NHSE commissions CSP to develop introductory health informatics learning resources

The CSP has been commissioned by NHS England’s Digital Academy for Health and Care to develop an online, interactive learning resource which introduces allied health professionals (AHPs) across the UK to health informatics, and how technology can support their work.


Scheduled to be completed in late 2023, the CSP will work in collaboration with Keele University and other AHP professional bodies to deliver the resource, which builds on exploratory work it conducted as part of the CSP’s Physiotherapy Health Informatics Strategy (PHIS).

The PHIS identified the need for an accessible online learning platform made up of bitesize pieces of learning arranged in modules to support clinicians to meet this requirement.

Relevant to all AHPs

The CSP team are developing the online content for NHS England (NHSE) as an introduction to informatics that will be supported with examples of practical application across the 15 AHPs. It is working with 11 of the 15 other AHP professional bodies to ensure content and delivery is relevant to all professions.

The learning will be hosted on the the learning hub platform but will be accessible to all AHPs in the UK regardless of where they are based, their employment sector, and their experience.

Furthermore, the platform will allow users to access the learning when it is appropriate for them, with no requirement to consume it all in one go. The course has been designed for anyone involved in AHP services who is new to digital and informatics to support the delivery of their services.

Ash James, CSP director of practice and development, said:

The CSP are proud to be leaders in the digital and informatics sector with the Digital and Informatics Physiotherapy Group (DIPG) and the Physiotherapy Health Informatics Strategy (PHIS), so are delighted to be working with NHSE on this resource.

Members of the physiotherapy profession will recognise it’s part of the wider PHIS. We’ve worked hard to collaborate with other professions to ensure the modules are as inclusive as possible of different professions, geographical location, employment sector, and experience.

The role of digital in health and social care

When used appropriately, digital technology can have a positive impact on health and social care service provision and patient experience. Both the 2016 Wachter Report and 2019 Topol Review commented that gaps in competence, reinforced by a lack of specific and relatable clinical examples are amongst the reasons for it not being mainstream in the delivery of healthcare.

NHS England’s Long Term Plan (2019) identified the need to develop competence, confidence and motivation in the use of digital technology, a focus repeated in the digital framework for AHPs in England (2019), the AHP strategy for England (2022) as well as the digital strategies of Northern Ireland (2016), Scotland (2021), and Wales (2022).

James Freed, deputy director of the Digital Academy for Health and Care, added that: 'Digital is increasingly part of the delivery of high-quality health and social care services. Equipping our workforce with the knowledge and skills needed to improve services, including through the use of technology, is a vital part of that process.

'At the Digital Academy for Health and Care, we are delighted to support the development of this course aiming to start that process for the AHP workforce.'

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