Another Sustainable Care paper has been published today, read on for a summary and links to download the paper.

Care System Sustainability: what role for technology? An evidence review
Dr Kate Hamblin

Paper summary:

Technology has repeatedly been presented as a solution to challenges facing health and social care systems in the UK (e.g. HM Government, 2010; Carers UK, 2012; LGA, 2016; TSA, 2017; BEIS, 2018; Kings Fund, 2018). This Sustainable Care paper – an output of the Achieving Sustainability In Care Systems: The Potential Of Technology project – answers a key question for the study: Which challenges to care system sustainability can be addressed using technology? The challenges affecting care system sustainability explored in this paper are:

a. population ageing and the mismatch of care supply and demand;
b. rising incidence of disability / long-term conditions / co-morbidity;
c. changes in family and household structures;
d. change in levels of public investment in social care.

Using data and evidence gathered from the academic and grey literatures and secondary data analysis, this paper demonstrates the complex picture these challenges present for local authorities delivering social care in England. Just as the companion paper ( ‘Technology in social care: Review of the UK Policy Landscape’, Wright, 2020) highlights the very different policy approaches to technology and care taken by local authorities, this paper examines the uneven challenges faced by services according to their location. Risks related to population ageing, the availability of family care networks, public investment and the increased prevalence of long-term conditions are not evenly distributed amongst local authorities. This paper also explores challenges that accompany technology when applied to social care contexts, such as the ‘digital divide’ and the infrastructure required to deliver reliable ‘technology-enabled care’. Again, these challenges are not experienced equally across local authorities, undermining the notion that technology can provide a ‘one size fits all’ solution to the issues faced in social care.

Download the Paper here
Kate Hamblin

Dr Kate Hamblin

Co-Investigator for the Sustainable Care programme

Kate leads the team researching ‘Achieving sustainability in care systems: the potential of technology‘ in the Sustainable Care research programme, learn more about this research here.

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