New Master’s programme aims to transform digital healthcare skills in Wales


04.10.2021

A new master’s programme has been launched by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) which aims to enhance the skills of health and social care staff. 

First cohort of students on the MSc Digital Skills for Health and Care

The MSc in Digital Skills for Health and Care Professions is the first of its kind in Wales and has been developed in collaboration with the Wales Institute of Digital Information (WIDI), a partnership between UWTSD, University of South Wales and Digital Health and Care Wales.  The partnership is seen as a key driver for enhancing the digital workforce for the health and care sector within Wales.

UWTSD has developed a distinctive health and wellbeing portfolio which links to the Welsh Government’s Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (2015) and facilitates an inter-disciplinary approach to curriculum development in liaison with key partners.

The Welsh Government’s priorities are on improving population health and reducing health inequalities, with a concerted shift to wellness, outcomes and ensuring equity of access. The University’s expertise in digital health information and data management as part of WIDI sees the launch of the master’s programme with 60 places fully-funded by the Welsh Government in years 1 and 2.

Professor Wendy Dearing, Dean of UWTSD’s Institute of Management and Health said: “We are delighted that the Welsh Government is supporting the development of this innovative programme.  UWTSD take pride in our ability to work with partners to ensure our programmes are contemporary and reflect the ‘real world’ context and this master’s programme is no exception. We have brought in industry professionals to work alongside our academic team to provide our students with the tools to build upon their unique expertise to grow a culture of inclusion, by using their digital and data skills to continue to deliver a first-class health and care service to our citizens.”

The programme, which has been aligned to the Federation of Informatics Professionals competencies at senior practitioner level, examines topics related to the role that technology and data plays in modern health and social care delivery.

This course uses a blended learning approach which allows flexibility for learners to balance study as well as their professional and personal commitments and is aimed at individuals currently working in a Health or Social Care setting who wish to further their knowledge and explore a career in Health and Digital.  Modules include:

  • The Digital Professional for Health and Care
  • Enhancing Health and Wellbeing Using Digital Skills
  • Service Transformation Through People
  • Decision Making in Health and Social Care Settings
  • Data Analytics

The programme was launched during a Residential Weekend at UWTSD’s Lampeter campus to provide participants with an opportunity to meet industry experts and undertake workshops led by Ifan Evans, Director of Director of Technology, Digital and Transformation at the Welsh Government, Professor Andrew Griffiths, WIDI, Lisa Trigg, Assistant Director of Data, Research and Intelligence, Social Care Wales and Jaymie Phillips, UWTSD’s academic lead.

The guest speaker at the launch dinner was Dr Waheed Arian, Founder of Arian Teleheal, a charity which has 100 volunteer medics who advise their colleagues in Afghanistan and other countries using social media or other every-day technologies.

Launch of MSc Digital Skills for Health & Care

During the evening, Eluned Morgan, MS, Minister for Health and Social Services said via a video address: “It is vital that we invest in the skills we need for the future.  This programme and the recognition of the professionalism required in digital roles in health and social care in Wales is an essential part of this. I really welcome the joint work that has been undertaken to develop these important qualifications - by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, the Wales Institute of Digital Information, Health Education and Improvement Wales and Welsh Government.”

Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor of UWTSD commented: “The University’s digital healthcare data and management portfolio, developed through the Wales Institute of Digital Information, is providing exciting opportunities to upskill and reskill the health and care workforce to assist in delivering better outcomes and inclusion. The rapid advancement of digital technology has transformed the way we live and work and it is vital that we harness that potential to deliver real benefit to the people of Wales. I’m delighted that we are launching this programme and to receive Welsh Government support for 60 of our participants.”