The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is planning a series of initiatives to boost digital skills in the social care sector.
Its plans include new e-learning courses in digital leadership, working with the Local Government Association (LGA) on strengthening the capability, and collaborating with the NHS Leadership Academy to create new opportunities.
Jane Brightman, assistant director of programmes (system reform, digitising social care) at NHS England, outlined the intentions in a blogpost, saying they come in response to the Government’s Next Steps paper which includes a focus on digital transformation in care.
In addition, a review carried out in 2021 showed a consensus among managers and other groups that there are gaps in the digital skills of the workforce.
She said the new e-learning courses will lead to a level five qualification in adult social care digital leadership, and will be accompanied by a website to host training and guidance on the adoption of technology.
The work with the LGA will be aimed at developing digital confidence and capabilities in local authorities, with some exploration into digital, data and technology professionals in adult social care. This will help DHSC scope what is currently happening and where support might be needed in the future.
As an example of ongoing efforts with the NHS Leadership Academy, Brightman cited the Foundations in Systems Leadership for health and care programme.
She added that there have steps to open up learning programmes traditionally focused on health, such as the Topol Digital Fellows, for adult social care.
These measures come soon after the updating of the digital skills framework for the sector.