NHSX reviews published on digital technology innovation and digital skills in Adult Social Care

NHSX, a joint unit bringing together teams from NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care to drive the digital transformation of health and care, commissioned Ipsos MORI, the Institute of Public Care (IPC) at Oxford Brookes University and Skills for Care to conduct two related reviews about digital technology used in adult social care and the digital skills capabilities of the adult social care workforce.

The author(s)

  • Dr. Margaret Blake Public Affairs
  • Claire Lambert Public Affairs
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The technology review explored the current use and effectiveness of digital technology in adult social care (ASC), the barriers and enablers to accessing and supplying digital technology, and the potential for future use of digital technology. The skills review explored the digital capabilities of the adult social care workforce, including current levels of digital skills, understanding of future need, and current provision and outcomes of learning and development.

Findings from both reviews have been published in one combined report. The report includes a detailed thematic summary for each review, with themes from the research and recommendations. The two reviews generated recommendations, relevant not only to NHSX but also to other organisations within adult social care and to those developing or supplying digital technology to the sector.

An executive summary is also available, which contains the key findings and recommendations for both reviews.

Key findings in relation to technology use and adoption and digital skills are shown in two infographics: an infographic for technology and an infographic for digital skills.

Case Studies:

Case studies were identified as part of the reviews to gain a more detailed understanding of the adoption of digital technology and development of digital skills, using examples. These case studies are published alongside this report. Where organisations have been identified, this is with permission of those involved. A list of case studies with links to each is provided below:

Technical Note:

Both reviews began with a scoping phase, which included depth interviews with stakeholders and two rapid evidence reviews conducted by IPC and Skills for Care. The aim of this scoping phase was to confirm the objectives of the reviews and how they could be most useful to NHSX and the wider ASC sector.

Throughout the research, an expert reference group made up of representatives from the ASC sector was consulted, ensuring the project remained focused on what would be most relevant.

A mixed methods approach was used for both reviews to ensure a comprehensive understanding of digital technology and skills in the ASC sector was captured. This included online and telephone surveys, depth interviews and focus group discussions. The following groups were included in the research: adults with care and support needs, unpaid carers, members of the ASC workforce (care workers, managers, social workers, occupational therapists, nurses and others), care providers, local authorities, technology and service suppliers, and learning and development providers.

For more information about the samples and profiles of participants, please see the appendix. The research materials are also available.

The author(s)

  • Dr. Margaret Blake Public Affairs
  • Claire Lambert Public Affairs

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