Would you like to learn more about digital health?

Digital technologies for health and social care offer enormous potential to improve patient or service user outcomes, staff productivity, reduce errors and extend conventional care. Digital health encompasses, but is not limited to, Telehealth, Telecare, Telemedicine, Telecoaching, Telerehab, Technology Enabled Care Services (TECS). 

The university of Cumbria has developed two modules on digital health for which we have drawn on a wide range of tutors and guest lecturers, including practitioner innovators active in delivering digital change in their own field, leading researchers and policy makers.

Digital Health and Social Care: Use of Technology in Health and Social Care and Work-based Project

This course has been designed to support working professionals, with a mixture of face to face and distance learning. It would suit individuals working in any field of health or social care, whether as practitioners, managers or commissioners.

The course is made up of two separate modules. The first module provides an introduction, demystification and overview of what technologies are available, how they can be used and success stories from those who have used them in frontline clinical practice, followed by material on how to evaluate the benefits, how to present a business plan for change and practical support to plan your own digital health or social care service.

The second module is a work based project in which you will be supported and mentored to implement, evaluate and disseminate a digital project within your own practice.

Previous cohorts have included students from a mix of NHS Trusts, CCGs, adult social services, housing trusts and some independent providers.

We are now recruiting for September 2018.

Digital Health Course Flyer


Who are the tutors and lecturers?

The course leader is Dr Elaine Bidmead, with internal staff Professor Alison Marshall, Alison Hamspon, Kath Ward and Susie Wilson. Course delivery is supported by guest speakers.  Previous speakers have included Veronica Southern, Independent Telesolutions Innovator and Speech & Language Therapist, Blackpool; Catherine McShane, Dietitian and Project Manager, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust; Clive Flashman, Global Head of Mobility for Healthcare & Life Sciences, CSC Ltd; Liz Ashall-Payne, CEO, ORCHA Ltd (the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications); Lee Omar, CEO, Red Ninja Ltd; Declan Hadley, NHS Digital Lead for Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Who can do the course?

The course is aimed at any practitioner, manager or commissioner with an interest in using digital technology in the health and social care setting. It is at postgraduate level, so you should have a degree or be able to demonstrate appropriate equivalent.

What are the benefits to me and my organisation?

It is anticipated that course delegates will use the course to develop a planned project, plan, implement and evaluate it, with mentored support from course tutors and external champions. We encourage appropriate projects to be selected and developed in conjunction with your organisation, so that the impact should be maximised, and we would expect that projects will have a high chance of success beyond the lifetime of the course.

Here are some comments from health and social care professionals who started this course in April 2016:

“The Digital Health course has been of benefit to me in both understanding technology available and the processes for implementation. In collaboration with patients I have explored and am implementing technology that will contribute to improved self-management of their long term conditions.” Relationship Manager, Lancashire Care

“The opportunity to study for the Digital Health Course has been great and I have really enjoyed the learning to date. Working for a Housing Association I have enjoyed engaging with colleagues from Health and Social Care and gaining a better understanding of how the different sectors can work together. The academic approach has also made me challenge the way I evidence other work/ projects which is benefitting my wider work day to day.” Performance Manager, Riverside Group

“The course has provided a motivational and inspirational opportunity to explore technology and its use in healthcare, at a time when innovation is becoming an expected part of healthcare delivery, from front line staff through to senior management.  It’s been great to have had an opportunity, through the course, to deliver a technology-based service enhancement as a front line clinician.  As mature students with demanding jobs, families and other commitments, the academic staff have provided a really supportive environment, acknowledging the importance of our work-life balance and emphasising not only the academic achievements we are working toward, but the practical implications of delivering projects that enhance healthcare delivery.” Extended Scope Physiotherapy Practitioner, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

“The Digital Health course has introduced me to a refreshing group of like-minded individuals from many different  backgrounds, who all have a fascination for using technology within our working lives. The academic staff have been very supportive with our ideas and projects  and have been available to provide support both during the University days and remotely.” Community Physiotherapist, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

“The successful implementing of digital technology in healthcare settings has the potential to release efficiencies across the entire spectrum of care, in Primary Care, Community services and Acute settings. Since enrolling on the course with University of Cumbria I have been exposed to leading edge thinking in this vital area. I have been able to network with new contacts from the world of health and social care and beyond. Courses like this are a crucial part of helping NHS Trusts and other healthcare user services start to understand the possibilities and opportunities that the use of digital technology can offer them”. Telehealth and Telemedicine Development Lead, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.  

What qualification will I get?

The two modules are part of the University of Cumbria’s Practice Development Framework for postgraduate professional development and carry 20 credits and 40 credits respectively. At the end of the two modules you will be eligible for a Postgraduate Certificate, or alternatively they can be combined with other modules towards a Postgraduate Diploma or Masters qualification.

How much time will I need to commit?

Each ‘academic credit’ requires a notional 10 hours of study and this course has a total of 60 credits. For Use of Technology in Health and Social Care, 200 hours are required over a three month period, and for Work-Based Project this will be 400 hours.

The study time is a mixture of classroom based work, directed online study, self-study and assignments, project supervision meetings. The classroom, campus-based days provide opportunities to hear guest speakers, develop academic skills, talk to your tutor and engage with other course participants. You must complete the first module before progressing to your work-based project.

The project is normally completed within 6-12 months, but is flexible depending on your own and your organisation’s schedule.

How much does it cost?

Click here for course fee information for all Health CPD courses. This is a 60 credit Health CPD course.

Sounds great, what do I do next?

For an individual discussion about eligibility qualifications, processes, possible funding sources, please contact Elaine Bidmead elaine.bidmead@cumbria.ac.uk.

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When you are ready to apply, you should apply online here for Module 1: Use of Digital Technology in Health and Social Care and here for Module 2: Work Based Project

Other education and training needs

If the above course does not meet your needs, we can also consider designing bespoke courses for Trusts, Councils or other organisations. These can be at a level, location and duration to suit you. Please contact cachet@cumbria.ac.uk.

Research students

If you would like to study with us for a PhD in digital health or social care (either full or part time), please get in touch. Once you have an idea of what you might be interested in, we can work with you to develop a research proposal in application to the University for a funded studentship.