This reports sits alongside another research summary in a two-part series on technology implementation in domiciliary care, drawing on findings from the Care City project.
The adult social care sector in England has been in urgent need of reform for many years. Stark funding pressures have driven instability and a dysfunctional system that is not enabling people to lead the independent and fulfilling lives they want1. Poor recruitment and retention trends are driven in large part by low wages and unclear pathways for promotion and pay raises – with an impact on quality of care.
There is a clear need to improve the attractiveness of care roles by developing a clear career pathway, supported by opportunities for skills development through training and qualifications. Health and social care settings are using digital technologies increasingly, and they hold significant potential to enable skills development by enabling care staff to take on new responsibilities or to undertake tasks more efficiently.
This research summary explores how domiciliary care agencies have trained staff to use digital technology to remotely monitor the vital signs of their service users. Our findings draw on our mixed-methods evaluation of the Care City test bed, which piloted a number of innovations in three distinct care pathways in East London. This report presents findings relating to the experience and skills development of care staff using digital technologies in domiciliary care. It describes the key benefits and challenges of upskilling staff through digital innovations, and offers ideas on how to maximise the potential for digital tools to aid skill development in the domiciliary care workforce. It also makes the case for more investment and joint working to ensure that the use of digital health technologies in social care settings is seen as a joint responsibility and priority between health and social care services.
Oung C, Rolewicz L, Crellin N, Kumpunen S (2021) Developing the digital skills of the social care workforce: Evidence from the Care City test bed. Research report, Nuffield Trust