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AI and Digital Healthcare Technologies Capability framework published

21 February 2023

Health Education England has published a capability framework that will allow for the health and care workforce to build up skills in artificial intelligence and digital healthcare technologies.

The AI and Digital Healthcare Technologies Capability Framework identifies gaps in the current knowledge of the NHS staff in England and lays out a path to support the digital transformation of the workforce.

The framework builds on recommendations made in the Topol Review which was published in 2019 that examined the technological needs for the NHS to become a world-leader in utilising digital tools in healthcare to support patients.

The University of Manchester was commissioned by Health Education England to carry out the research and assess the learning needs for health and care staff to develop their digital skills to meet the future needs of the healthcare service.

Use of artificial intelligence and digital technologies has the potential to be hugely beneficial to health and care staff in reducing the administrative workload for clinical staff as well as diagnostic applications that can improve outcomes for patients.

Dr. Hatim Abdulhussein, National Clinical Lead for AI and Digital Medical Workforce at Health Education England, said: “Skills and capability building is essential to support the digital transformation in the NHS, and it is imperative that health and care professionals have the appropriate capabilities to deliver safe, ethical and augmented patient care.

“This framework will be enabler for both individuals wanting to assess their individual needs and digital aspirations, and for those providing education to guide an appropriate educational approach and content.”

Professor Ang Davies, Director of Digital Transformation in Healthcare Education at The University of Manchester, said: “We’re delighted to have partnered with Health Education England to develop the Digital Health Technology Capability Framework. Successfully embedding it into future undergraduate and workplace training will be critical  to its adoption and utility as a learning needs tool.”

Professor Adrian Brooke, Medical Director for Workforce Alignment at Health Education England and Honorary Professor at the University of Leicester, said: “Capability to work with AI and Digital Healthcare Technology is a key element of our ongoing reform of education and training, and to ensure we support the future and existing workforce to respond to health and care needs of our patients both now and in the future.

“I am pleased to see this capability framework published, responding to learning needs in a proactive way, and working with key stakeholders to introduce the necessary education and training across the careers of our healthcare workforce.”

Read the full report here.