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Putting it on (digital) record

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Care and support, Digital skills and technologies, Guidance, Innovation, Workforce
"[Digital social care records] have the potential to transform the way in which care is provided." [Image created by]

Digitisation for the nation

When technology is embedded seamlessly into care and support services, it can be transformative: helping people to live happy, fulfilled lives in their homes and communities.

As part of the plans for reform, set out in the 2021 government white paper, People at the Heart of Care, the digitising social care programme is supporting widespread digitisation across the sector to improve the quality, safety and personalisation of care and support services. A priority focus for us is to support the adoption of digital social care record solutions (DSCR) within adult social care.

What is a DSCR?

A DSCR solution (which you may also know as an electronic care plan) allows the digital recording of care information and care received by an individual, within a social care setting, replacing traditional paper records. DSCRs allow information to be shared securely and in real-time with authorised individuals across the health and care sector.

They have the potential to transform the way in which care is provided. Moving care plans from paper to electronic formats makes it easier for care workers and managers to get the information they need to respond more quickly to people’s needs, minimise risks to people’s safety and reduce time wasted on administration and reporting.

And looking to the future, they will provide the platform for other remote care tools to integrate, supporting more personalised care and making sure health and care professionals can build up a more complete picture of someone’s care needs. Already, 1,000 providers can access relevant information from GP records through their DSCR and that’s just the beginning.

"We know there are many providers who still need to make [the digital] leap. If you are one of them, we’re here to help." [Image created by]

Guidance to go digital

The critical role DSCRs can play has also been recognised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). In May, they published guidance about DSCRs and their importance in achieving good outcomes for people who use services. The guidance states that “digital records will increasingly replace paper records, meaning digital systems will be vital to capture and share information. This is essential for truly integrated services that work for people”. It also summarises what good digital social care records look like, signposting readers to our list of assured solution providers, which have been tested to ensure they meet the needs of care providers.

CQCs guidance highlights the benefits of the digital approach to care planning and how it supports providers to:

  • capture information more easily at the point of care
  • support staff to respond more quickly to people’s needs
  • share important information quickly, safely and securely between care settings
  • minimise risks to people’s safety.

Over the last year, we’ve made significant progress, working with the sector, to help providers to adopt DSCRs, in line with government commitments, but we know there are many providers who still need to make that leap. If you are one of them, we’re here to help. From a list of assured solutions, funding and skills support, we can support you to move away from paper-based record keeping and to see how a digital approach can support you in achieving good outcomes for people using adult social care services.

Have a look at the Digital Social Care site to find out more or you can email the digitising social care team at

A version of this article first appeared in Caring Times

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Paul Dolan posted on

    Are we talking about this millennium or next?Seriously, digitised records still need someone to understand and respond to them.Our GP practice has a policy on incoming mail from consultants. Lose them and deny they were received. CQC? Don't want to know or act...