The Digital Skills Framework and Digitising Social Care


We recently wrote about the White Paper ‘People at the Heart of Care’, which announced at least £150m to drive digitisation across the adult social care sector to improve the quality, safety and personalisation of care.

Further to this, a ‘Digitising Social Care’ programme has been launched. This is part of a joint Department of Health & Social Care and NHS England Improvement unit within the NHS Transformation Directorate. The programme is supported by Skills for Care and a draft Digital Skills Framework has recently been published as part of this.

The Framework covers seven key themes for effective digital working and can help people working in adult social care to develop their digital skills.

The seven key themes are:

  1. Using Digital Technology in a Person-Centred Way
  2. Technical Skills for Using Digital Technology
  3. Communicating Through Technology
  4. Being Safe and Secure Online
  5. Ethical Use of Data and Digital Technology
  6. Using and Managing Data to Deliver Care
  7. Digital Learning, Self-Development and Wellbeing

The Framework was developed using input from organisations across the social care sector. The final version is set to be published in October 2022.

At Social Care TV we believe in harnessing the power of technology and innovation within the Social Care sector. In fact we were early adopters of e-Learning technology when we launched back in 2008 and we are fully supportive of this initiative and of the Framework itself.

Currently approximately 30% of social care providers are partially digitised, with a further 30% still using entirely paper-based systems. 

We agree with the Government’s directive in that digital transformation can ‘dramatically improve the quality and safety of care with real time data being shared across the NHS and social care. This ensures people receive the right care, at the right time, and the right people have access to the information they need.’

The framework was developed in response to a recommendation of the Technology and Digital Skills Review for an improved definition of the digital skills needed by the adult social care workforce.

Alongside this, a set of Digital Skills Training resources has also been published to help support staff in their learning and development. Digital skills training relevant to social care can now be accessed in one place, and more training will be added in the future.

Strong digital foundations are a platform for long-term transformation and, at Social Care TV, we are very pleased to see the action now taking place to achieve this.

In social care, the Government’s aim is for 80% of Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered providers to have digital social care records by March 2024. Success will allow frontline health and social care staff to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time delivering personalised care. 

We believe that the Digital Skills Framework is an important step on this much needed journey of transformation.