Survey reveals technical skills gap

Almost two-thirds of leaders say a lack of technical skills is the main obstacle to introducing new technology in adult social care.

In the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care Services (ADASS) and Capita One survey, 60% of senior leaders also said information on vulnerable adults was recorded electronically at the point of contact by an individual or carer or will be within the next two years.

Mark Raeburn, managing director of Capita One, said: “With changes to the way social care is planned and delivered on the horizon, our survey results indicate that local authorities are already looking at how technology can help improve the experiences of society’s most vulnerable citizens and their families.

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“With the right tools, social workers can gather all the information they need, at the point of contact, to ascertain what services and support a family needs. This wealth of data can then be viewed in real time by authorised staff from the many different teams that could be involved.

“This means there is no need to answer the same questions over again with different practitioners and staff have the data they need at their fingertips to make decisions about what help a family requires, at a time when they might be struggling to come to terms with their loved one’s situation.”

Nearly three quarters of those surveyed (74%) said the greatest benefit of using technology in adult social care is enabling more effective mobile working with 56% seeing major advantages in multi-agency working.

Nearly 66% of respondents said reducing costs and improving efficiency were among the top three workforce priorities for their authorities over the next two years, with 66% also saying recruitment and retention were their priorities and 64% identifying integrated working as a key focus.

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