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Supporting Digital Social Care

Our social care/care provider workforce is large in number (circa 1.5m) and very disparate with varying needs in relation to digital maturity, skills and development. This workstream is positioned to take elements (services, models, offerings) from the other delivery workstreams and apply them, often in a tailored way, for this part of the workforce.

Delivery in this area is linked to a number of other initiatives, drivers and programmes, such as the NHSX Joining Up Care Programme, and in the initial period will focus on digital skills development, digital network establishment, leadership development, future workforce needs, and alignment with the Digital Academy.

Initial work is likely to include:

  • Formulation of a stakeholder group to engage with all parts of the sector.
  • Discovery work on digital personas to understand more about the sorts of digital roles present in the sector.
  • Establishing an online network/community of practice – initially for residential and domiciliary care elements of the workforce but extending out to local authority staff and social workers.
  • Phase 2 of the successful Digital Capabilities for Social Work project, building on Phase 1 which finished in March 2020, and focusing on developing digital champions within the profession and helping them to undertake a system leadership role in their areas.
  • Adapting Topol Fellowships for the social care workforce. Currently, applicants must be employed by the NHS, which excludes the majority of those working in social care.
  • Creating Digital Academy-like content for social care.
  • Scoping career pathways for social care clinical informaticians.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) have launched a digital capabilities framework and resources for social workers, employers and educators. This aims support the development of social workers digital capabilities and skills to know how and when to use digital technology safely to improve practice. The digital capabilities for social workers project is part of the Digital Readiness Education Programme, supported by NHSX.

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 Education Team - digitalreadiness@hee.nhs.uk.

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