The government’s Health and Social Care Committee is to assess government progress against its pledges on the digitisation of the NHS.

An independent evaluation will be carried out by the committee’s expert panel, looking at the government’s commitments across four areas.

They are:

  • The care of patients and service users – including the NHS app, personalised digital care and integrated health and care records
  • The health of the population – including making patient data available for research in a safe and trustworthy way and de-identifying data on collection in general practice settings
  • Cost and efficiency of care – including contract methods and procurement
  • Workforce literacy and the digital workforce – including the national digital workforce strategy and growing the digital workforce

A CQC-style rating from “inadequate” to “outstanding” will be awarded against each specific pledge with a final overall rating provided. The findings will support the work of the Health and Social Care Committee which is carrying out a separate enquiry.

Professor Dame Jane Dacre, chair of the expert panel, said: “Digital solutions and technology have an opportunity to deliver faster and more effective care to patients as well as assist health and care workers in their jobs.

“We’ll be looking at commitments the government has made to digitise the NHS – essential if we are to provide personalised care in a resource-effective way.

“Our panel of experts will evaluate progress made to meet policy pledges in this fast-evolving area – including keeping patient data safe.”

The core members of the expert panel are Professor Anita Charlesworth, Sir Robert Francis QC, Professor Stephen Peckham, Professor Emma Cave and Sir David Pearson.

There will also be 6 specialists who have been appointed for the evaluation to work a report assessing government progress.

They are:

  • Professor Maureen Baker CBE, chair of the Professional Record Standards Body
  • Catherine Davies, director at Digital Healthcare Council
  • Noel Gordon, former chair at NHS Digital, current chair at Healthcare UK and board member at NHS England
  • Dr Wajid Hussain, chief clinical information officer at Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals
  • Helen Patterson, Royal College of Physicians Patient and Carer Network
  • Nicola Perrin MBE, chief executive officer at Association of Medical Research Charities

Professor Baker CBE said: “My reason for joining this group is to help assess the progress on digitalisation of the NHS as this is essential for better, safer and more personalised care for people. 

“As a Panel member, I hope to identify the critical lessons learned from digital transformation over the last 5 years to better improve the success of future initiatives that have the potential to deliver real change in the NHS. Additionally, to help government get better at digital policy formulation and implementation in health and care.”

This evaluation comes after the Health and Social Care Committee urged the government “to make further progress on the digitalisation of the NHS and care services” back in January, as it was revealed that around a fifth of trusts in the NHS are still largely paper based.