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Independent think tank Doteveryone has launched a new report – Better Care in the Age of Automation Data: Skills and culture for a sustainable, effective and fair care system – which explores how technology can fix the UK’s “broken social care system”.

As well as looking at how technology can be used as part of an effective care system, the report proposes a series of recommendations to ensure future investments in technology create meaningful change.

The report argues that technology and humanity are often placed in opposition to one another, and that people are often not equipped with the right skills to integrate technology effectively into people’s lives.

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Martha Lane Fox, Executive Chair and Founder of Doteveryone, commented: “By putting the needs, skills, and relationships of the people who care, and people who rely on care, at the heart of decisions, technology can support all of us to create a better care system.

“The failings of our current system are too heartbreakingly apparent. Technology, used responsibly, can be part of a solution. The practical recommendations here show what it would take to make that possible, if we have the courage to imagine a different future.”

Doteveryone undertook research with people who receive care and their families, care professionals, clinicians, policymakers, start-ups and providers to understand the current impact of technology in the social care and its potential to shape the future.

The report outlines how technology can support a sustainable, effective and fair social care system. One of the key arguments within the report is that technology should not replace care but should support it.

Instead of prescribing technology solutions, Doteveryone says that the key to integrating technology effectively into the care system is to lay down the right foundations for technology to be used responsibly. This includes: the data needed to build and measure technology focused on wellbeing; the skills required to use technology to care; and the culture to empower people to adopt and shape technology to their needs.

To help implement technology effectively into the care system, Doteveryone recommends:

  • NHSX should deliver a new national data strategy for social care with metrics for the wellbeing and productivity of individuals, families and communities and so incentivise the development of technologies for long term benefits.
  • The Department of Health and Social Care should support the founding of a Royal College for Carers to professionalise the care workforce so they can effectively use technology to augment their vital skills of empathy, creativity and social intelligence.
  • NHSX should fund vanguard Enablement Panels that show what good looks like and get health and care technology working on the ground. Run by and for disabled people, carers and families, these panels will push back against an ageist culture, with favouritism to able bodied people, and use new technologies and services to improve access to the economy and community.

Doteveryone is an independent think tank that champions responsible technology for a fairer future.

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