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Vicky is programme director Connected Local Government, a regular host on CLGdotTV programmes and has served public sector IT for more than 25 years

@vickysargent

Care commissioners must show they value provider investment in digital

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National Care Association Vice Chair Mandy Thorn says that if providers are to get on board with digital, commissioners must acknowledge its value

Care homes and domiciliary care providers are ‘a long way behind’ other sectors when it comes to digital investment, says Mandy Thorn, chair of independent provider Marches Care and Vice Chair of the National Care Association.

But the tide is beginning to turn, she told CLGdotTV in an interview recorded at December’s Digital Care Conference in Birmingham.

There is a 'marked upturn’ in the number of providers now adopting digital tools she says, and a ‘huge increase in the number of software providers….this is suddenly being seen as the sector to get into’, also warning that there are ‘real risks with that….it is a bit like the Wild West out there’.

Another concern is that as the main customer for care services, public sector commissioners recognise and reward the benefits delivered by providers that invest in technology. She describes her own organisation’s challenging journey and points out that a family-controlled provider like Marches Care may have more ‘flexibility’ to make the significant investments required - ahead of the undoubted rewards she describes - than other players in the market.

 

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