Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust has been recognised for the digital improvements it has implemented across its sites. 

As a result of fulfilling its commitments to the Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme, Gateshead Health has been accredited as a digital leader.

In 2019, the trust was named as one of the GDE programme’s blueprints, digital toolkits that support NHS hospitals to swiftly implement changes to improve care.

Implementing digital improvements has led to Gateshead Health patients gaining better access to their health records with patients involved in the design of digital services used to manage their health. In addition patients can access services digitally – including opting for virtual outpatients appointments, which can help minimise delays and speed up time to appointment.

The GDE programme has also helped future-proof the trust and shore up its resilience by transforming its digital framework. Gateshead Health staff now have better access to tools to support them in delivering the safest and most effective care. Plus the trust is able to proactively monitor the latest digital capabilities.

Chief digital information officer at Gateshead Health, Nick Black, said: “The digital team has worked extremely hard to improve the services we provide, and we are delighted to have achieved the GDE accreditation. This means we are focused on patient safety and use technology to streamline the services we provide.

“This is a very exciting time for the digital team and allows us to adopt new technologies including AI and machine learning to enable staff to gain more time to care for patients, promoting a deeper interaction with patients as well as enhancing clinical care.”

As well as support from NHS Digital in finding ways to work more efficiently, Gateshead Health also partnered with Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Trust. This partnership enabled Gateshead to learn lessons from their peers and to collaboratively develop and exploit new technologies that have the potential to improve patient care.

Kathryn Drayton, clinical informatics specialist at NHS Digital, said: “The trust fully embraced the GDE programme, and their engagement led to both a successful HIMSS Maturity assessment and GDE accreditation; more importantly these efforts led to increase clinical engagement and greatly improved patient care and access to services.”