Adult social care statistics in the UK have shown that there’s been an increased focus on digitalisation to improve data transparency for better and timely care delivery. However, some care providers are still hesitant to make the switch from paper due to perceived barriers.
Following the announcement of government funding to implement digital social care records (DSCR), we teamed up with Grey Matter Learning and FaultFixers to survey over 4,000 care professionals and dig deeper into:
- The impact digital systems have on care teams
- Digital transformation in adult social care
- Key trends the industry can expect to see
How are digital care management systems used in social care?
The UK government stated ‘data is fundamental to achieving good quality’ and – in comparison to other industries – ‘the care sector lacks strong analytical underpinnings’.
Digital care management systems can be very useful in helping care staff easily support the individuals they care for. It also enables care providers to have more oversight of their services – to increase the focus on people, rather than time-consuming admin.
Adopting digital tools means improved accuracy and more visibility of data to evidence quality care more quickly and efficiently.
Device usage and digital skills in the care sector
Most of us use technology in some way as part of our everyday lives, often to make things easier. So, why not use them in social care?
Although there are some disparities in access to these technologies across the sector, our social care research revealed that most care teams do have access to digital devices. It also showed that most care service staff are comfortable using digital tools and would be able to quickly acquire new digital skills.
- Care compliance software (46%) and care planning software (46%) are the most commonly used digital tools in care services, closely followed by e-learning software (30%).
- 85% of care service staff rate themselves as having moderate to high digital skills.
- 70% of care teams report having access to mobile phones and desktops to access digital tools, making these the most common devices.
- Different care types receive different hardware, with supported living organisations having the highest percentage of mobile phone provision.
- Learning disability services have the highest percentage of no devices provided.
How technology impacts employee retention in care
Considering the ongoing retention challenges in the industry, the wellbeing and happiness of care staff is a big concern. According to a Skills for Care report, vacancies for social care roles saw a 52% increase from 2021 to 2022.
However, turnover rates are not a problem for everyone in the sector. For those better at retaining staff, it paid off to invest in training and development in social care, embed the values of the organisation, celebrate achievements, and involve colleagues in decision-making.
Taking this into consideration, our social care statistics demonstrate that care staff generally view digital tools positively in supporting remote work, productivity, employee wellbeing and recognition.
- 63% of respondents report that digital tools save their team up to 30 hours per week.
- 64% of respondents felt that digital tools had a positive effect on employee productivity.
- 78% of respondents rated their existing digital systems as at least moderately supportive of remote work.
- 64% of respondents said that implementing digital tools had a positive impact on employee wellbeing while 33% said that there was no impact. Only 3% said digital tools had a negative impact.
- 64% of respondents reported that digital tools had a positive impact on employee recognition, only 4% perceived a negative impact.
Digital transformation in adult social care
With the DSCR funding available until 2024 to help adult social care providers digitise their records, it is a great time to go digital. However, our survey has shown that there are still care providers who have not yet started their digital journey, while others have reported not spending enough time on training to fully adapt and reap the benefits of using technology in care.
- 46% had concerns about having enough staff or resources to manage the change.
- 38% said they didn’t know how to.
- 21% had worries about security.
- Only 7% of respondents reported spending 20 or more hours per month on training.
- 5% of respondents reported not wanting to adopt digital tools at all.
Key trends and the future of care
Despite the challenges around recruitment, staff retention, and employee wellbeing, care providers are increasingly adopting digital tools – with no signs of slowing down. Combined with the findings from our Future of Care report, our social care research results found that technology will be at the forefront of the care sector’s mind.
- 53% of respondents revealed that 5-20% of their care service’s budget would be dedicated to implementing new software or digital processes in 2023.
- 43% of care services plan to invest in care compliance software (policies and procedures).
- 40% of care services plan on investing in care planning software (digital social care records).
- Rostering software was the least popular option to invest in, selected by 18% of respondents.
- 76% of respondents felt that the care industry needs to become more digital. This was highest for the Gen X (88%) and Millennials (85%), and lowest for Baby Boomers (56%).
- 88% of senior managers and 81% of managers felt the care industry needed to become more digital, more so than those in frontline roles (63%).
The impact digital systems have on care teams overall seems to be positive based on the outcomes of our survey. Digital care systems can:
- Be beneficial to care staff
- Help create a better work environment
- Increase employee retention.
Digital tools also save time on admin and paperwork, allowing staff to spend more time delivering person-centred care.
As the care sector continues to evolve, the potential of digital tools to revolutionise care provision and improve outcomes is undeniable.
Interested in reading the full report on the impact of digital systems on care teams? Download it below.
Log my Care is the most user-friendly platform for digital care management. With minimal training required, we empower care providers of all sizes to easily embrace digital transformation and unlock its numerous benefits, affordably.
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