Skip to main content

Digital Inclusion in Adult Social Care


Virtual communication between social care professionals and adults with social care needs and their carers is becoming more prevalent. It is part of a growing trend that has seen Information and Communication Technology [ICT] used as an alternative to face-to-face appointments, allowing for communication and contact without the need for in-person appointments. This increased use is at the heart of a recent review of evidence conducted at Oxford Brookes University in conjunction with IPC. The questions that have emerged include:

  • how is virtual communication being used by social care professionals?
  • and how is the increased use of Information and Communication Technology [ICT] affecting access to services for adults with social care needs and their carers?

Despite the recognition that the COVID-19 pandemic led to a paradigm shift in the use of ICTs in social care, the review has discovered that there is minimal evidence of the use of virtual communication or its impact on adults with social care needs. This workshop will begin with a presentation of findings of how the increased use of ICTs has digitally excluded some individuals, whilst simultaneously improved access for others.

There is more evidence available for the use of virtual communication in other parts of the care pathway. We will also consider the effectiveness of such interventions which will provide the basis for a discussion on what social care can learn from the experiences in other areas of health and social care.

The webinar will be an opportunity to discuss how ICTs, and specifically virtual communication, can be more effectively used in social care without being detrimental to the experiences of adults with social care needs trying to access services .

The webinar will be delivered by Dr Olga Kozlowska, Dr Marion Waite and Dr Christopher Dodd from the Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Research, based at Oxford Brookes University, and Jonathan Gardam, IPC Associate.


The webinar will be relevant to those with an interest in how technology can be used in health and social care, particularly the use of virtual communication as a replacement to face-to-face consultations and assessments. This sits within the Putting People at the Heart of Care white paper and the “digital first” policy within the NHS and the growing use of ICTs in social care, as well the development of integrated care models going forward.


  • The webinar will start with short presentations of the findings of the review of evidence conducted by Dr Kozlowska and Dr Dodd. This will introduce a series of themes related to the use of ICTs in adult social care between social care professionals and adults with social care needs. It will also discuss how this informs the positive and negative aspects of virtual communication use in this context, and the causes of both digital exclusion and inclusion.
  • Dr Waite will then present on research and educational development in digital capacity and capability; she will also introduce the NMAHP digital network she is developing as part of her Florence Nightingale Foundation Digital Leadership Scholarship 23/24.

Attendees are encouraged to offer their own insight into these themes as well as any other experiences and examples related to the key themes of ICT use in health and social care and the nature of digital exclusion.

The organisers would welcome expressions of interest on potential collaborations to improve our understanding of the use and impact of virtual communication.

Workshop Format

The workshop will be delivered online and will feature a blend of presentations and smaller group discussions to enable participation by all delegates.


Monday 18th September 2023


Microsoft Teams


This complimentary and exclusive event is offered to the Alumni of the IPC Certificate in Commissioning and Purchasing for Public Care, bookings can be made here.

Invitations will be sent to alumni members directly, so please check your email to register for this event. If you do not receive an email, and you believe you are an Alumni, please email us at and we will contact you.