Usher Institute

BLOG: Early impact evidence of the senior leadership programme for digital transformation in health and care for Scotland

Programme Manager, Elaine Mowat, explores early impact from the first year's cohort studying on the Leading Digital Transformation in Health and Care for Scotland programme.

By Elaine Mowat | Programme Manager

Since the programme launch in March 2023, participants studying on the Leading Digital Transformation in Health and Care for Scotland programme have been exploring a wide range of topics, from fundamental leadership concerns such as communication and change management, to current critical challenges of the digital age such as systems, interoperability and data sharing. Participants have gained from over 30 expert guest speakers covering a range of  complex topics and areas of practice. The programme has allowed participants to enhance  their critical reading and writing skills and engage closely with each other in peer support groups, helping to build new cross-disciplinary networks that will service a new generation of leaders to drive, deliver and embed digital transformation across Scotland's health and care services.

Photographs of participants attending the launch of senior leadership programme for digital transformation in health and care fo

It is early days to demonstrate evidence of impact from the programme on organisational and wider health and social care outcomes. Evaluation to date illustrates the emerging impact on participants and their day-to-day practice. This includes:


My leadership skills have previously been grounded in observing others and learning on the job, so having the opportunity to dig into the background, research and models has been fantastic.


Huge amount of learning from the start. I would say my biggest gain is self-confidence. Each section though has taught me a huge amount.


Reignited excitement for learning and taught me about critical analysis and critical writing.


It has supported me to gain a promotion in work to become a head of service and bring my team on a journey with me, sharing my learning and supporting others to grow.

Strategic approach

This programme has made me think about the 'bigger picture' of digital transformation within my organisation. I now incorporate this into my day-to-day decision making.

As well as new ways of seeing the world:

I had never heard concepts described in this way before … and I can see how this will positively affect how I approach projects moving forward.

Wider impact

A thorough programme of research and evaluation is planned in order to understand and explore wider impact as the programme develops. In the meantime, we are continuing to develop new courses on topics such as designing person-centred care, data-led decision making, AI for care in a digital age, data visualisation and working with remote and rural communities. We will also address the ongoing challenge of integrating both health and social care perspectives, making the most of the opportunity the programme offers to bring leaders from different backgrounds together to enhance understanding and collaboration in practice.  

The programme team would like to extend thanks to everyone within the University and beyond who have contributed to the MSc so far – all aspects of designing and delivering the programme have involved significant collaboration across the sector, underpinned by a strong shared sense of purpose. As one participant shared:

Through many of the lectures, both from course leaders and guest speakers, there is a sense that we are all working towards the same goal. I really appreciate how much knowledge and experience the course leaders bring and how this is supplemented by the skills and experience of the cohort members.

We are looking forward to our next in-person networking event at the end of February and supporting the participants to successfully complete their first year of study in gaining the Postgraduate Certificate at the end of June 2024.

Get in touch

The MSc Leading Digital Transformation in Health and Care for Scotland is designed and delivered by the Data-Driven Innovation, Health and Social Care Talent Programme, led by Programme Director Michelle Evans.

To find out more about the MSc programme or express interest in contributing to teaching on the programme please contact the Programme Manager, Elaine Mowat by emailing

Further resources

Read about the launch of the New senior leadership programme for digital transformation in health and care for Scotland

Find out more about the Health and Social Care Talent Programme

Get in touch with Programme Manager Elaine Mowat

View Programme Director Michelle Evans profile