A nice thing about working at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust is the support we receive from our colleagues which enables us to provide a constantly evolving, innovative library and knowledge service.
We use this support to deliver Trust objectives and the strategic framework for NHS Knowledge and Library Services in England, which has recently been refreshed for 2021-2026
The framework’s ambition remains the same: NHS bodies, their staff, learners, patients and the public use the right knowledge and evidence, at the right time, in the right place, enabling high quality decision-making, learning, research and innovation, to achieve excellent healthcare and health improvement.
New opportunities include the creative use of library space to enable the spread of organisational innovation and to address digital poverty and improve health literacy.
Libraries have opportunities to contribute to building a digitally inclusive workforce by providing access to digital content and helping staff and learners develop the necessary skills.
We can partner with information providers to develop the health literacy of citizens, underpinned by essential digital skills
In the framework there is encouragement for Boards to strengthen their capability to manage knowledge and mobilise evidence, getting the right expertise, roles and resources in place to realise the business benefits of NHS knowledge and library services in our digital age
Croydon Health Services has started this journey by funding 10 volunteer workplace Digital Champions to be trained to offer peer support to colleagues across the Trust and has installed 10 new PCs in the Library so that our staff get the best chance to learn and develop.
Our Digital Champions project will focus on vocational training and support to help our staff to:
- Develop their own digital skills
- Develop other ‘soft’ skills
- Develop mentoring and engagement skills
- Work with others and develop teaching and social skills
- Cascade those benefits in other areas of their lives
- Find new routes into further learning and volunteering
Many of those who would most benefit from digital support are the least likely to be online. Approximately 20% of the UK population lack basic digital skills or don’t use digital technology at all. This amounts to eleven million people, who are likely to be older, less educated and in poorer health than the rest of the population
Being able to go online does not mean that people have the basic digital capability to use the internet to do things that benefit them day to day. In the workplace, networks and digital spaces are important ways to convey staff experiences
Supporting people to get online and use digital health resources can be crucial to achieving local priorities including:
- physical and mental wellbeing
- self care
- shared care and shared decision making
- long term condition management
- appropriate use of urgent and emergency care
Now, more than ever, we all need to be able to support each other to be digitally confident.
Every day we help library users who want to improve their digital skills. To support this we are excited to be working collaboratively with Croydon Quality Improvement (@CroydonQI) to take this project forward and report the impact of the programme.
To read about how introducing Digital Champions in the workplace is relevant, see:
- the Topol review (2019) Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future which highlights that within 20 years, 90% of all jobs in the NHS will require some element of digital skills.
- The NHS Long Term Plan which discusses the increase in the range of digital health tools and services.
- HEE’s Digital literacy of the wider workforce which defines digital literacy as “those capabilities that fit someone for living, learning, working, participating and thriving in a digital society”
- NHS Digital Digital Inclusion for Health and Social Care
- We Are The NHS: People Plan 2020/21 – action for us all
- Digital Nurse Network: Supporting nurses across the NHS to use and promote digital services
- Good Things Foundation. Digital Nation 2020
- UK Government Digital Skills and Inclusion Policy (2017)
- CHS Objectives to Support Our Staff and Develop Leadership
If you are a Croydon Health Services (CHS) staff member or a CHS Volunteer who wants to get involved then simply mail firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more
Alongside our Digital Champions sit our brand new:
- Accredited Dyslexia Champions and Open College Network (OCN) Level 2: Neurodiversity – Pathways to Support
Accredited Dyslexia Champions are qualified and impartial volunteers who have completed their training equipping them to be able to listen to their colleagues ‘stories’ & challenges and provide them with foundation information and ‘hints & tips’ as well as signposting them to support. This volunteer resource within workplaces helps reduce fear of disclosure – which commonly stops people from seeking specialist workplace related support if they need it.
- Numeracy Champions
Being a Numeracy Champion involves supporting people through their journey to improvement on the National Numeracy Challenge
- Coming soon! Creative Health Champions