Getting your organisation 'digital ready'

getting your organisation digital readyThe challenge is set and the journey to digital has begun. 'Personalised Health and Care 2020' is a strategy published by the National Information Board which outlines that health and social care will be paper-free at the point of care by 2020.

In order to achieve this ambition, the sector must first assess how well it's using digital technology to deliver services. The term used to describe how 'ready' we are is digital maturity. 





DRT-laptopNew: measure your 'digital readiness' with our free online tool

Using and investing in digital technology has the potential to transform adult social care services. This free tool will help you to measure your progress towards the use of digital technology in your service, including how capable and equipped staff are in harnessing the benefits of digital tools and whether you have the right infrastructure in place.

Once you complete the tool an email report will be sent based on your responses, including tailored ‘top tips’ and resources to help you progress.

Access the ‘Digital Readiness tool’ here.  


Digital Social Care resources

To help ensure you're 'digital ready', a partnership of seven social care organisations, including Skills for Care, have collaborated on a website called Digital Social Care. It has helpful online tools and information around:

  • The Data Security and Protection Toolkit
  • NHSmail
  • Digital Readiness Assessments
  • Cyber Security.

Guide: 'Becoming a digital social care organisation'

Once you've assessed where you are, our guide ‘Becoming a digital social care organisation’ for managers and leaders, is full of advice from other care leaders who are well on their way and are now reaping the benefits. It covers:

  • the first steps in thinking digital
  • how to scope and get people on board
  • planning for the change
  • searching for a supplier and solution
  • implementing the digital system.

As part of producing the guide, we interviewed three different types of care businesses who've already embarked on a journey to invest in technology in very different ways. They share this journey with us in three videos


We interviewed three care businesses who have already embarked on a journey to invest in technology in very different ways. They share this journey with us in three videos.

By using technology we discovered that we had 15 people awake in the care home at night which we didn't know before. And very quickly we formed a "Wide awake club" and we were able to work with those 15 people whilst everyone else slept soundly. Over the course of 12 months - those 15 people reduced down to 3.”

It is a challenging time for social care with constrained budgets and greater demand for services.  But that means we can't do more of the same.  We have to do more with less and we have to change.  And that requires innovation and technology.” 

We managed the transition from paper based to digital slowly.  My biggest piece of advice is do not try and do this overnight. Don’t throw it at people – and say there you go.  Do it slowly - little games, little victories and then go for it whole heartedly. We had a six month lead into it. Don’t expect people just to run with it.”  

Camphill Village Trust (CVT) is a national charity supporting around 450 adults with learning disabilities. People are supported to be independent in their homes and given opportunities to develop vocational skills and be active in the community through social and cultural activities.

One particular project was CVT Connect which is a digital platform produced by adults with learning difficulties. Read their story

In order to succeed with digital working, your staff need to have the right skills.

Our ‘Guide to core digital skills in social care’ explains what core skills and knowledge staff need.

In 2014 we asked the adult social care workforce how they used technology and how confident they were with it. We share the findings in an infographic or this short bulletin shares more detail.     

The possible use of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics is a relatively new development for the delivery of social care. There are currently a limited number of robots being used or in development within social care. Take a look at the types of AI already in use

If you'd like more indepth information, read our 'scoping study on the emerging use of Artificial Intelligence and robotics in social care'. 

The Care Quality Commission feature advice and guidance on their website regarding the use of surveillance technology which includes CCTV, cameras and microphones.  It can help keep people safe and monitor their care but if you use it, it's important to use it in a way that protects people's privacy and human rights. Read more.