Digital Transformation and Peer-led learning

One of the major lessons that I've learned over the pandemic has been that the best way to encourage development and learning is via peer groups. People learn best from people like them.

Care England’s Digital Special Interest Group met in February for a fantastic session with the Microsoft outreach team and Amanda Rae of Canford Healthcare. The session was about new ways of working with Microsoft tools: the presenters from Microsoft gave a great presentation, and the star of the show was definitely Amanda. Amanda showed the way she has adapted Microsoft tools to enhance how Canford Healthcare works. I encourage you as Care England members to contact Amanda to learn from her and I think we can even share the video.

In most of the communications I have with central and local government bodies and Integrated Care Systems, I am continually saying that a major part of their role is to facilitate this peer-led exchange as a main source of encouraging digital transformation. One of the ICSs leading in this area is in Sussex where the aim is to include providers’ data on the people being cared for with the Plexus Shared Care Record. I am encouraging them to facilitate peer-led provider groups as much as possible.

In research work we have done on the Data Security & Protection Toolkit we found that care providers seem to learn better from their peers. Sharing the learning and wisdom across providers is something the Better Security Better Care programme is definitely trying to foster.

I am lucky enough to be doing some work for My Home Life England, a training programme for Care managers. I present a session called Technology as your Friend. My role is to facilitate the learning with peers, sharing their wisdom and experience, prompted by my minimal intervention and guidance. I love this way of working; not because it means less work for me, but because it means that the shared lessons have deeper significance. It’s all about appreciative enquiry and bringing the best out of people.

Care England supporter member Deputy has launched its digital transformation guide. While it is very good and I encourage you to download it, I am encouraging Deputy to use the care providers they work with to spread the message, because this is where successful dissemination of best practice can be ensured.

I know these views are not revolutionary – all I ask is that when you consider how to disseminate learning, try the peer-led approach as it means people learn best from people like them.