AI in adult social care

Innovation to improve outcomes and increase choices for adult social care service users

The adult social care sector prides itself on courageous innovation and the potential it has to improve outcomes and increase choices for people. That’s why care leaders asked us to identify and highlight ground-breaking uses of AI that are being explored in social care - by local authorities, by providers, and by technology companies. Our aim in putting together this collection of case studies is to boost awareness about what is possible and what is already happening.

Each case study starts with the problem to be solved, grounded in the needs of the people using social care services and those who commission their support. Many projects are concerned with greater empowerment and dignity for care recipients. Whilst many of the solutions are ingenious, the vast majority of projects are at pilot stage. Most solutions are not yet proven or scalable; rather, they showcase the possibilities of what can be done. Our thanks go to each of the project teams for their time in contributing to this work.

Supporting the development of AI in social care

The NHSX AI Lab has held conversations with technology companies and care providers across the country, which showed that  - in general - social care is behind health on the development and adoption of AI. Anecdotally, there are several possible reasons for this, the provider landscape is generally more fragmented and many organisations still collect data manually. It might also be because there are fewer technical experts to draw on.

NHSX is working on many of the challenges flagged by these projects, for example making funding available and supporting more streamlined arrangements for data sharing between health and care organisations. The AI in Health and Care Award provides funding and support for promising technologies and we would encourage innovators who have data-driven technology solutions that address social care challenges to apply for funding. Please get in touch with us at ailab@nhsx.nhs.uk if you have views on these or other challenges, or if you have another case study to share of AI in social care.