UK productivity has been highlighted as an economic weakness for over a decade. Yet the UK technology sector is world-leading and growing at 2.5 times the rate of the rest of the economy.

The government knows that technology can transform public services for the better, and as it focuses on the ‘levelling up’ agenda it can provide key opportunities to create new jobs and contribute to the growth of the economy. Yet, to realise these better outcomes, the public and private sector need to be able to work together seamlessly and cost-effectively.

The recent launch of the UK Government’s Digital, Data and Technology Sourcing (DDaT) Playbook sets out how digital projects and programmes are assessed, procured and delivered across the public sector. One of the key points to be included is the role of collaboration between the private and public sector.

Collaborating to protect public health

The DDat Playbook acknowledges that the government is often perceived to be overly risk averse when it comes to doing things differently. However, the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated just how quickly progress can be made when businesses and government organisations work together.

One of the most important public sector digital transformation projects to be delivered during the pandemic was The UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) Test and Trace programme. Test and Trace had a critical role in monitoring and suppressing the virus, supported by the new NHS Covid-19 app.

However, in October 2020, when the UK was on the verge of entering a second national lockdown, the UKHSA knew they needed to actively harness lateral flow device (LFD) testing technology to proactively diagnose and protect the public. They approached Capita to help them quickly and safely train individuals to support mass testing in organisations such as schools, care homes, local authorities and businesses. With clinical trainers already being redeployed to help within the NHS, the UKHSA wanted to utilise military and civilian trainers.

In just eight days, Capita designed and delivered a digital platform with video content to support the UKHSA’s early LFD distribution pilots. The solution enabled training on how to use the LFD tests to be accelerated for thousands of individuals through self-service digital content.

A successful agile partnership

By working in partnership, Capita and the UKHSA were able to meet a long series of rapid yet critical deadlines and help the government to maintain vital services during the pandemic. The initial rollout to 2,000 users expanded to training over half a million people across the UK.

Projects such as these show how learning and development can accelerate digital transformation and be a catalyst for change, when delivered through agile, collaborative partnerships.

Find out more about the collaboration between Capita and the UK Health and Security Agency

Read the UKHSA case study

This article first appeared in TechUK

Written by

Darren Outridge

Darren Outridge

Learning Partner (Health, Welfare, LPS & Education)

Darren’s career started in business development supporting private sector telco and technology clients before a move to public sector. Since 2015 in his role as a project manager he has specialised in health & social care (NHS), latterly working in several client-facing roles that now include local authorities and education, with a strong client focus and drive to add value to stakeholders in everything that he does.

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