The NHS operating framework for 2008-2009 says that in the coming year local NHS organisations will be expected to build on the National Programme for IT local ownership programme (NLOP) with PCTs required to “further develop their leadership role”.

It states that during the course of the current year “the transfer of resources from central to local ownership” was “completed, re-emphasising local accountability for benefits realisation”. The DH says it expects local ownership to be further built on in the coming year.

PCT chief executives will be expected to lead local health community programmes to develop IM&T, which should be based on a plan “that supports service transformation and local and national objectives.”

In their approach these local health IT plans bear a striking similarity to the Local Information Strategies (LIS) health communities were required to develop at the beginning of the decade.

Each must detail: how “strategic solutions from Local Service Providers” (LSPs) will be implemented; effective information governance; and detail deployment of “the Summary Care Record and Healthspace, GP2GP record transfer, GP Systems of Choice, direct booking through Choose and Book and the Electronic Prescription Service.

A full list of IM&T expectations is due to be published by the DH in the form of Guidance on the Preparation of local IM&T Plans for 2008-2009. It had yet to appear on the DH website by the time of publication.

The 2008-2009 operating framework sets also out the national priorities for information to be delivered by the NHS in 2008-2009.

The number one priority for the year is delivery of data as weekly and monthly coded datasets to support the 18-week wait target.

“From April 2008, we expect providers to deliver initially coded datasets weekly to support achievement of the 18-week target, and comprehensively coded datasets monthly.”

The guidance says this data is expected to be captured and reported through the Secondary Uses Service (SUS), “as soon as each provider can make the necessary technical changes”. By April 2009, the NHS is expected to use SUS as “the standard repository for activity for performance monitoring, reconciliation and payments.”

With the increased reliance on data and reporting from data warehouses, the guidance says: “All NHS organisations will need to focus on the capture, coding and submission process to ensure that data used via data warehouses is as reliable as the data currently used and manually returned to the Department.”

But with many NHS providers still awaiting robust Local Service Provider clinical and management systems, and accompanying data warehouse and reporting capabilities, in many cases this is likely them to require them to invest in interim reporting approaches or their own data warehouse solutions.

In addition, the operating framework says that from April 2008, the data warehouse fed from the Electronic Staff Record “will increasingly be used for strategic workforce planning and monitoring purposes”. Trusts are told to “focus on workforce data quality”.

As part of the increased emphasis, the availability and quality of performance and activity data formal data-quality audits will be developed and introduced “possibly by the Audit Commission”. The DH says it is discussing the way forward for Foundation Trusts with regulator Monitor.

Failure to provide the required information will result in lost income. The 2008/09 operating framework says that providers that fail to provide required necessary information face having 10% of monthly contract value withheld until the required information is provided.