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Digital Inclusion in Adult Social Care webinar highlights

Digital Inclusion in Adult Social Care

Alumni Webinar Highlights - September 2023

Our most recent Alumni Webinar was attended by members of the IPC Commissioning Certificate Alumni Network who shared their experiences of implementing digital and technology methods for delivering care and support in Adult Services.

We were joined by wonderful guest speakers Dr Olga Kozlowska, Dr Marion Waite and Dr Christopher Dodd from the Oxford Institute Applied Health Research, based at Oxford Brookes University, and Jonathan Gardam, IPC Associate Consultant. The speakers considered the policy drivers around the digitalisation of care, the research into the impact of using virtual communication when delivering care with people receiving support, and the capacity and skills required by Adult Social Care to deliver digital support options.

Key messages from the presentations and group discussions included:

  • The use of virtual communication is being increasingly considered as a preferred option to undertake assessments and reviews in adult social care
  • There has been limited research into the experiences of people receiving care and support via virtual methods
  • There is risk of digital exclusion (e.g., IT illiteracy, or practical issues such those with no internet connections or the equipment), but also an opportunity for digital inclusion (for those in rural areas that may receive less visits)
  • Age is becoming less of a signifying factor of IT illiteracy, and we must not make assumptions that people can’t use technology, but provide the training and support for those that need it
  • Digital security when using online platforms to complete sensitive assessments or care meetings is a concern for practitioners and local people. This needs to be explored to ensure people’s personal information is safe
  • Beyond communication, other technologies are being developed to assist social care - e.g., the use of AI to diagnose pain levels
  • Public bodies need to ensure they have the skills to use emerging technology effectively and ethically
  • Digital technologies and virtual communication should not replace in person support - this should be a choice that is offered to those who want it, supporting them to live the lives they want
  • We need to be working with local care providers now to encourage them to be digitally inclusive to realise the benefits that might come from the choice of technology.

Interested in getting involved with research that will help foster digital inclusion?

Speakers Dr Christopher Dodd and Dr Olga Kozlowska are looking for volunteers to support and get involved in future work and research in this area. To register your interest please contact either Chris or Olga via email at: and

The Nursing, midwifery and allied health professional network (NMAHP)

Oxford Brookes University are also seeking to create a network in Oxfordshire to keep professionals up to date with emerging research into patient self-management, AI, VR and the associated professional education in such digital technologies.

If you live or are associated with an organisation in Oxfordshire, and would like to get involved in this network, please contact Dr Marion Waite on

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