Expectations of care and support are changing rapidly,
with a new emphasis on prevention and wellbeing.
At the same time, however, intense pressure on budgets
is leading to the rationing of services, needs going unmet
and restricted choice. These contradictory pressures
are forcing organisations involved in the commissioning
and provision of health, housing and care services to
consider radically different and unprecedented
ways of working.
1 | the challenge
The ray of hope in these challenging circumstances is the
growing number of innovative digital tools which empower
users, facilitate collaboration and improve outcomes.
These tools also hold out the promise to significantly
drive down costs.
We are passionate about the potential of these tools to
transform health, housing and social care in the UK.
Over the last few years we have developed a variety of ways to
help organisations take advantage of this digital revolution and
understand where these new technologies can really make a
difference. This document explains what we can offer.
2 | why digital?
Care in the digital age is a participatory
one-day event which explores how digital
technology will impact on services.
It showcases technologies that offer new
ways of supporting service users, carers
and their families, demonstrating their
potential with examples of how they are
The event presents digital technology
solutions which address a wide range of
needs. The emphasis is on technologies
that promote independence, diminish
social isolation and address the issue of
digital exclusion amongst disadvantaged
groups. It draws on our experience of the
availability, impact and effectiveness of
web and app based systems. And the team
we have brought together to deliver the
3 | care in the digital age
event includes pioneers in the innovation
and deployment of digital technologies
in health, housing and care (although we
have a strictly independent and objective
position with regard to individual
Care in the digital age has been designed
to help participants deliver more userfocused, cost effective services through
the use of new technologies. However
many also find it highly motivating and
inspiring, presenting a positive and
exciting vision for connected care and
health in the twenty-first century.
The programme also includes practical
training in the use of digital engagement
and social media to facilitate more joinedup working.
Who is it for? The programme is ideally
suited for a mix of service commissioners,
front line staff and managers from local
authority, private sector and voluntary
providers spanning care, health and
housing. It can be adapted for specific areas
(such as health, mental health, community
engagement, older people, children and
young people) or for a single organisation.
Ideal number of participants: 80–100
Cost: £12,000 plus hire of appropriate wifi
equipped venue and facilities. Care in the
digital age requires the appointment of a
dedicated project manager on the client
side, with appropriate administrative
support. It is also requires an investment
of time on the part of senior staff members
to work with us to identify the particular
4 | care in the digital age
challenges your organisation wants to
address with the event.
“The Kent Care in the Digital Age event
created a fantastic environment for
engagement, improving understanding
and furthering discussion about how
professionals can widen their understanding
of the digital opportunities that exist.
James Lampert Commissioning Manager Kent County Council
“Kent DigiCare was for me a watershed
moment in how organisations can bring
together professionals, service users and
innovators to achieve community change.
It wasn’t just a one day conference – it built
new relationships, inspired new thinking
and left a social legacy.
Paul Taylor Lead on Innovation, Service Design, Research and
Development, Bromford Group
Connected Care Solutions is a one-day
event intended to promote a culture of
problem solving, outcome-focused
approaches and continuous improvement
in your organisation. It consists of a
combination of presentation and
workshop sessions, drawing on methods
effective in promoting innovation.
Before the event we work with you to
develop an online survey to identify key
problems and issues that your organisation
faces every day. This enables us to tailor the
programme to give participants the tools
and experience to develop and evaluate
options, as well as exploring ways of
overcoming the barriers that prevent
positive change. The problems considered
can involve small changes or service
5 | connected care solutions
transformation. One of the key outcomes
from the day is an action plan and a
routemap for addressing these challenges
Who is it for? The programme is for
people who work in health, housing or care
services, in local government, housing
associations, Health and Wellbeing
Boards, the third sector, social enterprises
or elsewhere, at all levels.
Ideal number of participants: 30–50
Cost: £6,000 plus provision of appropriate
venue and a dedicated administrator.
“The conference, held in Camden Town,
was brilliant. It hosted a range of people
from different backgrounds, with lifetimes
Conor Pendergrast CEO Resifle
Care goes social is a one-day facilitated
learning experience which introduces
participants to the strategic use of social
media and digital leadership. The day
focuses on: developing confidence in using
social media; creating a ‘digital identity’
for the organisation; understanding the
strengths and weaknesses of each medium;
looking at how others currently see you
and developing a map of the organisation’s
digital communities of stakeholders.
It also results in an action plan for taking
digital engagement forward.
Who is it for? Senior management
teams; communications and marketing
departments; operational and other staff
acting as digital ambassadors; whole
organisations on ‘awaydays’.
6 | care goes social
Ideal number of participants: 10–30
Cost: £3,000 plus provision of appropriate
venue, facilities and appropriate
“I was really pleased with the energy you
generated and how positive staff were about
the potential of technology… We will now
develop this further in relation to specific
programmes of work. There is lots to be done
to refocus our work and technology will
play a big part in that.
Rhian Huws Williams Chief Executive Care Council for Wales
Our critical friend reviews are second
opinions on particular aspects of your
organisation’s positioning, strategy or
initiatives. Because of our independent
position, we can ‘tell it as it is’ while
being sympathetic to what you are
trying to achieve. We review identify
opportunities, collaborations and pitfalls
which may have been missed, and suggest
improvements which can make your
initiatives more fit for purpose.
In acting as a critical friend, we are able
to draw upon many years of working
with adult and children’s services,
health, housing, social enterprises and
charities. Our expertise encompasses
policy, research, branding, marketing,
communications and digital technology
7 | critical friendship
as well as evidence, best practice and ‘what
good looks like’.
Who are they for? Critical friend reviews
are relevant to many different kinds of
organisations and activities but they are
particularly valuable where a new initiative
involves going into uncharted territory.
Cost: £2,100 assuming all discussions can
be held on the phone or via Skype.
“Shirley took on the role of critical friend for
our new brand and website and provided us
with a completely different and invaluable
perspective. It was extremely useful to talk
our work through with someone with as
much knowledge and experience as Shirley.
Lucy Poulton Communications Manager Barnwood Trust
We are a network of practitioners with
backgrounds in health, housing and care
and extensive experience in fields including
branding, marketing and digital communications. The core team consists of Shirley
Ayres and James Souttar.
Shirley Ayres is a respected commentator
with extensive specialist knowledge of the
care sector as well as the use of digital
technology and social media. A qualified
social worker she holds an MSc in
Marketing and academic awards in Ethics,
Criminology and Management. She is the
author of Can online innovations enhance
social care? (2013) for the Nominet Trust.
8 | who we are
James Souttar is a communications
specialist with considerable experience
of stakeholder engagement, adult learning
and developing communications strategy.
He has worked with organizations in the
care, health, governmental, higher
education, professional, and not for-profit
sectors. For more than twenty years he
was senior consultant with a leading
digital communications agency, focusing
on corporate branding and digital
engagement. In 2005 he was awarded
an Honorary Doctorate by Middlesex
University for his work in rebranding
If you are interested in any of our services
or would like to discuss how we might help
your organisation explore the many digital
opportunities to enhance person-centred
care and build connected communities
please contact us on:
Please note that the fees quoted are valid as of
January 2014 but we reserve the right to change them
at any time without notice. Additional meetings,
travelling and subsistence, outside costs and other
requirements which are not part of the service
specification will be charged extra.
9 | contact us