Be inspired by technology in action at our social care innovation hubs

Social care providers operate in an increasingly digital world. But how do you know which digital technology will really work for your service, your staff and the people you support? How do you make investment decisions about electronic data systems or assistive technology, get buy in and ensure it is delivering what you need? This new National Care Forum project can help.

The Hubble Project offers you the chance to virtually visit ‘innovation hubs’ (via webinar) to learn how other care providers have introduced, used and evaluated digital technology to improve care. The hubs are based in three care settings in England and showcase a range of technologies which include, electronic care planning, eMAR, acoustic monitoring, circadian lighting, sensor technology and telecare. Check out the teaser video below for some more information.

Through a mixture of prerecorded content and live Q&A, managers and staff will demonstrate the technology that they use, and share their digital journey with you, including how they came to adopt it, the challenges and the benefits of implementing and using it, and the use of data to improve the quality of care. The sessions will be of value to all care providers, regardless of where they are on the digital journey.

The virtual visit sessions will take place between September 2020 and December 2020.

Bookings to attend a session are now open – have a look at the Booking a Visit tab at the top of this page.

NCF’s 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.

Virtual visitors will be made aware of a range of technology suppliers available to the social care sector. Showcasing of technology as part of the Hubble project does not imply endorsement of the technology or named suppliers by the National Care Forum or NHS Digital.

Innovation hubs: what you will learn

A virtual visit session is around one and a half hours long. In that time you will:

  • see technology in action: there will be pre-recorded demonstrations of the systems that they use
  • learn insights about implementation: How did they support and get buy in from staff and people who use services, including training and roll out?
  • consider the impact: What difference has the technology made to people who use services, staff and the organisation?
  • ask questions: You will be talking peer-to-peer, so it’s a safe place to ask any question you may have about how technology is used in care.

Everyone who attends one of the innovation hub virtual sessions will also receive a Hubble Resource Pack, including information about the technology they have seen, potential suppliers and tips and advice on business cases and buy-in, implementation and evaluation. Attendees will also be able to access time-limited discounts for the technology showcased.

You won’t be bombarded with a sales pitch. This is about other care providers sharing their insights and experiences with their peers. The technology suppliers that they use may be present at the virtual sessions in order to answer questions, but we will also tell you about other potential suppliers of the tech in question.

Who should attend?

The virtual visits will be particularly valuable for senior leaders involved in making decisions about introducing technology. So that may be a CEO, director of care, owner (for smaller provider), IT or data lead, or your official or unofficial ‘digital champion’. We are unable to offer any places to technology suppliers or recruitment agencies.

Our booking system is now live on a ‘request a place’ basis (see ‘The Hubs & Booking a Visit’ tab at the top of this page). This is to ensure an even mix of providers and avoid one organisation taking all the places. If you are successful in requesting a place at one of the hub sessions, we will send you a short survey so that we understand where you are on your ‘digital journey’. The survey needs to be completed for a space to be confirmed. We will use this information understand the impact of the Hubble project.

We’re limiting the number of visitors per sessions to ten people initially – with a maximum of two visitors per organisation per innovation hub. This is to ensure that the virtual visits enable an in-depth discussion about the tech being showcased and the ability for everyone to participate and ask questions.

We will follow-up with virtual visitors after the session and then again 3 months later. This will be to gain feedback on the virtual visit and understand if there has been any movement on visitors’ digital innovation journeys a few months down the line.

The Innovation Hubs and their technology

There are three innovation hubs. Links to requesting a space at each hub can be found below along with a quick summary.

The Beeches, Parkhaven Trust

The Beeches is a new residential and nursing service for people with dementia run by the Parkhaven Trust. The service has been designed with guidance from the Dementia Design Centre at Stirling University to provide the highest quality environment to cater for the needs of people with dementia. It consists of three households which will care for up to 15 people each. Parkhaven Trust has installed circadian lighting, acoustic monitoring and electronic care planning to ensure that people are supported and cared for using the latest technology and to support staff to spend more time with people.

Rashwood, Elizabeth Finn Homes

Rashwood, near Droitwich, is a 53-roomed nursing and care home for adults in Worcestershire. It is one of ten homes operated by Elizabeth Finn Homes across England and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the charity Turn2us.
Rashwood has been using iCareHealth (now Access Care and Clinical) for electronic planning and iCareMeds (now Access Medication Management) for electronic medicines administration (eMAR) records since July 2018 and September 2018 respectively. The systems are linked, providing staff and management with more accurate, up-to-date information about their residents and their care, including their medicines.

Boots supplies a direct pharmacy interface with Access’ eMAR system which allows data to flow from the GP, through the NHS, into the Boots pharmacy system and then into a care home’s eMAR system.

Spey House, Johnnie Johnson Housing

Spey House provides age and dementia-friendly, fully WiFi enabled extra care housing for people aged over 55 in Reddish, near Stockport. Managed by Johnnie Johnson Housing, Spey House offers 61 one-bedroom flats, and two 2 two-bedroom flats. Residents have their own independent apartments, with access to a range of support services on site.

Astraline is Johnnie Johnson Housing’s telecare and response service, helping to give residents at Spey House the confidence to go about their daily activities. Astraline supports more than 70,000 people across the country with what is known in the industry as technology-enabled care.

The Beeches will be showcasing:



Download a summary of the HubRequest a virtual visit to The Beeches innovation hub

Rashwood will be showcasing:




Download a summary of the HubRequest a virtual visit to Rashwood innovation hub

Astraline will be showcasing:

  • The Go, a digital GPS telecare device, by Chiptech
  • The Eva, an at-home digital telecare device, by Chiptech
  • The Howz, passive sensor technology, by Intelesant
  • Essence deluxe wristwatch, wearable GPS device by, Smartwatcher
Download a summary of the HubRequest a virtual visit to Spey House innovation hub

General Enquiries & Registering Interest

If you are not ready to book a visit but want more information or want to make a general enquiry about the Hubble project you can use the form below . We will use your email and phone number (if provided) to contact you about the Innovation Hubs and materials relating to innovation in the care sector.
If you would like to opt-out of any Hubble-related mailings, please email [email protected] with ‘Opt-Out’ in the subject line. Our Privacy Policy explains more fully how we use your personal data.

    The nature of the Hubble project means that the innovation hub sessions showcase technology from the tech suppliers our care provider partners chose. These are not the only suppliers of the technology on display at the sessions. The purpose of this page is to present a non-exhaustive selection of alternative options alongside those showcasing at our innovation hubs. This page will be updated as the Hubble project progresses. If you are a technology supplier of one of the types of tech showcased at our innovation hubs and would like to be included on this page, please email [email protected].

    For details about the tech suppliers featured at our three innovation hubs see the ‘The Hubs & Booking a Visit’ tab above.

    Directory of tech suppliers, including a wider selection of technology designed for care: [LINK COMING SOON].


    Electronic Care Planning, Relatives' Portals & eMAR

    Telecare, Sensors & Wearable Technology