.
How much funding is available?
The NHS Transformation Directorate’s Digitising Social Care Team has made a total of £25 million available to ICSs in 2022/23.
The exact amount offered varies depending on the size of the provider, which solution they decide to use, and which ICS they belong to. However, most Adult Social Care Technology Fund grants include full or partial funding for start-up costs, including training, implementation and the first year’s licence fees.
You can find more information by visiting your local ICS’s help page.
When can I apply for funding?
The second wave of ICS funding is now open for applications. Care providers are required to submit expressions of interest (EOI) by Wednesday, 20 September 2023. Applicants will receive feedback commencing 16 October. The stage 2 application deadline is 04 December, with further feedback published 18 December. Funding will then be allocated to successful applicants in January 2024.
Due to high demand, the exact deadlines are subject to change and can vary by local ICS. We encourage care providers to act quickly, as funding is limited and the third round will not open until the next financial year.
How do I apply for ICS funding?
CQC-registered providers can access the Adult Social Care Technology Fund through their local ICS. Each ICS will deploy a similar grant funding approach, usually delivered through an online grant system.
Care providers will need to submit an Expression of Interest before the deadline and contact suppliers to obtain a quote. Please note, most ICSs will only allow you to spend funding on a solution from the NHS assured supplier list. You will also need to commit to contributing to any benefits realisation work.
We’ve provided helpful links to each ICS below, where you can find more information on the applicable grant funding process.
What are the benefits of digital care?
Digital care management software gives care providers the tools they need to significantly improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of care they provide. Here’s why you should go digital:
Deliver high quality and safe care: By going digital, you can easily create, modify and update care plans in real time to meet the unique needs of individuals, ensuring accurate, personalised and effective care for every user.
Improve efficiency and save time by freeing up your people: Digital care management software enables care providers to automate administrative tasks, giving carers more time to focus on what they do best – provide great quality care.
Put people and their families at the centre of care: Managers and families can monitor care in real time, ensuring accountable and transparent delivery of care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Find your local ICS
Humber and North Yorkshire ICS: firstname.lastname@example.org
South Yorkshire ICS: Joanne.Butler24@nhs.net
West Yorkshire ICS: Contact your relevant local authority representative:
- Bradford District and Craven: HWB.Digital.Innovation@bradford.gov.uk
- Calderdale: Ruth.Cluer@calderdale.gov.uk
- Kirklees: email@example.com
- Leeds: DSCR@leeds.gov.uk
- Wakefield: firstname.lastname@example.org
North East & North Cumbria ICS | email@example.com
Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greater Manchester ICS: email@example.com
Cheshire & Merseyside ICS: Contact your relevant local authority representative:
- Cheshire East: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cheshire West & Chester: email@example.com
- Halton: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Knowsley: fiona.o’email@example.com
- Liverpool: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sefton: email@example.com
- St Helens: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Warrington: email@example.com
- Wirral: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland ICS: Lpt.lhisDSCRadmin@nhs.net
Black Country ICS: email@example.com
Birmingham and Solihull ICS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Herefordshire & Worcestershire ICS: email@example.com
Joined Up Care Derbyshire: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lincolnshire ICS: email@example.com
Nottingham & Nottinghamshire ICS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin ICS: STW-DSCR@telford.gov.uk
Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent ICS: DigitalFundingEnquiries@Staffordshire.gov.uk
Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership: email@example.com
Coventry & Warwickshire ICS: firstname.lastname@example.org
South West London Integrated Care System: email@example.com
North Central London ICS: firstname.lastname@example.org
South East London ICS: Contact your relevant local authority:
Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire & Berkshire West Integrated Care System: email@example.com
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Integrated Care System: firstname.lastname@example.org
Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System: email@example.com
Sussex, Our Care Connected, Sussex Health and Care Partnership Integrated Care System: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kent and Medway ICS:
- Kent County Council: email@example.com
- Medway Council: firstname.lastname@example.org
Suffolk and North East Essex ICS: email@example.com
Devon Integrated Care System: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dorset Integrated Care System: Eligibility criteria, guidelines and funding deadlines
Gloucestershire Integrated Care System: email@example.com
Somerset ICS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire ICS: email@example.com
Bath, Swindon and Wiltshire ICS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cornwall ICS: email@example.com
How do I create a successful grant funding application?
Applying for ICS funding requires careful planning and preparation. Start by thoroughly understanding the eligibility criteria, funding priorities, and application deadlines specified by your local ICS.
Develop a robust proposal that clearly outlines your project’s objectives, anticipated outcomes, and how it aligns with the ICS’s goals. Consider the potential impact of your project, provide a detailed budget, and demonstrate a sustainable plan for implementation and evaluation.
Collaborating with partners, such as technology providers or community organisations, can strengthen your application. Submit your application within the specified timeframe, ensuring all required documentation is included.
If you choose to go with PASS, our team will be happy to support you in building a credible, evidence-backed proposal to enable your success.
Frequently asked questions
The time taken to review and assess ICS funding applications varies depending on the local ICS and the volume of applications received. It is advisable to check with your local ICS regarding the expected timelines for application processing and decision-making.
ICS funding is typically awarded to organisations and care providers rather than individuals. However, individuals can contribute to project proposals through partnerships with care providers or by sharing their perspectives and insights regarding the use of technology in adult social care.
ICS funding supports a broad range of projects that aim to improve adult social care services through the use of technology. Examples include implementing digital care management systems, developing telehealth solutions, enhancing data sharing and interoperability, and promoting innovation in care delivery models.
ICS funding is primarily funded by the UK government’s Department of Health and Social Care. Additional funding may be secured through collaborations with other public or private sector partners to support specific initiatives or projects.