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The Digital Readiness Programme

Digital Readiness

The overarching aim of our Digital Readiness Programme is to create an uplift of digital skills, knowledge, understanding and awareness across the health and social care workforce.

We do this via the delivery of sustainable offerings for our leaders, digital experts and the wider workforce. This increased digital adaptability will support improved health and care services. Additionally, we aim to establish sustainable models to help build the future digital workforce.

The programme is being delivered through six workstreams:

Digital Readiness helps unblock several prominent challenges that exist in the system, including:

  • The need to have technology readily available and working, with policies and training, skills and knowledge in place to best enable its use.
  • The rate of technological change being very fast and accelerating, the workforce being very large in number and often quite disparate.
  • The need for senior leadership (board level leaders) to understand digital and what it can do to transform their organisation as well as the role they play in making their organisations more able to extract opportunity from digital.
  • The need for a single, contextualised, easy to access place for digital learning.
  • The dramatically shifting shape and capabilities of the digital workforce over the next 10 years and beyond.
  • The need for clearly defined career pathways and an established professional 'home' for our digital workforce, which numbers around 45,000 (in the NHS).
  • The historic difficulty in embedding sustainable workforce services and offerings. 
  • The big shifts – now and in the future - in post-COVID-19 ways of working. 

The programme is commissioned (and majority funded) by NHSX for delivery by Health Education England (HEE). It builds upon the work started through the Building a Digital Ready Workforce (BDRW) programme, established in 2016/17 to deliver upon Personalised Health and Care 2020 and the Five Year Forward View. The subsequent Wachter Review (2016) led to the establishment of the NHS Digital Academy and it is now aligned with system digital workforce requirements including those set out in the Topol Review (2019), the NHS People Plan (2020) and the NHS Long Term Plan.

Our web pages 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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