Digital-first culture needs embedding in social care workforce, says report

Georgina Maratheftis

A digital-first culture needs to be embedded into the everyday practice and professional development of the social care workforce.

This is one of the recommendations from technology trade association techUK, which has provided a roadmap that aims to revolutionise care provision and its delivery.

Its report, The Five Point Plan for CareTech, focuses on issues facing adult social care and highlights the potential of technology-based solutions, providing case studies. It offers a blueprint for using digital innovation to improve health-span, enhance quality of life, and generate societal and economic benefits.

It also highlights the role of digital solutions in enabling people to lead independent lives while empowering care providers to offer improved, personalised services.

As well as fostering a culture of collaboration through co-production, report recommendations also consist of mapping digital poverty and exclusion; empowering individuals to access and manage their health and care data; investing in services and staff; and standardising data formats and terminologies, as well as growing interoperability frameworks.

‘It is imperative that funding is allocated to support the retention, recruitment, and development of the adult social care workforce. Professionals within local authorities and care providers need access to ongoing digital training and development, making sure we embed a digital-first culture into the everyday practice and professional development of our social care workforce,’ the report said.

‘It is also important to identify how to measure and effectively communicate the social and financial benefits of adopting digital solutions, showing they are an enabler for better care outcomes rather than replacing or automating jobs.’

The report calls on policymakers, care providers, innovators and citizens to work together and help shape adult social care through digital transformation.

Georgina Maratheftis, associate director for local public services at techUK, said: ‘techUK is dedicated to reshaping the landscape of adult social care through meaningful partnerships and technological advancements. By working closely with policymakers and our members, we have developed this report to help simplify complex guidance for innovators and ensure that their feedback plays a pivotal role in shaping upcoming changes to promote the tangible benefits that digital solutions bring to citizens and carers alike.’