Key areas of digital, data and technology will be key to getting Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) right from the start, a report from techUK has suggested.

The report, titled ‘Right from the Start: What should Integrated Care Systems prioritise to make digital, data and technology work for them and their populations?’ was written in collaboration with techUK’s Health and Social Care Council, the wider vendor community and informed by techUK’s engagement with organisations across the public sector.

It highlights the key areas in which Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) can make a significant impact in driving progress on the most pressing issues facing the service at the moment: tackling the backlog, addressing health inequalities, and the need to improve patient outcomes and staff experience.

The foreward was written by the chairs and deputy chairs of the Digital Health Networks who welcomed the publication of the report.

“A key strength of the new techUK report is in its recommendations to work with existing structures in vital enabling areas such as procurement, innovation, interoperability, and partnership with industry,” it states.

“The leaders of Digital Health Networks look forward to working with techUK, ICSs and other partners to help achieve the potential of digital and data in the brave new world of ICSs.”

According to techUK, the key recommendations in the report will ensure are the primary drivers of delivery of enhanced health and services for every community. This comes after ICSs received statutory footing from 1 July 2022 after the Health and Care Bill was given Royal Assent and became law.

The recommendations focus on:

  • Putting the who before the how: helping citizens take control of their health and care
  • Putting the why before the what: embedding demand-signalling within each ICS
  • Putting outcomes before processes: fostering innovation through procurement
  • Prioritising interoperability and data: driving long-term transformation
  • Working together: creating an open and transparent environment for collaboration

Leontina Postelnicu, head of health and social care at techUK, said: “Our Right from the Start paper distils the views of hundreds of technology companies operating across the health and social care sectors that we at techUK engage with day in and day out.

“There is clearly huge momentum across the space to build on the progress we have seen in recent years and accelerate the deployment of technology for the benefit of patients and staff.

“Close collaboration between the NHS, social care and its supplier base will be paramount to making this happen. As this paper shows, industry is ready and willing to engage. The public sector will now have to prove it can match this.”