5 October 2023

RCSLT worked with members to identify eight priorities for the profession around digital health and technology

The last few years have seen a rapid adoption of the use of digital health, data and technology in health, education and social care. The importance of having a workforce with the skills to use digital, data and technology to deliver better care has also been recognised by national bodies, including the NHS Digital Framework for Allied Health Professionals and in the RCSLT’s five-year Strategic Vision.  

In 2022 we carried out focus groups and a survey of members to understand the knowledge and confidence levels across the profession in using digital health and technology and identify what was needed to support the profession in this area. The feedback from these was reviewed and key themes were identified to form the top priorities that members felt should be a focus for the profession over the coming five years

RCSLT is committed to supporting the speech and language therapy workforce to: 

  1. Develop competence and confidence with using digital and technology across the career span 
  2. Have access to appropriate equipment and infrastructure to deliver digitally enabled services 
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of digital tools and approaches to service delivery though outcome measurement and continuing to develop the evidence base 
  4. Assist service users and their families with accessing and using digital technology 
  5. Stay up-to-date with new developments and facilitate the sharing of information 
  6. Advocate for the co-production of digital technologies and services 
  7. Design services that balance individual and local population needs for a digitally-focused future 
  8. Be involved in decisions about digital service delivery and utilise national guidance to influence local policies. 

Digital health is a rapidly expanding area of practice, and it can feel overwhelming to stay up-to-date. We’ve created a new section on our website to pull together some key resources to support you with finding information to help you and practical guidance on tech. These have been themed according to the digital priorities to make it easier to find what you need. 

Our latest cover story on page 26 of Bulletin also delves deeper into the priorities as we look at the results of the survey in more detail and hear from some members who took part in the focus groups.