NHS England’s director of digital technology, Beverley Bryant, has been speaking at EHI Live 2015. Here’s a round-up of the key points of her presentations:
1. NHS England has included a bid for IT infrastructure, systems and data within its submission to the Treasury’s spending review, which is due to report on 25 November.
If the commissioning board is successful in its bid for money to digitise the NHS, Bryant said it will “probably do a technology fund” in a similar format to the ‘Integrated Digital Care Technology Fund’ – the second of the two tech funds run to support health secretary Jeremy Hunt's call for a 'paperless' NHS by 2020.
2. NHS England is going ahead with the creation of a Digital Maturity Index and will start writing to NHS provider chief executives about completing their digital maturity self-assessments this Friday.
3. The digital maturity assessment focuses on: readiness, infrastructure; and capabilities.
The questionnaire was created with help from UCL Partners and in consultation with 35 organisations. The first, baseline Digital Maturity Index will be published next March.
4. All clinical commissioning groups have reported back on which providers will be covered by the local digital roadmaps that they were told to draw up in September. There are 90-100 roadmap areas, as some CCGs are working as groups.
5. Local digital roadmaps should be signed off by the provider organisations that they cover. The roadmaps must be ready by next April and should be published next summer.
6. The criteria for bidding to any new technology fund will be based on providers’ digital maturity assessments and CCG’s digital roadmaps.
7. CCGs are also being asked to report back on the digital maturity of their GP practices via the GP IT assurance model. Ultimately, Bryant would like to pull all the digital maturity information on NHS providers together into a “CCG-like score card”.
8. An upgrade to the NHS e-Referral Service – v4.4 – went live last weekend. The replacement for Choose and Book went live in June, after several months of delays, and immediately suffered capacity issues that repeatedly took it offline over the summer.
However, feedback from providers is that the service is now stable and “fit for purpose”.
9. ‘Digital elective care’ is the new business title for NHS e-referrals. NHS England is awaiting sign-off on a full business case for development of the service. The initial focus will be on clinical-facing functionality for secondary care.
10. NHS England is looking at introducing a process of accreditation or benchmarking around the interoperability of IT solutions.