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'Supporting Scotland's Workforce'


Technology Enabled Care - Workforce knowledge, skills and confidence report

The delivery of health and care is changing rapidly through the use of digital technology, however, there was a need to understand the workforce learning and support needs around using such technologies to support the delivery of safe, high quality and cost-effective care.

‘Supporting Scotland’s Workforce’, published by NHS Education for Scotland (NES), emphasises the critical role of the workforce if Scotland is to meet its ambition for the transformation of health, care and wellbeing services through the use of digital technologies. A Scottish workforce survey completed by 635 members of staff from across health, care, housing and support services captured their views, experience, learning needs and future expectations of using technology to deliver care.

The survey highlighted changes in culture and behaviours needed, if new ways of working are to be embraced and organisations and staff are ready to deliver digital health, care and support services.

Six technologies featured in the survey. Telecare, health & care applications and home and mobile health monitoring were the most used daily of the six technologies presented, but only by a small sample of respondents. The main reasons highlighted for not using technology included a lack of knowledge and skills, workplace availability and perceived lack of opportunities. However, there was enthusiasm for learning how to improve knowledge, skills and confidence and to understand the benefits.

Recommendations in the report include:

  • National ‘Once for Scotland’ approaches to learning and development
  • Leadership and management initiatives to support cultural change
  • Supporting a ‘digital by default’ ethos and the mainstreaming of digital technologies in health and care 

Work has already begun on a co-designed ‘Introduction to Technology Enabled Care’ online learning module which will be available in Spring 2018, with further workforce engagement activities to create additional learning and support resources in development. 

Dorothy Wright, NES Workforce Director said: 

“Recent years have seen a surge in the availability of accessible and real-time health and wellbeing technology. They can help people manage their own health better, stay safely at home for longer and transform the delivery of high quality health and care services.

 “It is important that people are supported by a knowledgeable and skilled workforce who can work confidently with technology to support health, wellbeing, choice and independence. These skills will support Scotland’s ambitions for digital transformation of health and care services to help improve the health, care and wellbeing outcomes for the citizens of Scotland.” 


Margaret Whoriskey, Scottish Government Head of Technology Enabled Care and Digital Healthcare Innovation said:

 “Embracing digital technologies offers transformative change and provides an essential foundation for integrated, effective and efficient public services. Scotland has an opportunity to digitally empower our citizens and our workforce so they have the necessary skills and knowledge to confidently apply technology to enhance their lives, their work and their learning. 

“We commissioned this report because we wanted to find out more about the wider workforce views and challenges for technology enabled care becoming part of everyday health and care services. We will consider the report findings, as part of the transformation and modernisation of health, care and housing services already underway through the TEC Programme and the emerging Digital Health and Care Strategy for Scotland.” 


Reference: PR2017-018  

Further Information From

John MacEachen, Head of Communications, NES, email  

Note to Editors
1. NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is a national health board working to provide education, training and workforce development for those who work in and with NHSScotland. At any time, this means NES is responsible for over 6,500 trainee healthcare professionals and supports the recruitment of professionals into Scotland. 

2. The report is available to download from Turas Learn at  The report, part of the Scottish Government’s Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Programme, was the result of a national survey which was informed from a series of one-to-one interviews and focus groups with a range of participants from across health, care, housing and support services. The six technologies featured in the survey were:

  1. Health & Care Applications
  2. Telecoaching
  3. Online Self-Management (Digital Platforms)
  4. Teleconsultation
  5. Home & Mobile Health Monitoring
  6. Telecare 

3. The survey data highlights workforce learning and development needs around current and future knowledge, skills and confidence in technology enabled care.  It analyses existing learning, education and training resources, identifies gaps and proposes how to address these with learning and development to help embed technology enabled care at the heart of every day health and care workforce practice. 

4. The Scottish Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Programme was launched in 2014 with a specific remit to further improve outcomes for individuals through the application of technology, as an integral part of quality cost-effective care and support. Initial objectives included the expansion, integration and the sustainable use of TEC resources within health, housing and care services. With investment of around £30 million for three years, achievements have included the funding of 23 organisations and the delivery of TEC learning events.

Report Front Cover