Digital Social Care Records: Everything you need to know

Digital Social Care Records (DSCR)


The Digitising Social Care Records Programme aims for all CQC-registered adult social care providers to have access to a Digital Social Care Record that can interoperate with a Local Shared Care Record. These digital social care records will play an essential role in joining up care across social care and the NHS, with real-time information being shared with authorised individuals across the health and care system.

The digital transformation will also:

  • Free up time care workers and managers spend on administrative tasks
  • Equip care workers with the information they need to deliver high-quality, person-centred care
  • Improve the quality of care in long-term care settings.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) recently acknowledged that it has fallen behind its original target for rolling out digital social care records (DSCRs).

As of February this year, only 63% of social care providers registered with the Care Quality Commission had adopted digital social care record systems, which falls short of the target set in 2021 to reach 80% by March 2024. The new deadline for achieving the 80% target has been pushed back to March 2025.


of all registered care providers
operating digital
care record systems by


How did the initiative come about, and who created it?

The team at Digital Care Hub, formerly Digital Social Care, has been working in conjunction with the following organisations to support the digital journey of adult social care providers across England:

The Digitising Social Care Records (DSCR) programme has engaged with CASPA throughout the early stage of programme design, and the information provided by CASPA has helped to inform the benefits case for the programme.

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Digital Care Hub and CASPA have launched a set of principles that, if implemented at scale, will enable digital transformation to take place while ensuring that the impact on people receiving care and care teams is significantly positive. The principles state that digital systems being rolled out to care providers and their interoperability must be:

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Focussed on each person receiving care

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Inclusive of social care providers and people receiving care in decision-making processes
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Intuitively integrated into the operational workflow
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A time saver and not lead to duplication of effort
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Able to share information and report appropriately

This instrumental move will ensure that care providers' needs remain the primary focus. Rather than trying to impose health-oriented systems on social care, the systems will be appropriate for the people using them. Any translation into healthcare terminology will be within the interfaces between the social care and healthcare systems, thereby protecting care providers from onerous data collection tasks.

The pandemic highlighted what our NHS and local government achieved when they worked together, from delivering the vaccine rollout to supporting those who were shielding. With the Digitising Social Care Records (DSCR) programme, the government hopes that care will be more personalised and accessible for people; they want to build on these successes by joining up health and social care even more to deliver the best possible care. This instrumental move will ensure that care providers' needs remain the primary focus. With the Digitising Social Care Records (DSCR) programme, the government hopes that care will be more personalised and accessible for people.

What is a Digital Social Care Record?

Digital care records allow the digital recording of care information and care received by an individual within a social care setting, replacing traditional paper records. DSCRs are person-centred and enable data to be shared securely and in real-time with authorised individuals across the health and care sector.

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Why is digitising social care records important?

Adopting digital social care records will help provide better care for service users by allowing carers to have more time to care and reducing onerous administration tasks. It will:

  • Save clinicians time
  • Deliver better, safer care for people by increasing consistency, reducing risk, and shortening the length of hospital stays
  • Ensure that nobody falls between the gaps and that everyone receives the right care in the right place at the right time - better integration is vital to stop people from falling into the gaps between health and social care
  • Bring all care providers into the digital age to transform how they work, saving time and helping them deliver better, safer care for service users.

People with multiple conditions will hugely benefit from the changes as it reduces the need to repeat their needs to numerous people across different organisations.

If you want to learn more about going digital, read our guide on going digital with your social care records here.


What is the programme’s main objective?

The main objective of the DSCR programme is to provide health and social care professionals access to the correct data to make more informed decisions, helping to create a more agile workforce with care workers and nurses able to move between roles in the NHS and the care sector more efficiently.

Data Security
Have you completed the Data Security Protection Toolkit (DSPT)?

Learn more about Digital Social Care Records and the Data Security Protection Toolkit (DSPT).

LD - Case study
Transforming care for people with learning disabilities and difficulties

Discover how Person Centred Software's Digital Social Care Record System  is transforming care for people with learning disabilities and difficulties.


QME Care
QME Care praises care management software provider for giving them more time to spend with residents
Person Centred Software's digital social care record system gives QME Care more time to spend with residents doing the things they enjoy.
Caere using PCS device

How will it help care providers?

Digital care social records bring huge advances for care providers across England:

  • Save care providers an hour a day
  • Record real-time information about the care that is being provided
  • Help providers and carers to be aware when people’s needs change, and enable them to respond quickly
  • Minimise risks such as medication errors, dehydration or missed visits
  • Help to manage and support staff to do their job effectively and efficiently.
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How will it help residents?

The benefits residents/service users will receive by care providers using a digital care system:

  • Allowing care providers instant access to a person’s information and preferences enables them to provide responsive and person-centred care
  • Keep relatives around the world informed, engaged, connected, and involved in the care and support of their loved ones through the Relatives Gateway
  • Reduce time spent on phone calls and writing reports to focus on spending time with residents and providing the best care environment
  • Instantly share information with hospitals and external professionals via the eRedBag (electronic hospital pack) to give people the best quality of care at every stage of their health and social care journey
  • If you have power of attorney for care, you can sign your family member's care plan digitally, without having to have a face-to-face meeting every month.


Why will it help improve the standard of care?

Using a digital care system (digital care social records) will dramatically improve the standard of care by:

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Improved safety in clinical care - providing a documented record that is always available to authorised carers
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Reducing hospital admissions - health and care professionals have more information about the individual when making their professional decisions
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Access to residents’ information is available at any time, meaning care providers are better informed to deliver quality care
  • Improved CQC reports
  • Increased care home uptake for completing the Data Security Protection Toolkit (DSPT) enables care providers to integrate a variety of digital tools
  • As a result of this DSPT prerequisite, there is an increase in onboarding and usage of the NHSmail, improving relationships and secure communications across health and adult social care.
  • Reducing phone calls and manual requests for resident’s information
  • Reduced duplication of information to different health and care professionals, improving patient/resident experience
  • Reducing test and assessment duplications, which improves patient/resident safety and saves time and money.

Various useful resources are available to help you learn more about Digital Social Care Record Systems.

Find out more

What you need to know about going digital

Care providers adopting digital social care records by 2024


Social care funding for digital social care records

paper vs digital

Digital social care records
vs paper records 

nhs assured suppliers list

Selecting the right system for digital social care records 

book a demo

Booking a demo

The care sector's most widely used digital care
management system