Hospice UK and Corndel have joined forces to launch the Hospice Data Academy, in a bid to address the considerable digital skills gap in the UK’s health and social care workforce.

The aim of the academy is to enhance hospice professionals’ data skills and knowledge. By giving hospice staff a better understanding of patient and care data, service provision can be improved, while equality and inclusion in hospice care can also be enhanced.

The Hospice Data Academy will give nearly 100 hospice professionals across the UK the chance to join the Imperial College and Corndel Data-Driven Professional Programme.

Rowena Lovell, director of strategy and governance at Hospice UK, said: “We know that making the best possible use of data is fundamental to the future of hospice services.

“Whether analysing patient data, driving improvements in equality and inclusion, or looking at trends in fundraising, it’s so important that hospice professionals have the skills they need.”

The level three apprenticeship programme is suitable for those working within all departments of hospice care – including HR, fundraising and service provision – and equips them with the skills needed to make the best possible use of data in their respective roles.

In addition, students will gain vocational training and one-to-one coaching from experienced professionals.

The Hospice Data Academy programme is being funded by over £1 million in gifted apprenticeship levy from Corndel’s corporate partners. The scheme allows employers who pay into the Apprenticeship Levy to transfer 25% of their fund to another organisation.

Ali Terrington, charity partnerships director at Corndel, said: “As the demand for data literacy continues to grow, initiatives like the Hospice Data Academy play a crucial role in equipping professionals in the third sector with the skills they need to make informed, data-driven decisions.

“We’re also delighted to welcome a high ratio of women to this programme (87%). By investing in the development of data literacy among hospice professionals, Hospice UK is not only contributing to the future success of hospice services and the care they provide for local communities, but also fostering a more inclusive and diverse data-driven workforce.”