Partly Funded by European Regional Development Fund and the Northern Powerhouse

SCIP - Social Care Innovation Programme

Innovation in Social Care

The Social Care Innovation Programme (SCIP) is here to promote and fund technology which can be used to improve services provided by care providers in the East Riding.


East Riding of Yorkshire Council in Partnership with the University of Hull have recently completed a project (Social Care Innovation Programme) which was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and working in partnership with the University of Hull. The project supported Residential care, Domiciliary care and VCSE's in the county to apply for grant funding, with an aim of providing funding for technology which would increase the productivity, quality, and overall sustainability of each organisation.

Our aims

  1. Provide grant funding to 74 Small and Medium Sized Enterprises to purchase ‘New to Business’ technology.
  2. Support in the development of a new to market product to meet an identified need in the care sector.
  3. Improve quality, productivity, and overall sustainability of social care providers.

Keep up with how the programme is doing on the Hull University website:

SCIP - Hull University



The initial aims of the East Riding SCIP project were to:

  • reduce falls by 20%.
  • reduce medication errors by 20%.
  • reduce A&E attendances.
  • prolong independence.

Key findings

System services

  • Many care providers used their SCIP grant to develop their IT hardware and infrastructure including purchasing laptops, tablets and Wi-Fi enhancement for use by staff.
  • This saved staff time, facilitated training, increased digital literacy and improved reporting quality.

Technology to monitor client services

  • Care providers purchased technologies such as nurse call or fall monitoring systems to assist them in monitoring the safety of clients.
  • This enabled dynamic risk assessment, reduced staff time, improved the care environment and decreased response times.

Technologies to enhance quality of life

  • Large activity tablets/tables or ‘magic table’ projectors were regularly purchased, with the aim of providing engaging and cognitively stimulating activities for clients.
  • These technologies provided a range of games and activities and could prompt conversation and reminiscence, as well as being used to contact families and friends. Participants perceived that these technologies engaged care recipients, including those who did not always take part in activities.
  • The portability and adaptability of the technology was appreciated by staff, as it allowed them to cater for the needs of clients with a wide range of mobility/cognitive ability.

Lessons learned

Satisfaction with the new technology

  • Overall satisfaction scores were very high, with an average of 4.8/5 (where 5 = highly useful) among care provider leads.
  • Benefits they perceived for care recipients included accessing activity and engagement, connecting with others, greater safety.
  • SCIP enabled care providers to purchase technology to meet specific needs, rather than determining the technology which would be offered.

Digital poverty

  • While some services were well equipped, others had limited access to technologies, or had very outdated tech in place.
  • Many services purchased ‘every day tech’ rather than more innovative products, reflecting the level of need in many services.
  • In many services, innovation will start with gaining access to tech such as laptops and Wi-Fi enhancement, before further developments are possible.

Digital skills

  • Skills and confidence among managers and care staff to use new technologies are variable.
  • It is important that these are recognised when services further their ‘digital journeys’.

Technological support and adoption

  • Managers and staff often needed information, support and training when introducing new technologies, with some lacking digital literacy skills.
  • Many care providers reported that their new technologies saved them time. However, the initial set up of new systems and learning to use them could be time demanding.
  • There were also new roles for staff, such as supporting care recipients to use the new technologies.

Access to new technology to facilitate training

  • Purchasing additional devices that staff could use at work or borrow to take home had assisted some staff who had been struggling with training and helped them to progress.
  • This enabled them to meet training requirements and potentially to progress their careers, as well as developing a better trained workforce.

Meet the team

Dorothy Montgomerie
Dorothy Montgomerie
Programme Manager
(Research and Innovation SCIP)
Victoria Smith
Victoria Smith
Senior Business Change Officer
(Operational Lead)
William Raper
William Raper
Business Change Officer
Caley Rhodes
Caley Rhodes
Business Change Officer
Sara Anderson
Sara Anderson
Business Change Officer
Lisa Harrop
Lisa Harrop
Business Change Officer
Rebecca Moir
Rebecca Moir
Business Change Officer

University of Hull

  • Dr Jane Wray Director of Research, Senior Lecturer in Nursing
  • Caroline White Researcher
  • Kathryn Harvey SCIP Project Administrator and Claims Officer
  • Rosie Dunn Researcher
  • Fay Treloar Director of Business Engagement and Enterprise
  • Desiree Betts Bid Writer & Business Development Officer
  • Dr David Howe Researcher
  • Lady Akwa Researcher
  • Kate Shimells SCIP Project Administrator

Grants awarded

Between December 2021 and February 2023, SCIP successfully awarded 82 grants totalling circa £590,000 to care providers in the residential, domiciliary and community/voluntary sectors to aid each organisation to purchase products that support productivity, quality and overall sustainability.

Key themes Care Providers applied for

  • System Services (record keeping, organisational tools or hardware)
  • Monitoring and Safety (medication safety, location safety or personal and environmental sensors)
  • Communication
  • Enhancing quality of life (entertainment and reminiscence, companionship, and orientation)
  • Supporting Care
  • Information and E-learning

Example products purchased through SCIP

Nurse call system controller

Nurse call system

Laptop computer

Business re-engineering

Nurse call system controller

Service user engagement

Care software

Care admin tools

Technology repository

To support SMEs with the procurement of digital technology, the University of Hull has created a repository of information related to some of the digital products that are available to support the care sector and suppliers. This is not an exclusive list therefore, contact the team to discuss other potential options.

Visit the repository