Social Care Digital Innovation Accelerator 2020/21

Building on the success of SCDIA 2019/20, the Local Government Association and NHS Digital want to continue supporting digital innovation to help local government and their care partners deliver key health and social care services.  At the current time, it is also an opportunity to support applications in response to COVID-19.


Match funding of £300,000 is available from NHS Digital to help get digital projects aimed at improving information sharing to support the most vulnerable. Developed by technical experts in collaboration with councils, the goal is to deploy these projects across the sector within tight timescales.

For applications in response to COVID-19 and recognising that this may be required to be managed within our communities for the foreseeable future, this funding is aimed at initiatives that could improve information sharing to support the most vulnerable within our community. Initiatives should also contribute to the stability of our communities in the medium to long term, with a focus on increasing the capability of individuals to maintain their independence through periods of restricted movement.

The funding will be targeted at projects which are focused on digital approaches to support adult social care to deliver services effectively and safely. Whilst some potential projects have been identified from previous Social Care Digital Innovation Programme rounds, we are looking for the sector to outline what they need in terms of current priorities. 

This SCDIA programme brings together interested councils with technical providers to co-fund and co-design solutions, with a view to deliver them towards the end of 2020/early 2021. 

The key to successful accelerator projects is that they need to tackle issues that will be shared by other local authorities and public sector partners, to ensure we focus funds on solutions that can be scaled up as widely as possible.



The Social Care Digital Innovation Accelerator 2020/21 (SCDIA) follows on from a successful, on-going accelerator programme run from June 2019, where 10 councils co-funded and co-designed solutions and approaches to Liberty Protection Safeguards and Medicine Support in Domiciliary Care

The Accelerator follows a different path to the core SCDIP programme, by bringing a technical provider in from the start to drive digital innovation through discovery and development phases at pace. From a council’s perspective no technical or project management resource is required, only very minimal – approx one day a month – virtual subject matter expertise is needed. By co-designing with councils budgets go further, risk is shared and resulting solutions really meet sector needs. 

The current SCDIA programme has been independently evaluated by the Institute of Public Care, which highlighted the following benefits of the accelerator approach:

  • The relatively low level of funding commitment required of each co-funding council allowed for quick and easy approval to participate
  • The sharing of risk between the parties gave co-funders the confidence to participate and collaborate on the problem under consideration
  • The ability to join a project that others had developed is an efficient way to become involved in solving a problem
  • Engagement of non-funding, relevant participants in the discovery and development phases i.e. ADASS, DHSC, NHSX, NHS Digital


We have had a terrific response from councils and partners and are currently evaluating submissions.


The Social Care Digital Innovation Accelerator 2020/21 has now closed for submissions. We are currently evaluating all submissions.