NHS England is planning further waves of Global Digital Exemplars, its flagship programme to create a group of reference sites for NHS digitisation that provide standardised blueprints for other trusts to follow.

As well as adding further GDEs and associated fast followers, NHSE plans to create entirely new reference programmes, official documents seen by Digital Health News indicate.

The revelation, which had previously been only suggested, is made in the prospectus for the Health System Led Investment (HSLI) programme and in a linked question and answer document.

Both were sent to leaders of sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and integrated care systems (ICSs) on 10 August by Matthew Swindells, NHS England’s national director operations and information.

The prospectus reveals that a business case for the expansion of the Local Health and Care Record Exemplar (LHCRE) programme is already “under development”, along with one for the expansion of the global digital exemplar (GDE) programme.

It is suggested any additional funds for the GDE and fast follower schemes would mainly be available in years two and three of the Health System Led Investment programme – so 2019/20 and 2020/21.

But it says formal confirmation of this should be received later this year.

Also being “progressed” is funding to “support the development of system-wide eRostering and Bed Management Patient Flow exemplars”, which the document suggests will be announced shortly.

The idea of exemplars was first established in Bob Wachter’s review of NHS IT, published in August 2016.

There are currently 16 acute global digital exemplars, which have 17 fast followers. There are seven mental health GDEs, and three ambulance GDEs – none of which currently have fast followers (full list included below).

Five LHCREs, intended to accelerate the development of shared care records, were announced in May and June 2018.

While together these programmes constitute a shift to prioritising funding for the most digitally mature, the Health System Led Investment programme will leave it to local areas to decide which providers are most deserving of funds.

Projects will have to correspond to one of six national priorities, however.

The prospectus makes clear that HSLI funding “will not be awarded for projects that are in receipt of awards from other current targeted digital investment programmes”.

Nor can the HSLI cash be used for the purposes of match funding on the GDE and LHCRE programmes.

And the prospectus question and answer document explains that should a project which has been allocated HSLI money subsequently receives funding from another scheme – for example, “wave 3 of the LHCRE programme” – the money will have to be reallocated.

The majority of previous announcements on exemplars were made at the Health and Care Innovation Expo events in September 2016 and 2017.

Notable too is that the HSLI prospectus states providers should know “in September” whether they have been successful in bids for what it characterises as the “initial round” of e-prescribing funding.

This year’s Expo takes place on 5 and 6 September, and will be extensively covered by Digital Health News.

Acute Global Digital Exemplars

  • Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Trust
  • City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
  • Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
  • Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cambridge NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
  • Luton & Dunstable University Hospital NHS Trust
  • West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (joint Exemplar)
  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

Fast Followers

  • Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust
  • University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust
  • South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust
  • Chelsea & Westminster NHS Foundation Trust
  • Bedford Hospital NHS Trust
  • Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
  • Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust
  • North Tees & Hartlepool Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Wye Valley NHS Trust
  • Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Whittington Hospital
  • Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Mental Health Global Digital Exemplars

  • Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
  • Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
  • Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust

Ambulance Global Digital Exemplars

  • South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
  • West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
  • North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

Local Heath and Care Record Exemplars

  • Greater Manchester
  • Wessex
  • One London
  • Thames Valley
  • Yorkshire and Humber