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Funding secured to help residents shape the future of local social care

Older man and woman with care professional

People who access adult social care services will have the chance to help shape the future of local social care and the way they access support, thanks to funding secured by Bracknell Forest Council.

Following a successful bid to the Social Care Digital Innovation Programme (SCDIP), Bracknell Forest Council has been awarded £20,000 of funding to explore how the latest digital technology can help improve local social care services and connect people to their communities.

The Social Care Digital Innovation Programme (SCDIP) supports the adult social care sector to use digital technology to respond to challenges in local areas. The programme is funded by NHS Digital and managed by the Local Government Association.

As one of only 12 local authorities in the country to be awarded the funding, Bracknell Forest Council will use the funds to launch the first part of its ‘Warm Welcome’ programme in July.

The Warm Welcome programme aims to increase the amount of social support available to older people with long term conditions and adults with learning disabilities, connecting them to a wider range of options to meet their health and social care needs.

The council will work in partnership with East Berkshire CCG and Bracknell and Wokingham Involve to roll out the first ‘discovery’ phase of the project which will involve a series of engagement events being run with residents in July and August.

During the engagement events, residents will have the chance to outline the challenges they face, give their views on what help they need to achieve their goals and help shape how they are kept informed of support available. These insights will then be used to design solutions to the challenges people are facing, working with resident focus groups to ensure the solutions meet their needs.

Six of the twelve local authorities will then be chosen to receive further funding of up to £80,000 to design and launch their programme. The successful authorities will be notified in October 2018 and, if successful, Bracknell Forest Council will roll out the programme using residents’ insights.

Cllr Dale Birch, executive member for adult services, health and housing, said:

“Research shows that social isolation is as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes per day, so we want to do all we can to reduce the risk of Bracknell Forest residents becoming isolated.

“The Bracknell Forest Warm Welcome Programme aims to increase the amount of social support available within our local community. It will be fuelled by the ideas, expertise and energy of local residents and will build upon our community map, hosted on our Help Yourself website, which residents can use to find local activities, groups and organisations nearby.

“The first stage of this project is really exciting as it will allow us to involve the people using services and get real insights as to how we can improve them further by making them more accessible. This funding will allow us to start to build a bridge between the wealth of community groups, organisations and activities available in our borough and the people who could benefit from them, empowering more people to get the most out of life.”

For more information on the Warm Welcome programme, please visit our public health portal.

A list of engagement events taking place in July and August will be added to this webpage once available.