Digital Innovation Hub launches to help improve care

Sharing approaches, technology and best practice that can help transform care and improve lives is the aim of a new Digital Innovation Hubble, launched by the National Care Forum and NHS Digital in partnership with Parkhaven Trust.

The Digital Innovation Hubble, created at the Merseyside-based charity’s newest and most technologically advanced home; The Beeches in Maghull.

Health care professionals from across the UK, via the National Care Forum and NHS Digital, will attend the Hubble for training sessions in order to learn more about best practice and digital innovation.

The Beeches is a residential and nursing service for people with dementia. Designed using Parkhaven’s considerable experience and guidance from the Dementia Design Centre at Stirling University.

Circadian lighting, acoustic monitoring and electronic care planning have been installed to ensure that people are supported and cared for using the latest technology and to support staff to spend more time with people. The acoustic monitoring system listens to sleeping residents and triggers an alert if the sound level exceeds or falls below an individual’s personalised settings. Lights automatically turn on in the en-suite bathrooms when someone gets out of bed, and there are cameras in each bedroom, so staff can easily check on residents via a live feed. This all means better, undisturbed sleep for clients.

Kim Crowe Chief Executive at Parkhaven Trust said: “Our aim with the Hubble is to inspire other care providers to embrace digital technology in their own care settings in order to improve people’s lives.  We found a whole host of benefits for our clients with the use of the newest technologies and we want to share that with others.”

‘We’re always asking ourselves ‘what will make people’s lives better’ and it’s this that drives us to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation in care to ensure that every day is well lived.’

Speaking about the new project, Vic Rayner, chief executive of NCF said:

“Many care providers want to progress along their digital journey – but they feel they don’t have the knowledge or confidence to make what can be big decisions about investment and implementation in technology. Being able to learn from colleagues who have been there and done that can overcome some of those concerns.

“These are warts-and-all sessions, where care providers will share the lessons they have learned. Our virtual visitors will also have access to a wide range of resources after the visits, including a toolkit to support building a business case, getting buy in, and implementation. And the tech suppliers featured during the sessions are also offering participants a time-limited reduction on the cost of their technology.”

James Palmer, Social Care Programme Head at NHS Digital, said: “Involving care providers was a core founding principle of the NHS Digital Social Care Programme when it was established in 2015. All projects funded through the Pathfinders programme were required to support products and services that have the potential to make a big difference to the digitisation of the sector.

“We are delighted that NCF is using this innovative approach. It is so valuable to share direct experiences of introducing and using tech and these virtual visits will be accessible to a greater number of organisations than a physical visit would be.”

Bookings are now open for the 30 sessions at

The Hubble Project is funded by NHS Digital’s Social Care Digital Pathfinders grant. The project’s aim is to support and inspire the care sector to embrace digital technology in their care settings in order to improve people’s lives through the use of technology based, data-enabled care.