Digital Readiness Report – June 2021

Executive Summary

This research forms part of the Digital Readiness Research undertaken as part of the Digital Social Care contract.

Aims and objectives

  • 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


  • Wave 2 of telephone survey (Wave 1 conducted October 2019)
  • 418 telephone (CATI) surveys with social care organisations in England
  • Survey developed in context of COVID-19 pandemic and a series of depth interviews undertaken by Qa in November 2020
  • Fieldwork ran from 20th January to 13th February 2021
  • Analysis conducted in-house at Qa Research, data was weighted in order to represent the social care sector using ASC-WDS data provided by Skills for Care
  • Q1 and Q2 of 2019 survey were also weighted in order to compare responses
  • Sub-group analysis by organisation type (residential/non-residential), size and location – differences only highlighted where there is a significant difference


Current use of digital

Digital readiness improving as number of ‘expert’ organisations increased over past year

  • Positive movement over time, a fifth (20%) of care organisations now consider themselves digitally ‘expert’
  • Organisations classing themselves as ‘novice’ dropped from a quarter (24%) in 2019 to only 14% in 2021
  • No significant differences based on region, organisation size, or residential vs nonresidential, so no one type of care organisation is leading the way or falling behind in terms of digital readiness
  • This shows improvement from 2019 where residential and ‘micro’/’small’ organisations were more likely to be ‘novices’

For more information on the report please download the PDF below.

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