Digital health and care strategy

Refreshed strategy which sets out how we will work together to improve the care and wellbeing of people in Scotland by making best use of digital technologies in the design and delivery of services, in a way, place and time that works best for them.

Digital Skills and Leadership

Priority four: Digital skills are seen as core skills for the workforce across the health and care sector.

The success of digital transformation is entirely reliant on people's ability to know when, why and crucially how to use digital. Workforce development in digital skills, leadership and capabilities across the whole health and care sector underpins the successful uptake and use of digital technologies. The delivery of safe and effective care demands it – from the specialist skills that are essential for the development and running of our digital systems, to the core skills that all frontline health and care professionals need to fully realise the benefits that these systems offer. This is more than developing skills of staff across the sector in relation to technical skills, though this vital, it is also about how staff engage with people who use health and care services.

In order to embed digital transformation, leaders across health and care must be equipped with the necessary digital skills. That extends to the skills required to identify where digital could be used, rather than just how to use digital. This requires us to continue building knowledge and skills within the health and care system to support and deliver digital transformation. This starts from the top of an organisation, from Board-level down.

Our Commitments:

To support digital leadership we will:

  • Work with and support senior leaders (including executive and non-executive directors) to gain and further develop the skills to embed digital technology and literacy across their organisations. This means understanding of the potential implications of the digital agenda and increasing the confidence and capability to harness the opportunities it provides.
  • Support and further develop and expand our specialist digital, data, design and technology (DDAT) professional workforce, including those working in clinical and care informatics, and information governance and cyber security professionals, ensuring that there is the appropriate level of leadership, skills and capacity, and an appropriately trained and resourced specialist workforce with career development opportunities across the system to support the design and delivery of enhanced digital services.
  • Invest in information governance (IG) and cyber skills across our entire workforce by developing appropriate tools and training resources.
  • Ensure all staff possess the essential digital skills they need to do their job. This includes providing consistent and tailored digital skills learning and development on accessible platforms for all health and care staff incorporating blended training approaches as necessary.
  • Prepare the workforce to deliver different types of services in different (online) ways. In addition to digital skills this incudes recognising cultural barriers, supporting citizens to use digital technology, applying safeguarding measures and support on-line.
  • Equip our staff with the ability to understand and interrogate data-driven recommendations and decision support tools, including those powered by Artificial Intelligence.
  • Further develop communities of practice and our learning network, sharing and learning together on what works and what does not.
  • Consider the impact of digital technology on the workforce, including ways of working, job roles and responsibilities.
  • Build on our collective response to Covid-19 by further developing and embedding approaches that enable flexible remote working for health and care staff.
  • Work with our universities and colleges to shape the future workforce by ensuring curricula prepares students for a digitally enabled health and care environment and ensures graduates of the future for whom digital is a core skill.
  • Ensure the Turas platform provides staff across health and care with the information they need.



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