Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been accredited as an NHS Global Digital Exemplar (GDE).

The accreditation from NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) recognises Milton Keynes as an organisation which uses digital innovations to improve patient care and their experience; enhance the way staff do their jobs; and harness the power of data to improve future healthcare services.

Since joining the GDE programme in 2017, the Milton Keynes trust has introduced a number of digital improvements. In 2019 it rolled out Office 365, which enabled the trust to proactively respond to the challenges of the Covid pandemic, with flexible and remote working support.

It also went live with a new electronic patient record, eCARE, which helps healthcare professionals to make clinical decisions through improved access to medical information.

In addition, the trust’s MyCARE portal has enabled its patients to manage appointments and all correspondence through their smart phone, while a partnership with Apple has enabled patients to securely access their medical records via an iPhone.

Craig York, chief information officer for Milton Keynes, said: “As a trust, we have an appetite and willingness to embrace digital innovation and this has often seen us lead the way, both in terms of the NHS and also the global healthcare landscape, on some important work that has helped to improve the health and the experience of both our patients and staff in Milton Keynes.

“Being part of the GDE programme has meant we can share ideas and feedback with like-minded trusts and utilise the expertise of the national team to help us harness the power of digital technology to improve the care we offer patients.”

York also noted the trust’s intentions to keep “improving and innovating” for the benefits of the patients they serve. Indeed, some of the plans the trust hopes to bring to fruition include robots assisting staff in the delivery of medications and using smart devices to help with health monitoring.

Dermot Ryan, director of frontline digitisation at NHSEI, said: “The team at Milton Keynes are demonstrating how digitally enabled care can empower staff and the citizens they serve.

“Enabled by the trust’s EPR and tech to support flexible and remote working, staff are able to access the information they need when and where they need it. Through the patient portal and innovative smartphone tech, patients are able to use digital technology to manage their own care safely and conveniently.”

Milton Keynes’ GDE status means it joins a host of other NHS trusts that have also achieved the recognition, including Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, who became the first mental health trust to achieve GDE accreditation, and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.