Agenda item

Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF) Digital Skills and Innovation in Health and Social Care Proposal

The Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF) can be used for capital and revenue expenditure to support investment in college facilities and equipment, and to fund the development of new courses and curriculum.


The aim of this presentation is to provide information on the funding application made by the Further Education colleges in Kent to provide training scenarios and showcase the types of assistive technologies that can support the health and social care needs of different client groups.



The Strategic Director, Kent Further Education, the Director of Policy, Policy Connect, the Executive Director for Employer Engagement, East Kent Colleges Group and the Director of Curriculum for Digital and Care, MidKent College presented to the Board details of the Digital Skills and Innovation in Health and Social Care project that the East Kent Colleges Group was leading on.

Members were informed that they had been successful in their bid from the Local Skills Improvement Fund which would enable them to realise their proposed project activities.

Members were informed that the aim of the project was built on a moment where National policy viewed assistive technology as moving forward social care, equipping people that work in health and social care by enabling them to understand the opportunities that exist and assisting people to live the lifestyle they desired outside of a hospital setting.

The project would seek to complement work that was already in existence, and this would be achieved by liaising with several organisations and stakeholders to understand what could be achieved.

The aim was to ensure that the current and incoming workforce could be confident in the use of technology and embrace how it could assist them with their roles. It was important that families and the community be involved in the process in order to achieve holistic care for service users.

Members then made the following comments and suggestions:

  • The opportunity to utilise the care training facility was welcomed and it was important to involve the community in the roll out of the scenario rooms where possible.
  • Assistive technology should be an integral part of health and social care, but it was currently not being used to its potential due to training and educational gaps.
  • In response to concerns that assistive technology could lead to loss of jobs and the costs involved, officers said that the need for care was increasing and there were challenges with recruitment. The development of assistive technology would help to complement the work of staff in post and lessen the burden where there were staff shortages and enable staff to concentrate on tasks that required personal contact.  It was apparent that there was some aversion to technology in the sector and the project would focus on what could be done to build confidence in usage, raise awareness on what could be achieved using technology and how it could complement delivery of services.
  • Officers acknowledged that one of the barriers to increased access to technology was cost. Current innovation funding that was readily available was more targeted on projects that were currently lagging behind, however, they were mindful to signpost providers to funding pots that were available nationally. One of the aims of the project was to equip workforces on what they could achieve through funding and to ensure that continuous bids were submitted for ongoing funding.
  • In response to comments that families were primary carers, and that it was vital that they be involved and have access to the training offer proposed, the officers in attendance welcomed this idea and said they would further explore how to raise awareness and involve families in their proposals.
  • Officers reassured the Board that they were conscious of technology changes and evolution which was why the environment for training was not fixed. Steps would be taken to ensure that they remained aware of their audience. It was vital to provide ongoing, meaningful and tangible training as training could often be somewhat abstract and not entirely user friendly.
  • Board Members from various partnerships expressed a desire to work with the teams to explore how this project could be linked into their various workstreams and strategies. Attendees all had a role in digital transformation and welcomed the opportunity to integrate the work of the project in some of their transformation programmes, share learning and move to a sustainable approach.
  • It was suggested that all possibilities, especially in the private sector be explored as a means to gain wider access to the capabilities of technology. Officers in attendance said that results of the project would be shared with policy makers, and they were working with technology firms to gain a better understanding of how this work stream could be driven forward.
  • It was asked what specific metrics were in place to determine success and officers provided reassurance that there was extensive data gathered as well as KPI’s used to measure outcomes which they would share with the Board.


The officers in attendance welcomed offline conversations with different partners of the Board on how to ensure that the work aligned with the work being done by the various agencies that were represented on the Board as well as invited guests.


The Health and Wellbeing Board noted the presentation and thanked the officers for their detailed presentation and engagement with the Board.

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