The National Information Board is set to release its long awaited informatics strategy later this year, outlining a ten-year plan for how to make the most of data and technology in healthcare.

An update on the NIB’s informatics strategy in the board’s latest working group papers says the document is due to be released soon.

The National Information Board is comprised of representatives from a number of health organisations including the Department of Health, NHS England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

When NHS England published its guidance on bidding for the first round of the tech fund last July, it said a technology strategy would be published in December.

This became June, before being pushed back to the third quarter of 2014  in the Department of Health’s 2014-15 corporate plan.

The update says the strategy is focussed on the NIB’s endorsement of six strategic outcomes, which are service user experience; generating user demand; transforming professionals and services through training and education; providing an “open” framework of infrastructure and standards;  enhancing staff skills and productivity; and  providing “consistent, ubiquitous, reliable information” for decision-making.

The final strategy will produced in the style of a white paper, with chapters developed by each of five different work streams.

Capacity building is being developed by the DH and Health Education England, data and standards by the HSCIC and NHS England, and evidence from other sectors by the HSCIC.

The Care Quality Commission, NHS England and Public Health England is dealing with internal and external market stimulation, while the DH, HSCIC and NHS England are focussing on managing existing assets and aligning portfolios.

The DH is overseeing the delivery of the strategy and monitoring after it is released, with fortnightly steering group stocktakes.

The update says the strategy “does not sit in isolation” but relates to a number of other documents, including previous strategies from the HSCIC and NHS Informatics.

“The purpose of the strategy is not to revisit the ‘why’ of what we are trying to achieve in the informatics agenda, but rather to ensure a focus on the ‘how’ and the ‘what’ is required for delivery over the next two, five and ten years.”

The board has been holding a series of stakeholder engagement events during August and September to get feedback on the draft strategy and make necessary adjustments.

The report says work has started on a “detailed, cross-organisation communications plan” for the strategy’s expected launch date in mid-October.

However, a DH spokesperson told EHI the date of publication is not confirmed but will be later this year.

The spokesperson said the informatics strategy will build on the DH’s 2012 information strategy, The Power of Information, and will “cut across” both the DH’s and NHS England’s informatics strategies.

“The purpose of the strategy is to combine all part of the health, public health and care system to ensure a joined up approach to data. It will address all aspects of informatics across the system,” said the DH spokesperson.