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England’s plan for a “digital revolution” in health and social care has been released, including the introduction of annual digital maturity assessments across the NHS.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) published the detailed paper on June 29, which brings together existing digital strategies, plans and guidance.
Aimed at health and social care leaders and industry partners, the plan outlines initiatives including £2 billion ($2.37 billion) of funding to support the implementation of electronic patient records (EPRs) in all NHS trusts and increase the availability of remote monitoring to help more than 500,000 people manage long-term health conditions at home.
All integrated care systems (ICSs) and their NHS trusts are aiming to have core digital capabilities, including EPRs in place by March 2025. In social care, the goal is for 80% of Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered providers to have digital social care records by March 2024, backed by £25 million ($29.6 million) this year.
It is also planned for every ICS to implement population health and planning data platforms and business intelligence tools by 2023.
More information will be included in the NHS App and citizens will be enabled to view and manage hospital appointments, have virtual consultations, and see GP notifications.
FOCUS ON DIGITAL MATURITY
HIMSS vice president of analytics EMEA, Ronan O’Connor, praised the “highly ambitious plan” which builds on the significant progress already made in the NHS.
“HIMSS is seeing this progress on an ongoing basis having completed multiple assessments of NHS hospitals. Over the last two years we have awarded four hospitals our highest level of Stage 7 in EMRAM,” added O’Connor.
“We welcome the focus on digital maturity with the introduction of an annual digital maturity assessment across all organisations. This is best practice and world leading – it will inform a learning health and care system whereby digital maturity outcomes can be analysed and compared. And importantly it will ensure that more power and information is put in the hands of patients and citizens,” he said.
Other European countries to have similar plans in place include Germany and France.
ON THE RECORD
Former health minister Sajid Javid, said: “The opportunities offered by digital transformation are huge, with benefits over the next decade running to billions of pounds in efficiencies, economic growth and private investment.”
NHS Digital chief executive Simon Bolton said: “We are committed to working with our partners across health and social care to deliver the digitally enabled transformation of the NHS and create a system which provides better outcomes and access for patients.”
IN OTHER UK NEWS THIS WEEK
New health minister: Former Downing Street chief of staff Steve Barclay has been appointed as the new secretary of state for health and social care following the resignation of Sajid Javid last week.
Pathology LIMS deployment: One of England’s largest NHS organisations, the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, is working with CliniSys to deploy a single, laboratory information system (LIMS) across its pathology services to improve clinical practice and patient care. The new system will help the trust and partners deliver around 30 million tests a year for a population of 1.2 million people.
Connected laboratory network: Meanwhile, Scotland is on its way to becoming home to the UK’s largest connected laboratory medicine network, following the appointment of Citadel Health as the supplier for NHS Scotland’s LIMS framework. The new software will connect NHS laboratory medicine labs and hospitals across Scotland with the aim of linking and streamlining complex clinical processes to improve the patient experience for the population of Scotland.
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