Developing the health and social care workforce digital capability.

To enable staff to access the data they need, when they need it, we not only need systems to be in place, but staff also need to have the skills and capabilities to use the systems. The role of the workforce remains the same, to deliver health and social care, but they will increasingly need to use digital technologies.

As part of Scottish Government’s Digital Health and Care Strategy, the SSSC is working in partnership with NHS Education of Scotland (NES) and Local Government Digital Office (LGDO) to develop the digital capabilities of leaders and the wider health and social care workforce across Scotland.

We have identified three key elements to develop the digital capability of the workforce.

  1. Leadership – how people in senior roles lead in digital transformation.
  2. Digital culture – developing a culture where technology an integral part of delivering good services.
  3. Addressing the skill needs of the workforce – providing learning resources and services to assist the workforce to develop their capability and comfort with digital technology.

Training the workforce

As part of their workforce planning, employers need to make sure that the future workforce has the right digital skills that will support technology enabled service delivery including commissioning of services.

The SSSC is leading the sector in the use of digital learning technologies to support employers to address the challenges they will face.

Over the next year we plan to offer specific, targeted support to the sector to develop the digital capability of organisations and their staff as well as developing digital learning resources and a programme of work on cyber safety.

We will work with staff, employers and organisations across the health and social service sectors to:

  • map the scope, scale and nature of digital learning provision
  • identify needs across the sectors
  • identify barriers to implementing the Digital Health and Care Strategy.

Other elements of our programme of work include the following.

Workshops – to enable staff at all levels to develop their digital technology skills.
Resource toolkit – for employers to create their own online learning resources.
Employer support service – to provide support for employers to develop their staff.


We promote and support quality improvement, learning and leadership development in the social service sector and works with different types of services to facilitate activity. We will work with the social service sector to support leaders and teams to take bold strategic decisions about the adoption of digital.

National Workforce Plan for Health and Social Care

Closely linked with the Digital Health and Care Strategy, we are leading on a range of actions to support two recommendations of the National Workforce Plan for Health and Social Care, recommendation six – career pathways and recommendation seven – training and education. Recommendation six will focus on developing proposals for enhanced social care career pathways and progression, specifically in the context of the developing multidisciplinary, integrated workforce environment and recommendation seven will focus on training and education proposals to better equip a flexible, confident and competent workforce with relevant and appropriate qualifications.


In April 2018 the Scottish Government published Scotland’s Digital Health and Care Strategy: Report with the aim of improving the health and social well-being of the Scottish population.

The aim of the strategy is for evidence-based technology enabled health and care (TEC, including telehealth) to be more broadly implemented at scale across Scotland, supporting people to live well, safely at home and support self-management, building on work already underway on next generation telecare and telehealth and for delivery of care for urgent health and care needs outside the hospital.

The report presents seven key themes, each with specific recommendations. The themes are:

  • Supporting citizen engagement.
  • Digital maturity.
  • Leadership and workforce.
  • Standards and interoperability.
  • Resources and information governance.
  • Technology enabled health and care.
  • Digital innovation and research.