Digital Maturity Assessment 2023 – Section One

Summary of findings


The Scottish Government and COSLA commissioned Meisterworks to undertake a digital maturity  survey across Scotland’s health and social care landscape. All NHS Boards, Health and Social Care Partnerships and Local Authorities were invited to participate by completing self-assessments via a shared platform.

This follows a similar exercise conducted in 2019. Organisations who submitted a survey in 2023 can access their 2019 results for comparison. Some additional sections were added in 2023 and where appropriate questions re-framed.

This report has been independently created by Meisterworks to provide a national summary of findings based on the submitted self-assessed information. No information pertaining to any single participating organisation has been published here, and no comparisons between individual organisations have been included.

The maturity assessment itself was conducted via an online platform and covered three core themes – readiness, capabilities and infrastructure.  Within those themes, there were components that applied to the whole organisation (e.g. leadership), and components that looked at specific services (e.g. acute).  As returns relied on local self-assessments, participating organisations were encouraged to involve relevant staff and local stakeholders in assessing each component and coming to a locally agreed consensus on the current position.  As part of this, organisations were invited to include their local third and independent sector providers in their  assessments and to issue staff surveys.

Each participating organisation has had their data validated and an organisation-specific report produced.  See Annex for further details on the methodology used.


Digital Maturity describes the extent to which digital ways of working represent the status quo; an organisation is considered digitally mature if its procedures, processes and methods rely on digital tools and information rather than manual resources and paper records.

For healthcare and social care, digital maturity is particularly important because it can address some of the challenges that threaten this sector today: spiralling demand, unchecked diversification and a growing need for agility are among them.

The Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery Health & Social Care recognises the essential nature of digital transformation to long-term, sustainable reform. The development of a collective understanding of our current capabilities and capacity will support utilisation of digital approaches throughout all aspects of service delivery.

Digital maturity assessments among health and social care sectors not only in Scotland, but also in England, Europe and further afield tell us that digital transformation (cross-cutting organisational change, the process of implementing and adopting digital technologies. Its focus is on bringing new value to users)  is not often easily achieved; Dependencies, constraints, blockers and risks differ from organisation to organisation.

The digital maturity assessment reported on here provides an overview of digital maturity across the majority of Scotland’s healthcare and social care landscape. The findings provide a standardised baseline that can be used to identify priorities, direct development and track progress on the path to organisational digital maturity.

While data collection for the current assessment dataset was time limited and needed to be completed by June 9th, 2023, participating organisations can now update their digital maturity assessments at any point in time, which will support them with tracking their digital maturity and better accommodate each organisation’s pace of change.

At a national level, the findings from the 41 organisations that completed the assessment indicate that:

  • Progress Has Been Made
  • Digital Practices Do Not Yet Fully Permeate the Scottish Healthcare and Social Care Landscape
  • Integrated Care Systems Remain Digitally Disintegrated
  • Digital Maturity Varies Significantly Across the Scottish Healthcare and Social Care Landscape
  • Technology Basics Are Not Yet Consistently a Foregone Conclusion
  • National Solutions Are Not Yet Fully Adopted
  • Workforce Accepting of Digital Transformation, but Lacking Skills and Tools
  • Digital Operating Models Are Winning
  • Rich Intelligence Capabilities Can Support Digital Management
  • Digital Access to Healthcare and Social Care Services is not yet Well Developed
  • Most Digital Management Groups are Aware of Needing to Operate Sustainably
  • Some Core Digital Capabilities Could Benefit from Functional Upgrades

In total more than 1,500 participants from 41 organisations collaborated on over 30,000 distinct occasions to complete the assessment. Additionally, more than 5,900 staff from over 30 organisations completed the staff survey.

This report explores these findings in more detail.

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