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Digital literacy of the wider workforce

Digital technology is integrated into our lives. As technology is evolving rapidly, we want the health and social care workforce to be fully competent, confident and capable in its use in the workplace.

Excellent digital capabilities include a positive attitude towards technology and innovation and its potential to improve care and outcomes. However, evidence suggests that to achieve this, we need to develop a digitally literate health and care workforce for today and the future.

We define digital literacy as, “those capabilities that fit someone for living, learning, working, participating and thriving in a digital society".



This is a wide area but is fundamental to delivering safe, effective and person-centred 21st Century care. It is underpinned by getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time as. It is also about people in the workforce and those in training being comfortable, confident and feeling better equipped to work in a digital environment.

To achieve this, we need to provide easy to access learning and development for everyone and for the professions. Importantly, this needs to include both specialist content (for example genomics or AI as subjects) and more generic content (for example prescribing patient apps or professional social media use).

A self-assessment diagnostic tool underpinned by the Health and Care Digital Capabilities framework will be used to support individuals to identify their digital skills learning needs and be intelligently signposted to appropriate learning resources. Work is also underway to create Profession and Service Specific Digital Capabilities frameworks.

To support local ownership of digital skills learning and further skills development for some learners, resources to guide establishment of digital championships are being created.

This page will be updated regularly as we make progress. If you have any questions or comments about this work please email the Digital Readiness Team - digitalreadiness@hee.nhs.uk.

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Projects, outputs and reports to date

Existing educational resource mapping and analysis builds a resource base for use in developing and improving the digital skills in the health and social care workforce.

Literature review examining the extent to which digital literacy is seen as a challenge for trainers, learners and employees in the workplace.  The review looks at the challenge across sectors in improving the digital capabilities of the workforce.

desktop study of digital literacy in practice looking at potential solutions and best practice in improving digital capabilities in employees.

Standards and Framework Mapping. Research was undertaken into the extent to which and in what ways existing standards and frameworks align to our digital literacy definition and domains. 

Barriers to accessing technology enhanced learning desktop study exploring both challenges and potential solutions in accessing digital and other technologies.

This builds on the work of experts in the field of digital literacy: Digital literacies are the capabilities which fit someone for living, learning, working, participating and thriving in a digital society. 

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