The Department for Health and Social Care has announced funding of up to £25,000 (per company) for innovators to find digital ways to support people who need help during the coronavirus outbreak. The ‘Techforce19’ challenge aims to support those who need to stay at home for several weeks and need help. This could include people who need mental health support or who have social care needs.
The programme is looking for digital solutions that can be launched in the next few weeks, and could include:
- providing remote social care – for example, by locating and matching qualified carers to those in need
- optimising the volunteer sector – for example, by developing tools to recruit, train and coordinate local volunteers into clinical and non-clinical workers
- improving mental health support – for example, by making it easier to discover and deliver mental health services and support
- any other solutions to ease pressures on services and people during this time
Remote Social Care
- Finding healthy and qualified carers who can provide support for those in need
- Managing and delivering care in care homes
- Delivering domiciliary care and technology in the home
Optimising Staffing in Care and Volunteering Sectors
- Recruiting, training and certifying of doctors and nurses and professional carers
- Volunteering – recruiting and triaging volunteers into clinical and non-clinical workers
- Projecting demand for health and care workers across the country to improve deployment and management of resources
- Tackling data gaps in the care sector to understand the financial sustainability and needs of care businesses
- Discovering and delivering mental health services
- Accessing relevant and inclusive peer 2 peer communities
- Supporting self-management of mental health and well-being
- Facilitating employee well-being
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“Staying at home and avoiding contact with others will be absolutely necessary in reducing the spread of this virus and ultimately it will save lives.
“However, we know isolation is not easy – especially for older people, those who live alone, have mental health problems or those who care for others.
“If people cannot leave the house, we need to quickly find ways to bring support to them and today I am calling on the strength of our innovative technology sector to take on this challenge.
“Techforce19 will mobilise the UK’s incredible reservoir of talent to develop simple, accessible tools that can be rolled out quickly and help tackle the effect of social isolation.
“I am calling on our brilliant tech sector to take on this challenge”.