Half-day conference

Digital Care – Supporting care workforce development in digital skills and capabilities

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This half-day conference – being held in partnership with West College Scotland – will explore how colleges and care service providers can work together to develop workforce training in digital skills and capabilities, helping underpin the successful uptake and use of technologies across care.

Building on last Autumn’s conference with the College Development Network, the event will bring together an invited audience of senior management and workforce leads from across the West of Scotland’s social care services – including health and social care partnerships, independent and third sector care providers and the NHS.


PROFESSOR GEORGE CROOKS OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Digital Health & Care institute
AMANDA BRITAIN, Strategy Lead for the Technology Enabled Care Programme, Scottish Government
LIZ CONNOLLY, Principal & Chief Executive, West College Scotland
CATHY FALLON, Managing Director of Loretto and Barony
The demographic pressures facing health and social care services have been well documented. Over the next two decades a larger number of older people, with increasingly complex health conditions, will require care and support for longer. Within a climate of limited public finances and resources, Health and Social Care services are being transformed to try to meet this challenge.

Integration, along with the ‘Right People, Right Place, Right Time’ principle, aims to shift the balance of care from acute to anticipatory and preventative – ensuring quality, person-centred care is delivered in the most appropriate setting for the individual and their family, often in a home based or homely setting rather than in hospital.

As highlighted by the recently published Digital Health and Care Strategy, digital technology will play a critical role in helping to achieve this shift. From better informing the way we design and shape services, to transforming the way those services can be delivered, technology has the capacity to make care provision more effective, efficient and responsive to the needs of citizens. Critically, it also holds the potential to empower individuals to live more independently and manage their own care at home.

As the strategy recognises however, ‘workforce development in digital skills and capabilities across the whole health and care sector underpins the successful uptake and use of digital technologies’. Just over 200,000 people work in social care and social work in Scotland, around one in 13 people in employment. Many more may be required to meet future demand for care services. If we are to fully realise the benefits of digital care, we need to ensure this workforce has the digital confidence to adapt to new technologies and new ways of working; as well as being suitably skilled and trained to use any technologies that may assist them in their role.

So how can colleges and care service providers work together to engage, support and digitally upskill the current care workforce? And how can we future-proof our care qualifications to ensure graduates are comfortable embracing new technologies and evolving digital trends?


We are currently working on the programme for this event and will update this area of the webpage soon.
If you are interested in speaking or contributing to the discussions, contact Mark on 0131 344 4611 or mbellamy@policyhubscotland.co.uk

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Professor George Crooks OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Digital Health & Care Institute
@dhiscotland @CrooksGeorge
Professor George Crooks is currently the Chief Executive of the Digital Health and Care Institute, Scotland’s national innovation centre for digital health and care. He leads an organisation that is tasked with delivering innovation in digital health and care that will help Scotland’s people to live longer, healthier lives and create new jobs for the economy. DHI provides opportunities for Scotland’s public sector, academia, charities and industry to co-design digital solutions to some of the country’s biggest health and care challenges.

He was previously the Medical Director for NHS 24 and Director of the Scottish Centre for Telehealth & Telecare. George was a General Medical Practitioner for 23 years in Aberdeen latterly combining that role as Director of Primary Care for Grampian. George is on the Board of the European Connected Health Alliance. He is currently a Board member and past president of the European Health Telematics Association, and is on the Board of the European Foundation for Critical Care. He leads the Integrated Care Action Group on behalf of the European Commission within the European Partnership for Active and Healthy Ageing. He is Chair of the Scottish Digital Health and Care Innovation Programme Board, focussing on the adoption and delivery, at scale, of technology enabled care services across Scotland. He is also an adjunct Professor of Telehealth at the University of Southern Denmark.

He was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2011 for services to healthcare.

Amanda Britain, Strategy Lead for the Technology Enabled Care Programme, Scottish Government
@TECScotland @DigiCare4Scot
Amanda Britain is a home & wellbeing expert, researcher and housing professional. She specialises in service improvement between the housing sector and partners in health and social care. Amanda is currently the Strategy Lead for the Technology Enabled Care Programme.

For more than 10 years, Amanda led the national improvement programme on place, home and housing, playing a pivotal role in securing important improvements in health, social care and housing collaboration.

