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Digital capabilities in the adult social care workforce

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Ranch Design

on 17 July 2014

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Transcript of Digital capabilities in the adult social care workforce

Digital capabilities in the adult social care workforce
There are different definitions of digital technology.
For us this included:

Laptop computers
Mobile Phones
The internet
Multi-strand approach
The research had three strands:

Desk research to identify existing evidence in this area
Surveys aimed at managers and frontline staff
Site visits and interviews with 8 social care organisations

Desk research overview
The rapid evidence review looked at:

Extent to which digital technology is embedded in the daily working lives of adult social care staff
The main uses of digital technology in the delivery of care
The main barriers to further use of technology
Facilitators and inhibitors to digital capability in the adult social care workforce

Survey overview
Online survey of managers (236 responses)

Recruitment of front line staff through managers (303 responses)


Main areas covered:
Activities for which digital technologies are used

Attitudes toward digital technologies

Perceptions of skills and confidence

Types of skills support




Overview of site visits
Total of 8 site visits
Range of approaches to using digital technology
20 managers and 17 frontline staff interviewed
Range of services offered and sectors included
Uses of digital technologies
Key findings
Staff access to digital technology
Reported uses from managers
Uses in direct care provision
Facilitators for using digital technology
Organisation that has positive culture and environment and supports use of digital technology

Management priorities

Organisational attitude that embraces changes

Desire to keep up with the pace of change

“The whole world is digital. You can’t run away from it.
You have to acquire the knowledge and fit in”

Key findings
Attitudes to digital technologies
Benefits of digital technologies
Can make organisation more effective and efficient

Can improve the quality of services

Can increase transparency of services

Offer more choice and control to those receiving care and support

Helps with delivery and management of learning and development

Drivers for digital technology
Desire to improve efficiency and quality
Compliance with commissioning requirements
Competitive advantages over others
in the marketplace
Good tool for getting feedback
Challenges in using digital technology
Lack of consistent internet access for mobile workers
Securing confidentiality and privacy of data
Resolving interoperability issues between different systems
Finding resources to invest in new kit
Developing a skilled and confident workforce
Over-reliance on digital technology
Desktop computers
Digital capabilities in the workforce
Areas of digital knowledge and skills
Basic online skills
Online safety and security
Information literacy skills
‘Digital champion’ potential to help others become digitally skilled
Understanding assisted living technology

Based on the review, there are five broad categories of digital knowledge and skills:
Managers perception of workforce skills
Managers from the visits had fewer concerns than those in the survey around:

Basic online skills
Information literacy skills
Security issues

But shared interest in promoting:

Digital champion skills
Knowledge of assisted living technology
Managers’ view of frontline and managerial staff skills
Managers view of staff skills
Managers see skills shortages among staff and management alike
Skill shortages more pronounced among frontline staff
A deeper understanding of assistive living technology is the least developed skills area
Manages think only half of staff have the necessary basic online skills
Manager vs staff perception of skills
Why the difference in opinion?
It’s hard to tell but some reasons might include:
The sample of staff who took part in survey were more skilled than average

Staff reliance on each other to help build confidence which managers might not be aware of

What helps build confidence?
Staff recognise that digital technology is here to stay

Staff support and learning from each other
Learning and development
“When I joined we were not IT literate, but now we have to be”

“Once we teach each other it makes all the difference”
“Once we’ve had the training your confidence grows”

Key findings
Digital assessment and support
Digital support for staff and managers
The role of peer to peer support
Whether formal or informal, the role of peers seems to be crucial in developing skills:
Peer support
“As long as I have someone to ask, that’s all the support I need”
Formal ‘Digital champions’
“train a small core of staff to feel confident…then cascade that knowledge on a need-to-know basis to others”

‘Digital champions’
“We have one whizz kid that everyone goes to for support”
from research
Explore feasibility of single online resource about digital
technology in social care
Consider guidance for employers on digital data and security
Consider providing a framework for discussion on
‘bring your own device’ approaches
Review relevant digital skills and competency frameworks
with a view to their potential use
Consider the need for a learning and support programme for strategic digital skills in social care
Think about ‘digital champions’ support programme
Consider making core information
and communication technologies
(ICT’s) skills a mandatory part of
all learning and development and
qualifications frameworks.
Make explicit mention of digital skills and skills assessment in the revision of the recruitment and retention strategy for adult social care
For more information visit
Research approach
Key findings
Attitudes to digital technology
Digital capabilities in the workforce
Digital assessment and support
Can help with integration agenda
Key findings
Full transcript