Grant funding will soon be available to support improved quality of care, productivity and overall sustainability for the social care sector in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
A budget of approximately £1.5m comprising of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) - together with match funding from East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the University of Hull - will enable the creation of a Social Care Innovation Programme (SCIP).
The programme will facilitate research by the University of Hull to identify where innovative technology could support small and medium-sized care provider enterprises to work more effectively and develop new services.
Social care providers will work with the university to identify the problems that they face in delivering their services and, to help them address these challenges, the Social Care Innovation Programme - led by East Riding of Yorkshire Council - will then invite providers to submit applications to the SCIP Grant Scheme.
This will open in late summer 2021 for eligible care providers to purchase technology which is new to their business or new to the care market.
The programme will support care providers to implement and use technologies which should support effective working, the development of new services and improvement in the quality of care that they provide.
The programme will benefit individuals who receive care, support organisations that provide care and enhance evidence-based understanding of how technology can support the wider care sector.
The benefits identified in using technology will be shared widely to support effective use of innovation and technology.
Yvonne Rhodes, head of business management and commissioning at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said "This is a fantastic opportunity for those working in the social care sector as well as benefitting those receiving care.
"Our social care sector has worked tirelessly both during and before the pandemic, and I can guarantee they will continue to work tirelessly in the future.
"This programme will enable our social care sector to work more efficiently and smoothly to enable an even better wealth of care provision to those who need it."
Dr David Barrett, senior lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Principal Investigator for the SCIP, said: "Social care providers play a crucial role in supporting some of the most vulnerable members of the community.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the dedication, expertise and compassion of social care providers, and highlighted the difficult challenges that they face daily.
"This research project will help us to find ways in which social care providers can use technology to overcome these challenges, develop new services, and improve the quality of life in those that they care for."