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
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.
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
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
- 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
- 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
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.