Technology has the potential to transform the way people manage their own health, care and wellbeing, empowering them to manage it in a way that is right for them. For this ambition to reach its full potential, it is imperative that people are supported by a knowledgeable and skilled workforce who can work confidently with technology to support health, wellbeing, choice and independence.
Key areas for consideration focus on upskilling the workforce, learning and development and building confidence in the benefits of using technology in health, care, housing and support services.
A greater understanding of technologies, what they mean for the delivery of health and care services and how they can be used to support self-management, health, care and wellbeing, is required. Additionally, there are clear needs to promote a culture of appreciation and build professional confidence towards Scotland’s digital agenda. All of this highlights the need for change and, particularly, the immediate need to instil a ‘culture of readiness’ towards ‘new ways of working’.
The key recommendation is in developing and upskilling the workforce and building confidence in the benefits towards using technology in health, housing, care and support services. Other aspects include leadership and management and a consideration of finance and resources.
National awareness raising programme and promotion of digital technologies for health and care. This should demonstrate the benefits and advantages for the workforce and generate increased knowledge and understanding of using such technologies in everyday work.
Develop a national online learning resource to cover all aspects of digital technologies for health and care.
Implement a national online learning resource and ‘face to face’ (live) learning networks for ongoing support, learning and development.
Consider a national stepped learning framework such as informed, skilled, enhanced and expert.
Support a national shift to ‘new ways of working’ and promote a ‘culture of readiness’ for a mainstreamed future digital health and care service.
Support a national drive to alleviate concerns around the use of digital technology in health and care services.
Develop NATIONAL strategies and measurable objectives for the deployment and mainstreaming of digital solutions for health and care services.
Consider further developing organisational partnerships and work with a range of stakeholders to drive forward a national approach to digital health and care.
Support a ‘digital by default’ ethos and the mainstreaming of digital technologies for health and care.
Encourage and promote the necessary deployment of a digital infrastructure and IT investment to support Scotland’s ambitions for digital transformation of health and care services.
In conclusion, the results presented here suggest that further work is required to drive forward the ambitious digital vision for health and social care services in Scotland.
However, the mere provision of cutting edge technologies alone will not drive transformative change. The workforce is at the very heart of delivering high quality care, building workforce skills and confidence and changing workforce perceptions (at the outset) are required to maximise effective and at-scale use of technology.
This in turn could empower the people of Scotland to harness the power of digital technologies and further embed preventative measures to health, wellbeing and care.
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