Scotland highlights progress made towards digital commitments including investing in cyber security skills and improving connectivity

Following the publication of Scotland’s digital strategy in 2021, a report has been released summarising progress made around commitments such as improving connectivity, building digital skills and changing the culture of public service organisations to ensure resilience, accessibility and ease of use.

The report shares how £430,000 has been invested by the Scottish Government since the strategy’s publication to help public sector organisations in upskilling employees in cyber security qualifications, including 12 NHS Scotland Boards. Work around the Scottish Digital Academy – designed to facilitate digital leadership and a skilled digital workforce – is also highlighted, with the academy reportedly delivering learning to more than 14,000 people to date across public and third sector organisations. The report goes on to emphasise that a commitment to adopting the “Scottish Approach to Service Design”, with a user-centred focus, is now “well established” in Scottish Government, citing the particular example of healthcare quality and improvement.

Further progress includes enhancing Scotland’s digital infrastructure and connectivity by “exceeding” superfast broadband commitments; developing three common digital platforms including a cloud operations service for the public sector; and investing over £4 million in Skills Development Scotland, including initiatives such as a course for people on low incomes to build skills and progress into digital careers such as cyber security, software development and data analytics.

Looking to the future, the Scottish Government acknowledges that a new iteration of Scotland’s digital strategy is required, “in part to respond to the challenges and opportunities that new and emerging technologies bring” and also reflecting current financial contexts. Work has begun on the development of the new strategy, with an expected publication date within the next year.

“As we look ahead, we know digital is a critical enabler of public service reform, with digital thinking and reform thinking closely aligned and we are committed to taking those opportunities to support efficiency, simplification, streamlining and accessibility,” the Scottish Government states. “Public service reform aims to transform services to ensure services are efficient, high quality and effective for all and, where people are at risk of poor outcomes, services can identify this early, build relationships with citizens to understand their needs and work together to meet those needs.”

The report can be found in full here.

Earlier in the month, we reported that NHS National Services Scotland has contracted OneAdvanced Health and Care’s cloud-based software to service as an enhanced document workflow solution across all GP practices in Scotland.

In April, we highlighted Scotland’s Genomic Medicine Strategy 2024-2029; and in March we looked into the latest learning and education strategy from NHS Education for Scotland, which shares a number of plans with a digital focus including updating its digital platform and holding a review of existing data architecture.