New report on digital maturity of social care sector

New report on digital maturity of social care sector

Digital Social Care and Skills for Care have published a new report on the digital maturity of the adult social care sector and how this changed between October 2019 and March 2021.

The ‘Digital Maturity in the Social Care Sector – Quantitative Research’ report was commissioned by NHS Digital’s Social Care Programme and aimed to:

  • Explore the current appetite for digital within the social care sector
  • Understand the varying degrees of digital maturity amongst social care providers and to delve into how digital is being used at present
  • Investigate the impact technology has had across the social care sector to date
  • Identify the ways in which COVID-19 has impacted social care providers in their use of digital technology
  • Uncover any support needed by the sector in further embedding digital technology

The research was conducted between January-February 2021 and was a follow up to the wave 1 research which was conducted in October 2019. The report covers the current use of technology by adult social care providers in England and includes how this varies dependent on organisation type, size and location.

Our research shows that there has been a steady increase in the use of all types of digital tools over an 18 month period with a seismic shift in the use of video conferencing software (+65%). Other notable increases include the use of online training and secure email (i.e. NHSmail). Similarly, we saw that 20% care organisations now consider themselves to be digitally “expert” as opposed to only 12% in 2019.

The research explored care provider’s cyber security and data protection practices. The findings are helping to inform our new Better Security, Better Care programme, particularly driven by responses about what types of support care providers felt would be most useful to them in this area. Similarly, we identified that targeted support based on the systems or software that different types of organisation use would be useful for the sector. Early work to support this can be seen by the launch of NHSX’s Dynamic Purchasing System to support buying digital care record solutions. More work will be done in this area over the year.

The full report is available for download below. If you have any questions about the research please contact us.

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