Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 April 2023
UK policy discourse presents technology as a solution to challenges facing care services, including issues of quality and the mismatch between care workforce supply and demand. This discourse characterises technology as ‘transformative’, homogenous and wholly positive for care delivery, eliding the diversity of digital devices and systems and their varied uses. Our paper draws on data gathered through 34 interviews with care sector stakeholders and four in-depth case studies of UK homecare providers to comparatively analyse ‘storylines’ of technological solutions expressed by policy (macro-level), sector stakeholders (meso-level) and homecare managers and care workers (micro-level) alongside enacted experiences of technology-in-use. The ‘storylines’ presented by care sector stakeholders and homecare managers converged with those of the policy discourse, emphasising technology’s capacity to enhance quality and efficiency. Our case studies however highlighted several implications for care work and organisational practice in homecare provision: the technologies we observed sometimes produced additional tasks and responsibilities, undermining the efficiency and quality storylines. The experiences of care providers and workers engaging with technologies in homecare warrant further investigation and greater prominence to challenge a discourse which is at times overly simplistic and optimistic.