Amanda is the Scotland member for the Communications Consumer Panel, Vice Chair of Iriss, a member of Alzheimer Scotland’s policy committee and until recently chaired the Scotland Board of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Liz Connolly, Principal & Chief Executive, West College Scotland
Liz has been Vice-Principal Corporate Development at West College Scotland since September 2013.
She was born and brought up in the East End of Glasgow and has an honours degree and an MBA from Strathclyde University. She attended Harvard University to study Executive Development.

Liz worked for the Scottish Development Agency before its merger with the Training Agency in 1991 to become Scottish Enterprise. She then spent the next 16 years with Scottish Enterprise, becoming Chief Executive of three separate Local Enterprise Companies, as well as Operations Director for the West of Scotland.

Liz left the organization in 2010 to spend time working on charity projects, including the building of a community centre in a village in South Africa. She has since assisted in similar projects in Nepal and Cambodia.

Before joining West College Scotland, she project-managed the merger of Anniesland, Cardonald and Langside Colleges to create Glasgow Clyde College.

She is a board member of Targeting Innovation and has recently joined the board of Interface, which connects organisations from national and international industries to Scotland’s 23 higher education and research institutes.

Cathy Fallon, Managing Director of Loretto and Barony
@LorettoCare @Baronyha
Cathy has worked in nursing and social care for almost 40 years having completed her nurse training in London where she specialised in acute, community and forensic care. She worked for 3 years at the Maudsley Hospital in London as a Clinical Nurse Specialist within a multi-disciplinary team on a randomised controlled study that compared community care with hospital admission for people with acute psychiatric conditions.

Cathy was a voluntary member of the Independent Monitoring Board at Barlinnie Prison for 7 years until the monitoring process was re-structured as part of a national review.

Cathy is a qualified counsellor and group therapist and completed her MBA through the Open University. She moved to Scotland in 1990 where she worked for Lanarkshire Health Board as a Clinical Nurse Manager setting up the first multidisciplinary Community Mental Health team in the area.

Cathy moved to the voluntary sector in 1993 working with Loretto as Deputy Director and latterly as Director when Loretto became a member of the Wheatley Group in 2014. Within this time Loretto has played a pivotal role in moving the focus of care and support from institutional to community care settings, and was the principal organisation involved in the closure of the 140 bedded homeless hostel, the Great Eastern Hotel, in Glasgow.

West College Scotland
West College Scotland is modern, ambitious and innovative. Created on 1 August 2013 by the merger of Clydebank College, Reid Kerr College in Paisley and James Watt College in Greenock, WCS has 30,000 students and 1,200 staff, making it one of the biggest educational institutions in the country. This large scale allows it to provide greater choice to students, better facilities and enhanced services.

WCS offers a variety of courses at NC and HNC levels in Health and Social Care, open to school leavers and mature students alike. Designed and delivered in partnership with local care service providers, these courses help ensure that Scotland’s current and future care workforces have the knowledge, attitudes, skillsets and qualifications to meet evolving care service needs and demands.

For more information visit WCS’s ‘Health and Social Care’ webpage – http://www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk/courses/course-directory/courses/health-social-care


This conference is free-to-attend and will bring together an invited audience of senior management and workforce leads from across the West of Scotland’s social care services. A small number of places are available for those interested in attending but who have not yet received an invitation.

If you would like to attend, please complete the application form via the link below and one of our team will get back to you to confirm your place(s) at the event.

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West College Scotland – Clydebank Campus,
Queens’ Quay,
G81 1BF

Tel: 0300 600 6060




Formerly Clydebank College, the West College Scotland Clydebank Campus is located on the banks of the River Clyde.

By Car
The Clydebank campus is around a 20mins drive from central Glasgow. There are disabled parking spaces available in front of the main building and there are a number of car parking facilities available nearby to the main campus. Further information on parking spaces, will be forwarded to attendees as part of their delegate joining instructions.

By Train
The nearest train station is Clydebank, less than a ten-minute walk from the main campus building. Yoker railway station is between 15-20mins walk. Both stations offer regular, direct services to and from both Glasgow Queen St and Glasgow Central stations. See Scotrail website for more details – https://www.scotrail.co.uk